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Indiana University

College of Arts and Sciences
research – willow creek watershed – Andrew Gustin

Rock glaciers are periglacial deposits which typically contain coarse boulders. These deposits flow downslope, similar to a glacier, due to the presence of an ice–core and⁄or an interstitial ice matrix. For my Master‘s research, I outlined all identifiable rock glacier deposits in the Tobacco Root Range using remote sensing techniques. A few high–priority sites were selected based on location, morphology, and apparent age. Twenty–five of these deposits were physically visited during the summers of 2009 and 2010. Original .ppt slides available here.

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The relative age of each deposit was assessed using well–established techniques such as lichenometry and other measures of boulder weathering. Fracture measurements and orientations were also recorded on the contributing headwall above the rock glacier.

Using this data as well as topoclimatic information derived from zonal extractions in GIS (slope, aspect, elevation, and radiation reduction), I aim to further understand the impact that these different factors have on the development and morphology of rock glaciers. I also hope to develop a generalized view of the regional climatic conditions during the different stades of the Neoglacial period and earlier.

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