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Rock Glacier Hydrology

Rock glaciers are high-elevation landforms found throughout many mountainous regions. While much is known about the morphological characteristics of rock glaciers, less is known about their hydrological characteristics. Through field-based data collection and statistical analysis of streamflow, precipitation, and temperature records during summer runoff seasons, we seek to understand the hydrologic characteristics of rock glaciers. We have conducted site-specific analyses in the La Sal Mountains, Utah and the San Juan Mountains, Colorado. The goal of this research is to examine dynamics of rock-glacier runoff in order to improve our understanding of their downstream water resource implications.