Glaciers in Canada found to be thicker than previously suggested


Among snowy, ice-capped peaks in the northernmost section of western Canada’s Columbia River Basin, a research team, led by University of British Columbia Ph.D. student Ben Pelto, collected measurements of glacier thickness. Their findings, published by the Journal of Glaciology in September, suggest that the glaciers in the basin are on average 38% thicker than previously believed. Quantifying ice thickness has long been a challenge to glaciologists because it often requires ground measurements, unlike ice-covered area, which is an easy metric to quantify from aerial or satellite imagery. Measuring ice depth matters because it is a metric important to assessing future glacier flow and glacier contribution to stream flow in the region. The total number of observations of glacier thickness in the Columbia River basin was low.

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