Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Frequent outburst floods from South Tahoma Glacier, Mount Rainier, U.S.A.: relation to debris flows, meteorological origin and implications for subglacial hydrology

  • Joseph S. Walder (a1) and Carolyn L. Driedger (a1)

Abstract

Destructive debris flows occur frequently at glacierized Mount Rainier volcano, Washington, U.S.A. Twenty-three such flows have occurred in the Tahoma Creek valley since 1967. Hydrologic and geomorphic evidence indicate that all or nearly all of these flows began as outburst floods from South Tahoma Glacier. Flood waters are stored subglacially. The volume of stored water discharged during a typical outburst flood would form a layer several centimeters thick over the bed of the entire glacier, although it is more likely that large linked cavities account for most of the storage. Statistical analysis shows that outburst floods usually occur during periods of atypically hot or rainy weather in summer or early autumn, and that the probability of an outburst increases with temperature (a proxy measure of ablation rate) or rainfall rate. We suggest than outburst floods are triggered by rapid water input to the glacier bed. causing water-pressure transients that destabilize the linked-cavity) system, The correlation between outburst Hoods and meteorological factors casts doubt on an earlier hypothesis that melting around geothermal vents triggers outburst floods from South Tahoma Glacier.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Frequent outburst floods from South Tahoma Glacier, Mount Rainier, U.S.A.: relation to debris flows, meteorological origin and implications for subglacial hydrology
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Frequent outburst floods from South Tahoma Glacier, Mount Rainier, U.S.A.: relation to debris flows, meteorological origin and implications for subglacial hydrology
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Frequent outburst floods from South Tahoma Glacier, Mount Rainier, U.S.A.: relation to debris flows, meteorological origin and implications for subglacial hydrology
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All
Björnsson, H. 1992. Jökulhlaups in Iceland: prediction, characteristics and simulation. Ann. Glacial. 16. 95106.
Björnsson, H. and Einarsson, P. 1991. Volcanoes beneath Vainajökull, Iceland:evidence from radio echo-sounding, earthquakes and jökulhlaups. Jökull. 40. 1990, 147168.
Bodhaine, G. L. and Thomas, D. M. 1964. Magnitude and frequency of floods in the United States. Part 12. Pacific Slope basins in Washington and upper Columbia River basin. U.S. Geol. Surv. Water-Supply Pap. 1687.
Clarke, G.K.C. 1982. Glacier outburst floods from “Hazard Lake”, Yukon Territory, and the problem of flood magnitude prediction, J. Glaciol., 28(98), 321.
Conover, W.J. 1971. Practical nonparametric statistics. New York. John Wiley and Sons.
Crandell, D. R. 1971. Postglacial lahars from Mount Rainier volcano, Washington. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 677.
Driedger, C. L. 1986. A visitor’s guide to Mount Rainier glaciers. Longmire, WA, Pacific Northwest National Parks and Forests Association.
Driedger, C. L. and Fountain, A. G. 1989. Glacier outburst floods at Mount Rainier. Washington State, U.S.A. Ann. Glaciol., 13, 5155.
Driedger, G. I. and Kennard, P.M. 1986. Ire volumes on Cascade volcanoes:Mount Rainier. Mount flood. Three Sisters, and Mount Shasta. U.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 1365.
Fountain, A.G. 1992. Subglacial water flow inferred from stream measurements at South Cascade Glacier. Washington. U.S.A. J. Glaciol., 38(128). 5164.
Hallet, B. and Anderson, R.S. 1982. Detailed glacial geomorphology of a proglacial bedrock area at Castleguard Glacier, Alberta. Canada. Z. Glescherkd. Glazialgeol., 16(2), 1980, 171184.
Hodge, S M. 1974. Variations in the sliding of a temperate glacier. J. Glaciol. 13(69), 349369.
Humphrey, N. F. 1987. Basal hydrology of a surge-type glacier: observations and theory relating to Variegated Glacier. (Ph.D. thesis. University of Washington.)
Humphrey, N. Raymond, C. and Harrison, W. 1986. Discharges of turbid water during mini-surges of Variegated Glacier, Alaska. U.S.A. J. Glacial., 32(111), 195207.
Kamb, B. 1987. Glacier surge mechanism based on linked cavity configuration of the basal water conduit system. J. Geophys. Res., 92(B9), 90839100.
Richardson, D. 1968. Glacier outburst floods in the Pacific Northwest. D.S. Geol. Surv. Prof. Pap. 600-D, D79D86.
Röthlisberger, H. 1972. Water pressure in intra- and subglacial channels. J. Glacial., 11(62). 177203.
Scott, K. M., Pringle, P.T. and Vallante, J.W. 1992. Sedimentology, behavior and hazards of debris flows at Mount Rainier. Washington. U.S. Geol. Surv. Open-file Rep. 90385.
Shreve, R.L. 1972. Movement of water in glaciers. J. Glaciol., 11(62). 205214.
Sigafoos, R.S. and Hendricks, E. L. 1972. Recent activity of glaciers of Mount Rainier, Washington. Botanical evidence of glacier activitv. U.S. Geol. Surv: Prof. Pap. 387-B.
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 1986-92. Climatological data — Washington. Asheville. NC, U.S. National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, 90-96 (511) [in each volume].
Walder, J. S. 1986. Hydraulics of subglacial cavities. J. Glaciol., 32(112), 439445.
Walder, J. S. and Driedger, C. L. 1994. Geomorphic change caused by glacial outburst floods and debris flows at Mount Rainier. Washington, with emphasis on Tahoma Creek valley. U.S. Geol. Surv: Water-Resources Investigation Rep. 934093.
Walder, J. and Hallet, B. 1979. Geometry of former subglacial water channels and cavities. J. Glaciol., 23(89), 335346.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed