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Pleistocene glaciations of the Rocky Mountains

June 23, 2003

This chapter presents the status of Rocky Mountain glacial studies in 1965 and progress from that time to the present. The Rocky Mountains and the adjacent Basin and Range of the United States consist of about 100 ranges distributed in a northwest trending belt 2,000 km long and 200–800 km wide. In 1965, Rocky Mountain glacial subdivisions and correlations are closely linked with those of the mid-continent. Also, erratic boulders and diamictons well beyond or above moraines of Pinedale and Bull Lake age are noted at many sites in the Rocky Mountains and are attributed to an older glaciation, vastly more extensive than the Bull Lake or Pinedale. Global climate models suggest that glacial-anticyclonic circulation weaken westerly flow and results in air that is cooler and drier than present, particularly for the northern Rocky Mountains. More precisely dated, glacial and lacustrine records may reveal patterns in such nonparallelism from south to north (colder) or east to west (wetter) throughout the Rocky Mountains.

Publication Year 2003
Title Pleistocene glaciations of the Rocky Mountains
DOI 10.1016/S1571-0866(03)01004-2
Authors Kenneth L. Pierce
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Developments in Quaternary Sciences
Index ID 70210763
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center