Theses and Dissertations


Ambinakudige, Shrinidhi

Committee Member

Crane, Kelsey

Committee Member

Dash, Padmanava

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible MSU only 1 year

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Geoscience (Geospatial Sciences)

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Glaciers in the western United States, essential freshwater reservoirs, and climate change indicators, are evaluated to understand their present conditions using Sentinel 2A satellite imagery and Random Forest machine learning. Furthermore, this study utilizes MODIS albedo and temperature data, along with Sentinel 5 Precursor, to understand trends and changes in summer glacier albedo within the region, while also investigating the underlying factors influencing glacier albedo, with Mount Rainier as case study. The results of this study reveal that glaciers have lost 236.96 km2 in their area and a corresponding volume loss of 4.9 km3 from the mid-20th century to 2020. Additionally, analysis on the albedo changes of glaciers on Mount Rainier shows a decreasing trend at a rate of 3.29 x 10-6 per day. Further analysis reveals that temperature is the dominant factor affecting the albedo of glaciers in this region with Carbon Monoxide and aerosols following suit.