Title

Photogrammetric Analysis of Front Range Rock Glacier Flow Rates

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

Department

Geography and Geology

Abstract

Flow rates for rock glaciers in the European Alps have been monitored using photogrammetric techniques; however, a program has not been initiated for similar Front Range, USA, rock glaciers. Horizontal rock glacier displacements were measured by tracking large surficial rocks on temporal orthophotos from 1978, 1990, and 1999. Vertical change was measured by creating digital elevation models (DEMs) from digital stereopairs, then subtracting elevations to detect change. Long-term horizontal velocities ranged from 14 to 20 cm/yr on average, although uncertainty ranged from 4 to 5 cm/yr. On average, vertical elevation changes were negligible with most rock glaciers exhibiting a slight growth or thinning (1-2 cm/yr). Over shorter time scales (c. 10-year periods), horizontal velocities have only increased by about 2 cm/yr. Because horizontal and vertical change is minimal, Front Range rock glaciers appear to be adjusted with current climate, unlike some rock glaciers in the European Alps that have shown increasing subsidence rates or significant increasing or decreasing horizontal velocities.

Publication Title

Geografiska Annaler: Series A, Physical Geography

Volume

87A

Issue

4

First Page

515

Last Page

526