Saskatchewan Glacier

The Saskatchewan glacier receeded from its terminal moraine in 1893. The rate of recession from 1948 – 1953 was calculated to be approximately 55m/a.

By 1945 a study completed by the DWPB found the toe of the glacier to be irriguar and and the surface of the ice very rough. The position of the snout and changes in areal extent were measured annually, Summer glacial flow velocities are greater than annual velocities. (Ommanney, 2002)

The computed the annual accumulation in 1960 was calculated at 1 m (w.e.) with a gradient of 13 mm/m below the firn limit. Therefore this was a very active glacier.
The average ablation ranged from1 m/a near the ice field to 2.6 m/a - 4 m/a at the snout. The ice was 442 m thick 8 km upglacier and, because of the valley’s marked U-shape and very steep walls, was as much as 305 m thick, even quite close to the margin. (Ommanney, 2002)

sask glacier

Figure 1: Saskatchewan Glacier in 2006 (Thomson, 2006)

Figure 2: Glacial Deposition from Saskatchewan Glacier (Thomson, 2006)

Figure 3: Glacial Ice (Thomson, 2006)

Click HERE to view images of Saskatchewan Glacier in 1964 at the GeoData Center Archives Gallery

Located: Banff National Park,
  • approximately 120 km (75 miles) northwest of the town of Banff.
Province:Alberta, Canada
Latitude: 52°08.3'
Longditude: 117°12.1'
Classification: outlet glacier from the Columbia Icefield, which rests along the Continental divide.
Length: approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles) long Areal Extent: 30 km² (11.5 mi²)

  • measured in 1960 to be over 400 meters (1,300 ft) thick at a distance of 8 kilometers (5 mi) from the terminal snout.
  • declines gradually from east to northeast, without ice falls, to its terminus at 1,800m
  • The ELA lies almost at the junction of the ice field and outlet tongue and ranges from 2,440 to slightly more than 2,530 m
(TrekEarth, 2007)

Saskatchewan Glacier Progression