National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Suicide Basin Monitoring and Current Conditions




Suicide Basin is a side basin of the Mendenhall Glacier above Juneau, Alaska. Since 2011, Suicide Basin has released glacier lake outburst floods that cause inundation along Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall River.


Current status:

This years outburst flood event was an unprecedented type with a low primary peak due to premature drainage slow down, followed by drainage acceleration and a secondary peak.

Suicide Basin initially released into Mendenhall Lake on Sunday, 7/14 with a secondary rise on Tuesday 7/16. 

This event will be studied collaboratively by the US Geological Survey / University of Alaska Southeast / National Weather Service / City and Borough of Juneau.

Additional Information available:




Suicide Basin time-lapse image

Most recent time-lapse image from the basin, updated at daily to subdaily intervals. The camera is placed at the basin entrance and faces northeast, into the basin.



Suicide Basin lake level
Daily updated graph tracking the lake level at Suicide Basin over the 2019 season (red line). The water level from the 2018 season is included for reference (blue line).




2019 season time-lapse sequence

Animated time-lapse sequence, combining daily images taken at 6:00 am.


2019 season time-lapse sequence with vectors

Animated time-lapse sequence including velocity field. Color-coded arrows represent motion of the floating ice in the basin.



Mendenhall Lake stage level


Graph showing the current (blue) and predicted (purple) stage level at Mendenhall Lake. Stage levels are annotated on the left y-axis on the graph. The graph also shows the Mendenhall River discharge (right y-axis), which is derived from the Mendenhall Lake stage level via rating curve.


Once an outburst flood event begins, water levels rise at Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall River. Drainage initiation at Suicide Basin and water level rise at Mendenhall Lake and River can be offset by several hours.



Water levels on Mendenhall River







Project Partners