Benchmark Glaciers

United States Geological Survey

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) operates a long-term "benchmark" glacier program to intensively monitor climate, glacier motion, glacier mass balance, glacier geometry, and stream runoff at a few select sites. The data collected are used to understand glacier-related hydrologic processes and improve the quantitative prediction of water resources, glacier-related hazards, and the consequences of climate change. This page presents some of the balance, runoff, and temperature data for three glaciers: Gulkana, South Cascade and Wolverine. Reports for each of these glaciers uses the collected data to draw many conclusions. There is also a section with common questions and myths about glaciers.

This description of a site outside SERC has not been vetted by SERC staff and may be incomplete or incorrect. If you have information we can use to flesh out or correct this record let us know.

This resource originally cataloged at:


Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climatology , Geoscience:Hydrology
Resource Type: Audio/Visual:Maps, Images/Illustrations, Datasets and Tools:Datasets
Special Interest: Visualization
Grade Level: Graduate/Professional, College Upper (15-16)
Data Derived: Data Derived
Data Source: Observational Data
Science Background Required: Basic scientific background required
Topics: Hydrosphere/Cryosphere:Snow and Ice, Hydrosphere/Cryosphere, Climate
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Atmospheric Science, Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Climate Change, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Hydrology/Hydrogeology, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:WaterKeyword: Glaciology