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Reconnaissance of the Glaciers of the Susitna River Basin in Connection with Proposed Hydroelectric Development

  • W. D. Harrison (a1), B. T. Drage (a2), S. Bredthauer (a3), D. Johnson (a4), C. Schoch (a3) and A. B. Follett (a5)...
Abstract

A reconnaissance program has been carried out to identify problems caused by glaciers in a large proposed hydroelectric development in the Susitna River basin of Alaska. Balance measurements on the major glaciers have been initiated, and long-term balance between 1949 and 1980 has been estimated from existing photo sets. From the latter it appears that shrinking of the glac!iers, which comprise 4% of the basin area, may have contributed appreciably to the measured basin runoff. A potential instability in the drainage of Eureka Glacier, on the edge of the basin, has been identified. The glaciers of the basin seem to be largely temperate, and most of them are surging or pulsing types. Velocity measurements show seasonal variations that suggest appreciable contribution to the motion from basal sliding. A study of the moraines of Susitna Glacier, which is a surging type, indicates that no surge is imminent. Glacier-dammed lakes exist in the basin; they are small but could be enlarged by surging or other mechanisms. Some general problems in the estimation of the transport of suspended sediment are noted.

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Annals of Glaciology
  • ISSN: 0260-3055
  • EISSN: 1727-5644
  • URL: /core/journals/annals-of-glaciology
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