Peyto GlacierThis is a featured page

General Description:
The Peyto Glacier is situated in a dry continental climate to the lee of the Rocky Mountain Continental Divide. It contributes flow to two important river catchments: the Mistaya River, with 12% glacier cover, and the North Saskatchewan River basin (Demuth and Pietroniro, 1999). It also feeds the Peyto Lake which is 5 km south of the glacier, located between Lake Louise and Jasper. The glacier snout is subject to high melt rates from season to season and there is marked surface lowering on several parts of the glacier (Demuth and Keller, 1997). It is surrounded by ice-cored moraines in its lower part.

Peyto Glacier - Canadian Glacier Inventory Project
Figure1: Aerial Photograph of Peyto Glacier in 1967(Ommanney, 2002)

Mass Balance:
Peyto Glacier has been retreating rapidly, especially since the last half of the 20th century, and has reportedly lost 70% of its mass since it was first researched (Ommanney, 2002). Spatial mass balance patterns are strongly influenced by terrain shading and glacier topography resulting in a significant shift in the annual and seasonal mass balance time series that occurred in the mid 1970s (Demuth and Pietroniro, 1999). The Peyto Glacier underwent spectacular mass loss during the first half of the 20th century followed by a pronounced abatement after the mid-century. However, from 1988 to the present, winter accumulations are slowly returning to their long term average (Demuth and Keller, 1997).

Peyto Glacier - Canadian Glacier Inventory Project
Figure 2: Past-century and recent decadal-order variations in mass balance of the Peyto glacier
(Demuth and Keller, 1997)

Peyto Glacier - Canadian Glacier Inventory Project
Figure 3: Mass Balance Measurements of Peyto Glacier from 1965 to 1997
(Ommanney, 2002)

Peyto Glacier - Canadian Glacier Inventory Project
Figure 4: RADARSAT SAR late summer image of Peyto Glacier showing terminus, medial moraine and Peyto-Bow Divide in 1996
(Demuth and Pietroniro, 1999)

Name: Peyto Glacier
Province: Alberta
Location: Banff, National Park
Classification: Outflow Glacier
Altitude: 2140 to 3180 metres above sea level
Area: 12 sq. Km
Thickness: approximately 95 metres
Coordinates: 51 41'N / 116 32'W
Originates at an elevation of 3185 m asl
Tongue is about 2100 m asl
Mean elevation is 2635 m asl
Accessibility: 2 to 3 hour walk from Peyto Lookout off of the Trans Canada Highway
(Ommanney, 2002)

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Latest page update: made by Rachael07 , Mar 29 2007, 1:07 PM EDT (about this update About This Update Rachael07 Edited by Rachael07

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