Remote Work: Monitoring Glacier Change in Kenai Fjords National Park

Dr. Taryn Black

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Maritime glaciers are a critical component of the landscape at Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. Changes to these glaciers affect terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems and physical properties, and glacier retreat and associated ecosystem changes in Kenai Fjords National Park will likely impact ecotourism associated with the park. Therefore, monitoring these glaciers is important for understanding how they are changing over time. Satellite remote sensing has enabled glacier monitoring over a range of spatial and temporal scales and can greatly enhance field observations of glacier changes. We used images from the Landsat satellites to trace glacier margins twice annually from 1984 through 2021 for 19 glaciers within Kenai Fjords National Park. In this talk, I will discuss what these glacier margin observations have revealed about the behavior of different types of glaciers in the park over the past several decades.

professional headshot of Dr. Taryn Black

Taryn Black is a recent PhD graduate of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington. She received a BS in Earth and Space Sciences from the University of Washington and a MS in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on using satellite images to measure changes in coastal glacier extent in Greenland and Alaska, to better understand how these glaciers are responding to climate change.