2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 334-2
Presentation Time: 1:20 PM

USING GLACIAL MASS BALANCE ON THE JUNEAU ICEFIELD AS AN INDICATOR FOR HYDROLOGIC FLUXES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR DOWNSTREAM ECOSYSTEMS


QUESNEL, Kim, Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, GULBRANDSEN, Lindsey, Geology Department, SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta, NY 13820, CHRISTIE, Laurissa, Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada, AMOTT, Carrie, Environmental Science, University Alaska Southeast, 11120 Glacier Highway, Juneau, AK 99801, O'NEEL, Shad, Alaska Science Center, United States Geological Survey, Anchorage, AK 99508 and KAVANAUGH, Jeffrey, JIRP Director, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3, Canada, kquesnel@stanford.edu

Ecosystems dependent on glacial meltwater are sensitive to fluctuating hydrological inputs, which result from climatic variability. Prediction of discharge fluxes into streams that drain from the Juneau Icefield has historically been hampered by a lack of understanding of the relationships between glacial mass balance and outflow characteristics. Traditionally, there has been poor communication between glaciologists, hydrologists, and ecologists, inhibiting interdisciplinary collaboration. Here, we explicitly examine the links between mass balance measurements and discharge hydrographs from the Lemon Creek and Taku glacier watersheds. Using an integrated mass balance approach, we elucidate the interactions between glacier dynamics and ecosystem hydrology. Connection of these disparate research areas will provide a much needed understanding of how glacial dynamics are fundamentally connected to downstream hydrology.