Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Constance I Millar; Robert D. Westfall
    Date: 2019
    Source: Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research. 51(1): 232-249
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Southwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)

    Description

    We present the first comprehensive inventory and analysis of rock glaciers in the hydrographic Great Basin (GB), United States, documenting 842 features (mean 9.9 ha; range 0.1–201 ha) across thirty-two mountain ranges. These encompassed 8° latitude (from 36.5°N to 44.3°N) and 11° longitude (from −110.7°W to −121.4°W), and composed 83.1 km2, or 1.1 percent, of the cumulative area above the lowest rock glacier elevation. Forty-five percent of the features were mapped as intact (containing ice) and occurred across sixteen mountain ranges. Rock glaciers conservatively contained cumulative water volume of 0.8924 km3. We also mapped 237 persistent ice fields from thirteen GB ranges. Ice-field water equivalent was 0.0653 km3; rock glaciers contributed 93 percent of the total water volume (rock glacier:icefield ratio, 14:1). Rock glaciers occurred on northerly aspects at high elevations (mean, 3,196 m) and had a mean annual air temperature of 1.7°C (range, 1.3–3.3°C). Contributions of water from rock-glacier springs and groundwater have not been included in GB hydrologic assessments, nor have rock glaciers been evaluated for their roles in supporting cold-adapted aquatic fauna and promoting vegetation communities and habitat for alpine terrestrial species. Rock glaciers provide hydrologic and ecologic refugia previously unrecognized in the GB with respect to warming future climates.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to psw_communications@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Millar, Constance I.; Westfall, Robert D. 2019. Geographic, hydrological, and climatic significance of rock glaciers in the Great Basin, USA. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research. 51(1): 232-249. https://doi.org/10.1080/15230430.2019.1618666.

    Cited

    Google Scholar

    Keywords

    Rock glaciers, glaciers, permanent ice fields, Great Basin, hydrology, climate refugia

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/58210