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Wendell Tangborn

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Wendell Tangborn

Wendell Tangborn (born 1927) is an American glaciologist specializing in glacier mass balance measurements since 1960, chiefly within the states of Washington and Alaska of the Pacific Northwest. His streamflow forecasting model implements a split-sample calibration approach which greatly improves its accuracy, and eliminates the need for manual measurements such as snow surveys. This model has been utilized by hydroelectric utilities for over thirty years to forecast Columbia River runoff. His PTAA glacier balance model requires only routine weather observations and has been successfully applied to calculate the mass balance of glaciers throughout the world, including the Himalayas.

Tangborn's water-balance model, reveals that glaciers store a significant amount of liquid water internally. This has contributed to a current consensus that liquid water in glaciers is a critical element for predicting and understanding the disintegration of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. In addition, he wrote the children’s book, Glaciers, as illustrated by Marc Simont, which introduces children to how and where glaciers form, how they move, and how they shape the land.

Wendell is the brother of Army Silver Star recipient, Virgil John Tangborn.


Wendell Tangborn Wikipedia

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