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Meltwater Runoff from Haig Glacier, Canadian Rocky Mountains, 2002–2013 : Volume 11, Issue 7 (21/07/2014)

By Marshall, S. J.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004012199
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 53
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Meltwater Runoff from Haig Glacier, Canadian Rocky Mountains, 2002–2013 : Volume 11, Issue 7 (21/07/2014)  
Author: Marshall, S. J.
Volume: Vol. 11, Issue 7
Language: English
Subject: Science, Hydrology, Earth
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Marshall, S. J. (2014). Meltwater Runoff from Haig Glacier, Canadian Rocky Mountains, 2002–2013 : Volume 11, Issue 7 (21/07/2014). Retrieved from

Description: Department of Geography, University of Calgary, 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary AB, T2N 1N4, Canada. Observations of high-elevation meteorological conditions, glacier mass balance, and glacier runoff are sparse in western Canada and the Canadian Rocky Mountains, leading to uncertainty about the importance of glaciers to regional water resources. This needs to be quantified so that the impacts of ongoing glacier recession can be evaluated with respect to alpine ecology, hydroelectric operations, and water resource management. I assess the seasonal evolution of glacier runoff in an alpine watershed on the continental divide in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Analysis is based on meteorological, snowpack and surface energy balance data collected at Haig Glacier from 2002–2013. The study area is one of several glacierized headwaters catchments of the Bow River, which flows eastward to provide an important supply of water to the Canadian prairies. Annual specific discharge from snow- and ice-melt on Haig Glacier averaged 2350 mm water equivalent (w.e.) from 2002–2013, with 42% of the runoff derived from melting of glacier ice and firn, i.e. water stored in the glacier reservoir. This is an order of magnitude greater than the annual specific discharge from non-glacierized parts of the Bow River basin. From 2002–2013, meltwater derived from the glacier storage was equivalent to 5–6% of the flow of the Bow River in Calgary in late summer and 2–3% of annual discharge. The basin is typical of most glacier-fed mountains rivers, where the modest and declining extent of glacierized area in the catchment limits the glacier contribution to annual runoff.

Meltwater runoff from Haig Glacier, Canadian Rocky Mountains, 2002–2013

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