PSU Glacier Research
Taylor Valley, Antarctica  

Glacier Research at Portland State University

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People Research  Thesis Links

PSU Faculty and Staff




Dr. Andrew G. Fountain Departments of Geology and Geography
Dr. Christina Hulbe   Adjunct Department of Geology
Hassan Basagic Department of Geology
Kristina Dick Department of Geology

Current Graduate students
Kelly Hughes Department of Geology
Justin Ohlschlager Department of Geology
Steve Wilson
Department of Geology
Local Collaborators
Robert Schlicting Cleveland High School, Portland, Oregon
Frank D. Granshaw Portland Community College and Artemis Science, Portland, Oregon

National/International Reports of Interest:

National Academy of Science 2008- Understanding and Responding to Climate Change

World Glacier Monitoring Service 2008 - Global Glacier Changes: facts and figures


National Academy of Science 2012 - Sea-level Rise for the Coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington: Past, Present, and Future.

 Research Projects

Glacier Change of the American West
GIS database of Glaciers and Glacier Change in the Contiguous 48 States

We are evaluating the glacier change in the American West since the early scientific explorations in the late 1800s. We are interested in the spatial and temporal variations in the change and the climatic processes that cause the change. An initial part of this effort was to locate all the glaciers and permanent snowfields in the West, then construct a photographic library depicting glacier extent over time.

Project web site: Glaciers of the American West
Dec  2007

Fountain A Century of Glacier Change in the American West American Geophysical Union
Apr   2007 Fountain Glacier Change in the Pacific Northwest, Portland, OR Melting Mountains Conference
Sep  2006 Basagic Documenting Twentieth Century Glacier Change with Repeat Photography Mountain Climate Meeting
Dec 2004 Fountain Glacier Shrinkage and Effects on Alpine Hydrology American Geophysical Union

May 2010 Emboidery of Lyell Glacier Survey by Bonnie Peterson Image
Oct  2009 KGW Winds of Change: Mount Hood Glaciers Video (.divx  40mb)
Sep 2009 OPB A Few Western Glaciers Growing; What's Up With That? Audio
Nov  2008 KQED The California Report: Journey to Dana Glacier Audio and Video
Jul   2008 USA Today Glaciers on California's Mt. Shasta keep growing Article
May 2007 Reno Gazette High and dry Article
Mar  2006 Oregonian Mount Hood meltdown Article

Featured Report
: Indicators of Climate Change in California (April 2009)


Antarctica: McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research Project

We study the mass and energy balance of the glaciers in Taylor Valley, Antarctica. Glacier melt is the primary source of water to the ephemeral streams and ice-covered lakes in the valley and as such are critical to the functioning of the terrestrial ecosystem in this polar desert.  We maintain a program of glacier mass balance  measurements and a network of meteorological stations.

Project web site:
Canada melt

Notes from the field
Exploratorium: Glaciers and the Simple Life in Antarctica's Dry Valleys by M. Miller (Mar 2009) Video
Cryoconite Hole experiment: Formation of a cryoconite MOVIE!
Glen Liston slideshow of his visit in January 2005 (pdf format) Slide show
Life style notes from the field team:  Antarctica 1999-20002000-2001
Canada Glacier Photos in Taylor Valley, Antarctica web page
Photographic panoramas from each weather station! web page

Learning about Glacier

Learn more about glaciers from our educational components that include glacier simulations on glacier flow, glacier change, and how glaciers respond to climate change. Also, visit the education websites on glacier change for Mount Rainer National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Upper Skagit River Basin.

