Prolific Glacial Melt Is 10% Of Annual Fresh Water In The Gulf Of Alaska

A kayak trip in Glacier Bay in 2006 inspired an engineer to research the impact of glacial run off in the Gulf of Alaska. David Hill is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at Oregon State University. For the study, he used decades of state and USGS stream flow data, combined with calculations on land characteristics and watershed size to create an analysis for the entire area.

He found glacier melt makes up about 10% of the overall precipitation added to the Gulf. The annual amount is measured in multiple feet of water. Hill says he worked to model how quickly rain and snow melt started to flow.

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Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at ltownsend@alaskapublic.org or call 907-350-2058.

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