Effects of glacial retreat on proglacial streams and riparian zones in the Coast and North Cascade Mountains

Auteur(s) et Affiliation(s)

Rescan Environmental Services Ltd, Vancouver, Canada
Dept. of Geography and Dept. of Forest Resources Management, Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Dept. of Geography, Univ. of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Description :
Proglacial stream development was studied in coastal British Columbia and Washington, focusing on reaches exposed by post-Little Ice Age (LIA) glacier retreat. Channel morphologies were identified by field surveys of 69 reaches in 10 catchments. Riparian forest development and potential fish habitat were characterized in those reaches and an additional 22 catchments using GIS analysis. The landscape template imposed by the Quaternary glaciation appears to override most of the modern effects of the LIA in controlling channel-reach morphology. Binary logistic regression analysis identified elevation and time since deglaciation as primary controls on the presence of riparian forest. Of the recently deglaciated streams included in this analysis, the majority (86%) of the total length was of suitable gradient for fish and could be accessed either by downstream populations or from adjacent lakes. Predicted maximum weekly average stream temperature (MWAT) indicated that the post-LIA study streams were thermally suitable for cold-water fish. A future scenario of glacier loss would cause a 14% decline in accessible cold-water thermal habitat in post-LIA streams. Decreased summer flows due to glacier retreat could further limit usable habitat by reducing stream depths and wetted perimeters.

Type de document :
Article de périodique

Source :
Earth surface processes and landforms, issn : 0197-9337, 2014, vol. 39, n°. 3, p. 351-365, nombre de pages : 15, Références bibliographiques : 3 p.

Date :

Editeur :
Pays édition : Royaume-Uni, Chichester, Wiley

Langue :
Droits :
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