Glacier Retreat in Glacier National Park, Montana

Fact Sheet 2019-3068



Currently, the volume of land ice on Earth is decreasing, driving consequential changes to global sea level and local stream habitat. Glacier retreat in Glacier National Park, Montana, U.S.A., is one example of land ice loss and glacier change. The U.S. Geological Survey Benchmark Glacier Project conducts glaciological research and collects field measurements across select North American glaciers, including Sperry Glacier located in Glacier National Park. These records provide direct evidence of glacier change. The amount and timing of Earth’s land ice that will be lost in the future depends on the future trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions. Ongoing glaciological research will enhance physical understanding and forecasting capabilities; however, the continued retreat and ice mass loss of small glaciers in Glacier National Park is certain. 

Suggested Citation

Florentine, C., 2019, Glacier retreat in Glacier National Park, Montana (ver. 1.1, December 2019): U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3068, 2 p.,

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

ISSN: 2327-6916 (print)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • How Is the U.S. Geological Survey Assessing Glacier Ice Mass?
  • Conclusion
  • References
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Glacier retreat in Glacier National Park, Montana
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2019-3068
DOI 10.3133/fs20193068
Edition Version 1.1; December 6, 2019
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 2 p.
Country United States
State Montana
Other Geospatial Glacier National Park
Online Only (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details