Cowlitz Glacier


Cowlitz Glacier
Cowlitz Glacier

Upper Cowlitz Glacier (right center)
Type Mountain glacier
Location Mount Rainier National Park, Pierce County, Washington, USA
Coordinates 46°50′06″N 121°43′30″W / 46.835°N 121.725°W / 46.835; -121.725[1]
Area 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2), 1983[2]
Status Retreating[2]

The Cowlitz Glacier is a large glacier on the southeast flank of Mount Rainier in Washington. The body of ice covers 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2) and has a volume of 6 billion ft3 (170 million m3).[2] The glacier starts at an elevation of 10,700 feet (3,300 m) and flows southeast downhill.[3] An adjacent glacier, the Paradise Glacier, is connected to this glacier. As it flows heads down the slopes of Rainier, another glacier, the Ingraham Glacier contributes ice to this glacier. The joined glaciers flow together as a valley glacier until their terminus at around 5,500 ft (1,700 m). Meltwater from the glacier drains into the Cowlitz River.[2][3]

History

About 35,000 years ago, the combined Cowlitz and Ingraham glaciers terminated some 65 mi (105 km) from Mount Rainier near present-day Mossyrock. As the Ice Age ended the glacier retreated north back to Mount Rainier. In recent times, the glacier has thinned, except for the period between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, during which the glacier made a notable advance.[2]

See also

References



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