From a Glaciers Perspective

Patterson Glacier is a western outlet of the Stikine Icefield in southeast Alaska. The glacier does not reach tidewater it is 23 km long and has an area of about 100 km2. At the end of the 19th century, the terminus flowed both the east and the west, and was slowly advancing. William O. Field visited the glacier in 1941 and 1948 and found a 1.3 km retreat since the late 19th century. By 1979 the USGS noted a further 1 km of retreat. I saw the glacier enroute to the Juneau Icefield in 1984 and the lake at the terminus was still rather small. I talked to William O. Field right after that field season, he was convinced that all Stikine Icefield glaciers would be retreating more and we discussed Baird Glacier just to the north because it has not retreated yet, though it is showing signs now. In…

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