• Glacial Processes and Their Relationship to Streamflow Flute Glacier, Alaska

      Long, William E. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1972-01)
      Flute Glacier is located at the head of the South Fork of Eagle River, Alaska, about twenty air-miles east northeast of Anchorage. It is a small north-facing glacier, approximately two miles long and half a mile wide, situated in a deep glacial valley (see Figure 1). Elevations on the glacier range from 3,500 feet at the terminous to 5,800 feet at the top of the accumulation area. Water from Flute Glacier becomes the South Fork of Eagle River, draining about 32 square miles of area compared to a 192 square mile drainage basin for Eagle River. Limited discharge measurements made during October 1968 suggest that the South Fork contributes about 20% of the water flowing down Eagle River. Glacial meltwater forms an important percentage of the waters of the Eagle River system. Glaciers feeding the main Eagle River are large, complex and difficult to study. Flute Glacier, relatively small and of simple plan, was selected for study because of its small size and proximity to the metropolitan area of Anchorage. Water from the Eagle River system is presently included in the plans for future water supply for Anchorage. The Eagle River valley up to the 500 ft contour is a federal power reserve. The climate of the area surrounding Flute Glacier is alpine with cool temperatures and higher than average precipitation for the area. All the glacier is above treeline so no plant life is obvious. Mountain sheep inhabit the sharp alpine peaks surrounding the glacier.
    • Preliminary Results on the Structure and Functioning of a Taiga Watershed

      Lotspeich, Frederick B.; Slaughter, Charles W. (University of Alaska, Institute of Water Resources, 1981-11)
      Comprehensive research in ecosystem functioning may logically be undertaken in the conceptual and physical context of complete drainage basins (watersheds or catchments). The watershed forms a fundamental, cohesive landscape unit in terms of water movement following initial receipt of precipitation. Water itself is a fundamental agent in energy flux, nutrient transport, and in plant and animal life. The Caribou-Poker Creeks Research Watershed is an interagency endeavor aimed at understanding hydrologic and, ultimately, ecological functioning in the subarctic taiga, the discontinuous permafrost uplands of central Alaska. Initial work includes acquisition and analysis of data on soils, vegetation, local climate, hydrology, and stream quality. Information acquired in the research watershed is summarized here, and implications for future data acquisition and research are considered.