Project website: Learning about Glaciers

Past Projects
Outburst Flood of a Glacier-dammed Lake, Kennicott Glacier, Alaska   Project web page 
The Geometry and Hydraulics of Englacial Conduits, Storglaciären, northern Sweden Project web page

Thesis Projects

In Progress

Justin Ohlschlager Glacier Area and Volume Change on Three Sisters, Oregon
Kelly Hughes Geochemistry of water tracks, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
Steve Wilson
Glacier inventory of the Olympic Mountains, Washington


Kristina Dick 2013 Glacier Change of the North Cascades, Washington 1900-2009 Web Thesis Journal
Josh Heard 2012 Glacial geology of Goat Rocks, Washington Web Thesis Journal
Matt Hoffman 2010 Spatial and temporal variability of glacier melt in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica Web Diss. Journal
Jon Ebnet 2010 An Energy Balance Model of Melt-water Production for Polar Glaciers in Taylor Valley, Antarctica Web Thesis Journal
Michael Hekkers 2010 Climate modeling of the glaciers on Mt. Rainier, Washington Web Thesis Journal
Adam Campbell 2009 Modeing tidewater glacier retreat as a possible mechanism for behavior of Crane Glacier, Antarctica  Web Thesis Journal
Peter Sniffen  2008 Dry Calving at the Terminus of a Polar Glacier, Taylor Glaciers, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica Web Thesis Journal
Hassan Basagic 2008 Quantifying Twentieth Century Glacier Change in the Sierra Nevada, California Web  Thesis Journal
Jan Dougall 2007 Downstream effects of glaciers on stream water quality Web Thesis Journal
Gretchen Gebhardt 2007 Glacial Geology of the Mount Hood Upland Surface Web Thesis Journal
Keith Jackson 2007 The mass wastage and flow of Eliot Glacier, Mt. Hood, Oregon. Web Thesis Journal
Christine LeDoux 2007 A boundary element model for fracture propagation in the Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica. Web Thesis Journal
Hiram Henry  2006 A study of the role of firn in the melt season hydrology of temperate glaciers Web Thesis Journal
Amy Ebnet 2005 A temperature-index model of melt water in Taylor Valley, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Web Thesis  Journal
Shaun Marcott 2005 A Tale of Three Sisters: Reconstructing the Holocene Glacial History and Paleoclimate Record at Three Sisters Volcanoes, Oregon. Web Thesis Journal
Robin Johnston 2004 Channel Morphology and Surface Energy Balance on Taylor Glacier, Taylor
Valley, Antarctica
Web Thesis Journal
Thomas Nylen 2004 Spatial and Temporal Variations of Glaciers on Mount Rainier between 1913 and 1994 Web Thesis Journal
Sara Frödin 2003 The Geometry and Hydraulics of Englacial Conduits, Storglaciären, northern Sweden  (non-thesis project) Web Thesis Journal
Don Lindsay 2003 Hydrology of an Outburst Floods at Kennicott Glacier, Alaska Web Thesis Journal
Michele Cunico 2003 The Mechanical Response of the Ice Dam to the Outburst Floods at Kennicott Glacier, Alaska. Web Thesis Journal
Frank Granshaw 2002 Glacier Change in the North Cascade National Park Complex, Washington USA, 1958 to 1998 Web Thesis Journal
Patrick Bardel 2001 Mapping Polar Glaciers Using Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)  Web Thesis  Journa
Jeremy Mennis 1997 GIS Applications to Glaciology: Construction of the Mount Rainier Glacier Database Web Thesis Journal


Glacier Data Sources
World Glacier Monitoring Service
National Snow and Ice Data Center
World Data Centre for Glaciology, Cambridge - International Council for Science
Snow and Ice
Glaciology at Trent - Trent University
Bristol Glaciology Center
Glacier images from the Department of Geology at Duke University  Part 1     Part 2
USGS South Cascade Glacier
USGS Glacier monitoring in Glacier National Park: Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems
Byrd Polar Research Center at the Ohio State University
Snow Crystals - Kenneth G. Libbrecht, Califronia Institute of Technology
Electron Microscopy Unit Snow Page - USDA Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
Antarctic Projects Home Page - University of Wisconsin, Madison Space and Engineering Centre
British Antarctic Survey
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research
United States Antarctic Research Center - U.S. Geological Survey
Polar Research - National Science Foundation
Gateway to the Arctic - The International Arctic Environmental Data Directory

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Prospective Graduate Student Information

Questions? Contact Andrew Fountain:  andrew at pdx dot edu