Rock glaciers of the Beartooth and northern Absaroka ranges, Montana, USA

Zachary M. Seligman, Anna E. Klene, Frederick E. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Six hundred sixty-one rock glaciers in the northern Absaroka and Beartooth Ranges of south-central Montana were digitized and evaluated using geographic information systems technology and an array of topographic and environmental parameters. Beartooth rock glaciers are larger, occur at higher elevations, receive more precipitation, and are subject to lower temperatures than northern Absaroka rock glaciers. Elevation is strongly correlated with rock glacier activity. Comparative analysis of these adjacent mountain ranges indicates that Beartooth geomorphic landscapes are shifting from predominantly glacial to periglacial regimes, and that the northern Absarokas have largely completed this transition. Because glaciers are declining in response to climate warming, rock glaciers could soon become the most important source of ice in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalPermafrost and Periglacial Processes
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019

Keywords

  • Beartooth range
  • Montana
  • Rocky Mountains
  • climate change
  • ground ice
  • mapping
  • northern Absaroka range
  • periglacial
  • rock glacier
  • water resources

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