Animation: Recession of Bridge Glacier, British Columbia

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[  The following animation is a contribution from Dr. Joe Shea.  Thanks, Joe!]

This animation shows the terminus of Bridge Glacier, located in the southern Coast Mountains of British Columbia, from 1976 – 2010.  Glacier thinning (or surface lowering) occurs throughout the sequence, and terminus retreat occurs rapidly post-2000.  Also notable is the marked reduction in firn area (gray-coloured snow patches) over the southern half of the images between 1990 and 2009.  This site provides an interesting example of a glacier that terminates in a freshwater lake, a fact which may play a significant role in the glacier dynamics.  The animation uses freely available Landsat imagery, obtained from the USGS (

For more information on Bridge Glacier see:

BC Hydro News, “BC Hydro keeps an eye on shrinking glaciers”, Feb. 12, 2009 (here)

Stahl, K., Moore, R.D., Shea, J.M., Hutchinson, D., and Cannon, A.J. (2008) Coupled modelling of glacier and streamflow response to future climate scenarios. Water Resources Research. Vol. 44, W02422, doi:10.1029/2007WR005956 (Abstract available here)

Also, see the recent post on Bridge Glacier Retreat on the From-a-Glacier’s-Perspective Blog.

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