Llewellyn Glacier, British Columbia – outlined here in blue on a 2001 Landsat satellite image – is one of the largest glaciers in British Columbia with a surface area of 456 km2 (as of 2011). It is one of the largest outlet glaciers of the Juneau Icefield which straddles the Coast Mountains of southeast Alaska and northwest British Columbia.
The image above shows the terminus of Llewellyn Glacier in a 2011 Landsat satellite image. Each light-gray grid cell is 1 km by 1 km. Of the 53 outlet glaciers of the Juneau Icefield, Llewellyn Glacier has receded the most – in terms of surface area – in recent years (Beedle and Raup, 2008).
|Year||Area (km2)||Area Change (km2)||Area Change (%)||Rate (km2/a)|
|1991 – 2011||-12.85||-2.73||-0.64|
In August of 2011 Llewellyn Glacier receded away from a bedrock ridge allowing water to flow from one of the terminal lakes to another. Perhaps more significantly this altered how runoff and meltwater from Llewellyn Glacier reach Atlin Lake, dramatically diverting water from river to another and causing the ‘disappearance’ of a river that had been present for many decades if not many hundreds of years. Learn more about this event here: Recession and Recent “Disappearance of Glacial River”.
Beedle, M. J. and Raup, B., 2008, A GLIMS inventory of the Juneau Icefield, Alaska, IGS International Workshop on World Glacier Inventory, Lanzhou, China, Sept. 20-24, 2008.