USGS Logo Geological Survey Professional Paper 387—B
Recent Activity of Glaciers of Mount Rainier, Washington




   Purpose and scope
   Methods, documentation, and terminology

Nisqually Glacier

South Tahoma and Tahoma Glaciers
   South Tahoma Glacier
   Tahoma Glacier
   Emerald Ridge, Tahoma Glacier
   Summary, South Tahoma and Tahoma Glaciers

Puyallup Glacier

Carbon Glacier

Winthrop Glacier

Emmons Glacier
   Summary, Emmons Glacier

Ohanapecosh Glacier

Significance of dated moraines, channels, and melt-water deposits
   Hydrologic inferences
   Summary of moraine ages


FRONTISPIECE.—Tahoma Glacier, shown here at left center of the photograph, cascades down the west slope of Mount Rainier where it forms the headwaters of South Puyallup River. South Tahoma Glacier rises on the side of Mount Rainier to the right, flows around a bedrock hill and terminates in a gray tongue of ice from which Tahoma Creek flows off to the right. The bare valley bottoms just below the termini were covered by the glaciers less than 60 years ago. (Photograph taken from Gobbler's Knob, September 20, 1967.)


[Plates 1—7 are in separate volume]

COVER. View of Mount Rainier northwestward up Cowlitz River valley from west slope of Backbone Ridge.
FRONTISPIECE. Tahoma Glacier cascades down the west slope of Mount Rainier.

PLATE (omitted from the online edition)

1. Index map of Mount Rainier National Park.

2—7. Map and photographs:

2. Nisqually River valley near Nisqually Glacier terminus.
3. Tahoma Creek valley, South Puyallup River valley, and Emerald Ridge near South Tahoma and Tahoma Glaciers.
4. North Puyallup River valley near Puyallup Glacier.
5. Carbon River valley near Carbon Glacier terminus.
6. West Fork and Winthrop Creek valleys near Winthrop Glacier terminus.
7. White River and Inter Fork valleys near Emmons Glacier terminus.


1. Photograph—Samples from larger trees can be taken no closer than 2-3 feet above the ground; Sketch—Each annual ring is an elongated cone

2—8 Photographs:

2. Trees are sampled at the lowest possible level
3. South Tahoma Glacier and Tahoma Glacier joined in 1910 below Glacier Island
4. Junction of Tahoma Creek Trail and Wonderland Trail
5. The 1835—50 lateral moraine of South Tahoma Glacier
6. The 1840 moraine and the older surface
7. Tahoma Glacier covered the rocks as recently as 1860
8. Wonderland Trail follows the narrow ridge above South Puyallup River
9. Cross-sectional diagrams drawn along lines through two melt-water channels
10. Map—In 1896, White River drained Emmons Glacier as it does today but had two tributaries flowing through the moraines

11—13. Photographs:

11. The bare amphitheater holds immobile ice that was once part of Ohanapecosh Glacier
12. Oblique aerial view of Ohanapecosh River valley near Ohanapecosh Glacier
13. Trees closest to Ohanapecosh Glacier



1—9. Ages of trees sampled from periglacial features near—

1. Nisqually Glacier
2. South Tahoma Glacier
3. Tahoma Glacier
4. Emerald Ridge
5. Puyallup Glacier
6. Carbon Glacier
7. Winthrop Glacier
8. Emmons Glacier
9. Ohanapecosh Glacier
10. Ages of glacial or pyroclastic deposits at Mount Rainier, Washington

ROGERS C. B. MORTON, Secretary

V. E. McKelvey, Director

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Last Updated: 28-Mar-2006