Open File Report 1966-08

Open File Report 1966-08

OFR 1966-08

Catastrophic Advance of the Steele Glacier, Yukon, Canada

Author(s) Bayrock, L.A. Date 1966-08-23

The Steele Glacier is located on the north side of Mt. Steele, Sr. Elias Mountain Range, Yukon. It flows in a narrow valley, which is from one to ore and one half miles wide. About 5 miles from the end the glacier makes a sharp turn to the right, as of August 23, 1966.

In the upper reaches, the Steele glacier is fed by many small tributary glaciers, which helped it to attain a length of about 10 miles (or 16 km) before the advance. Canada National Topographic sheet 115G and 115F (E 1/2) (Kluane Lake) to a scale of 1:250 000 show the Steele glacier to be stagnant, as judged on the basis of V and U shaped contours pointing upstream when crossing the glacier. The first point at which the contours cross the glacier in a straight line is taken as the position of the terminus. The topographic map was prepared from air photographs taken from 1947 to1951. The advance of the Steele glacier from that position until August 23, 1966 is approximately 7.5 miles or 12 km.

The author and his assistant, Mr. Thomas Reimchen of Edmonton, were able to study the Steele glacier for four days, Aug. 20th to Aug. 23, 1966 inclusive. As the author did not have the time or a helicopter available, most of the study was concentrated at the left terminus of the glacier and along the left side to a point two miles upstream from the toe. Aided by good weather (cool and mostly cloudy, but no rain) it was possible to conduct a number of surveys of some processes of erosion and transportation and some flow characteristics of this spectacular natural phenomenon.

Bayrock, L.A. (1966): Catastrophic advance of the Steele Glacier, Yukon, Canada; Research Council of Alberta, RCA/AGS Open File Report 1966-08, 41 p.