A research program at Oregon State University, for the first time in 20 years, returned to Collier glacier and has found that nearly twenty percent of this glacier has melted away since its size in the 1980’s. The discoveries made on this particular glacier are very consistent with other glaciers around the world and other melting rates. This has provided much needed data to help quantify the effects of global change on glacier retreat and sea level rise. The Collier glacier is located in the central Oregon Cascade Range and is at an elevation up to 7,000 feet. It is one of the largest glaciers in Oregon, and of about only 100 in the world, that has been intensively studied and monitored for long periods of time.
One of the main reasons research on glaciers is being done is because it can tell a lot about climate change, because glaciers respond to changes in temperature and precipitation. Research on the Collier glacier in the 1980’s and the 1990’s shows that it was losing a lot of mass year by year.