Llewellyn Glacier Extents:  1991 – 2011

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 470.69
2001 464.15 -6.54 -1.39 -0.65
2011 457.84 -6.31 -1.36 -0.63
1991 – 2011 -12.85 -2.73 -0.64

View and explore these Llewellyn Glacier outlines in Google EarthLlewellyn Glacier Extent Change: 1991 – 2011

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”.

Notes

Glacier extents (outlines) were digitized manually with GLIMSView (freely available here) from Landsat satellite imagery (freely available here).

Links

Atlin Provincial Park and Recreation Area

Atlin, British Columbia

References

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.