Cascade Mountain

Narration: Ben Smith


Smith: Ok, our Photon Phriday for this week is measurements over ice, but it’s not ice that’s at the poles. It’s not from Greenland or from Antarctica. It’s from western Washington, where I live. We’re going from close to the Oregon border, where we hit Mount Adams, up to the northwest, where we hit Mount Baker. And these are two of the Cascade volcanoes. They’re not the two biggest volcanoes, but they each have good sized glaciers on them. If you look closely at the profiles, you can see that the signal gets bright as you go over the tops of the glaciers. And that’s probably because there was still some snow left over right up at the top. This is exciting because the glaciers in Washington state are changing very quickly. We’ve had a lot of fairly warm summers and winters that have not been as snowy as we might expect. It’s been, to some extent, raining instead of snowing. So the glaciers are shrinking quite quickly. We’ve got a measurement early in the mission that hit both of these mountains. We can hope to hit it again, maybe in a couple of years, and we’ll have elevation change measurements for both glaciers.