Sperry Glacier Case Study

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Slide 1:
Hi Everyone, I’ll be covering Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park as my site location for the Dynamic Geologic Setting Project.
The Sperry Glacier is located in northwest Montana within Glacier National Park. The image on the left gives you some context with respect to the regional location. It is a small cirque glacier of about .8 square km and an average depth of 35 meters on the North slope of gunsight mountain. The area and depth are steadily decreasing however. Since the start of the 20th century Sperry Glacier has lost 78% of its mass. It is one of the remaining 25 glaciers in the park, which had an estimated 150 glaciers when the park was established in 1910.
Sperry Glacier was added as one of the USGS’s
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They can begin as a natural depressed that is expanded by erosion, growing to hundreds or thousands of meters. Cirques are often occupied by lakes once the glacier has retreated. Crag-and-tail features form when a sufficiently hard rock resists glacial abrasion while the rock around it is scraped away. In the wake of the resistant rock, a tail forms similar to the teardrop shape seen when air flows around an object. These landforms can vary in size from a few centimeters to that of a large hill. The tail section points in the direction of glacial flow. Depositional landforms of mountain glaciers include moraines, erratics, and till plains. Moraines are deposits of debris left my glaciers. There are many types based on their shape, location relative to the glacier, and formation. For example, lateral moraines form alongside a glacier and thrust moraine form when compressive forces raise debris to the surface. Erratics are large rock fragments that have been moved long distances and are deposited in areas with different rock characteristics. Till plains are wide, softly sloping areas where glaciers have deposited a layer of fine …show more content…
Unfortunately, as glaciers melt, these records are lost. Because the layers of ice closest to the surface melt first, some of the most interesting and relevant data regarding the glacier’s recent history is lost first. Depending on the size of the glacier, volume of melt, and composition of deposited materials, ice melt can impact the downstream chemistry of lakes and mountain landscapes. These impacts have inherently high variability and have not yet been well

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