Date of Award
J. Michael Daniels, Ph.D.
Alpine, Colorado, Glacier, Hydrology, Water resource
Rock glaciers are unique geomorphological features located in alpine environments and are found in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. There has been little research done on rock glaciers compared to their ice glacier counterparts. Most rock glaciers are located on the northern slope aspect in mountainous areas (Janke 2007), however, there are multiple in southwest Colorado with different aspects. This research project asks how slope aspect influences the hydrological processes of streams sourced from rock glaciers in the San Juan Mountains. This project focused on three basins that are adjacent to each other and share a common peak, Gilpin Peak. The three basins that are situated in the study area are Yankee Boy basin, Blue Lakes basin, and Mill Creek basin. By using HOBO® U20-001-04 Water Level Loggers, streamflow data was collected in each of these basins, below each rock glacier. Findings of this study show that air temperature significantly influenced stream discharge below each rock glacier. Discharge and air temperature patterns indicate a possible air temperature threshold during late summer where rock glacier melt increases at a greater rate. The results also suggest that slope aspect of rock glacier basins influences stream discharge, but temperature and precipitation are likely larger components of the melt regimes.
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Mateo, Emilio Ian, "Rock Glacier Hydrology in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1316.
Received from ProQuest
Emilio Ian Mateo
Geography, Hydrologic Sciences