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Glaciological Studies in the St. Elias Range, Canada


Rigsby, George Pierce (1950) Glaciological Studies in the St. Elias Range, Canada. Master's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/MX3E-DB92.


The glaciological and geologic studies of 1948 in the St. Elias Range by a group from the California Institute of Technology were made possible by the Arctic Institute of North America and research grants from the Office of Naval Research, American Alpine Club and the California Institute. Walter A. Wood, director of the New York office of Arctic Institute, led the entire operation, and Robert P. Sharp of the California Institute of Technology directed the scientific research.

The purpose of the expedition was to make studies of the physics of ice, snow and glaciers, as well as to gather specific information on accumulation, ablation, temperature, movement, density, depth and compaction of the firn in the Seward firn field. It is also hoped that first hand study of existing glaciers will produce a better understanding of past happenings in areas from which glaciers have disappeared. Part of the program consisted of checking the published conclusions of other workers in glaciology as well as attempting to add something to this science. The possibility that radar might be a better and faster means of determining the thickness of a body of ice was investigated, and a check of the radar results by seismic methods was planned. Bernard O. Steenson, a graduate student in Electrical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, built and operated the radar equipment. F. Beach Leighton, a graduate student in the Division of Geological Sciences at the same institution, worked with meltwater, ablation and accumulation, while the author studied temperature and density of the firn, glacier movement and bedrock geology of the area. The seismic operations were under the direction of Donald J. Salt of the University of Toronto, Canada.

Item Type:Thesis (Master's thesis)
Subject Keywords:Geology
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Sharp, Robert P.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1950
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:02262010-085815097
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5551
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Mar 2010 22:46
Last Modified:10 Apr 2023 21:58

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