Unified Interior Regions

Montana

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It requires heavy machinery to remove snow and debris along the road. In this image, crews are removing 20+ feet of snow from th
Date Published: April 6, 2016

Going-to-the-Sun Road Avalanche Forecasting Program

The Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTTSR) is one of the premier attractions in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana. It opened in 1933 after 12 years of construction and is one of GNP’s most heavily used facilities. The two-lane, 80-kilometer road traverses the park from west to east, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass at 2026m elevation. The Park closes a 56km section of the road each...

A USGS scientist skis in to Dead Horse Point on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier NP.
Date Published: April 6, 2016

Natural Hazards of Spring Opening of Going to the Sun Road

The Going-to-the-Sun (GTTS) Road in Glacier National Park, Montana is one of the park's premier attractions and the most heavily used facility. The road traverses Glacier, from the west entrance in West Glacier to the east entrance in St. Mary. The narrow, 52-mile road crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, at an elevation of 6880 feet. The Logan Pass section of the GTTS Road is...

Image: Shepard Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana - 1913
Date Published: April 6, 2016

History of Glaciers in Glacier National Park

The history of glaciation within current Glacier National Park boundaries spans centuries of glacial growth and recession, carving the features we see today. Glaciers were present within current Glacier National Park boundaries as early as 7,000 years ago but may have survived an early Holocene warm period (Carrara, 1989), making them much older. These modest glaciers varied in size, tracking...

Image: Shepard Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana - 2005
Date Published: April 6, 2016
Status: Active

Retreat of Glaciers in Glacier National Park

Worldwide glacier recession is well documented (1,2) and varied model projections suggest that certain studied GNP glaciers will disappear in the next few decades, between 2030 (3) to 2080 (4).  USGS scientists in Glacier National Park are collaborating with glaciologist from Alaska and Washington and using emerging technologies to understand glacier-climate interactions to advance the...

Setting up a weather station in Glacier National Park
Date Published: April 6, 2016

Alpine Climatology of Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a topographically diverse region, making localized effects of elevation, aspect, and cold air drainage several of many important factors that necessitate a diversity of long-term climate monitoring sites. Additionally, many studies have shown more rapid warming at higher elevations across the Intermountain West, but with relatively few high-elevation stations available...

Image: Getting the Shot, Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park.
Date Published: April 6, 2016
Status: Active

Landscape Change Photography

Repeat photography is being used by the CCME program to document landscape change. Glaciers have been the primary focus of this park-wide survey and this collection of repeat photographs, available for download on the CCME website, have been used to illustrate the effects of climate change in venues across the globe. These powerful images, with their inherent ease of interpretation, have...

Avalanche forecasters ski out to investigate the crown of a large wet slab avalanche in Haystack Creek drainage. This drainage i
Date Published: April 5, 2016
Status: Active

Snow and Avalanche Research

Since 1991, CCME staff have conducted snow surveys throughout Glacier National Park. These data have contributed to regional climate change and hydrologic models. Snowpack characteristics have also been evaluated in relation to avalanche forecasting and plowing of GNP’s Going to the Sun Road efforts. Studies of natural snow avalanches reveal connections with large-scale climate and wildfire...

Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park.
Date Published: April 5, 2016

Secondary Glacier Network

The Secondary Glacier Network includes six glaciers (Chaney, Grinnell, Stanton, Agassiz, Swiftcurrent, Jackson-Blackfoot Glaciers) that form a north-south transect of approx. 60 km through the region, with Sperry Glacier just south of center. While these glaciers will be monitored less frequently than the benchmark glacier, Sperry, this network will provide data about the variability of...

Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park.
Date Published: April 5, 2016

Benchmark Glacier: Sperry

Sperry Glacier was chosen as the benchmark glacier for the glacier monitoring studies, due to the combination of its topographic characteristics, historic data, and access. Annual mass balance measurements began in 2005. Sperry Glacier joined the long-established USGS Benchmark Glacier Research program in 2013 where common field and analysis methods enable regional comparison and improved...

Measuring the glacier margin.
Date Published: April 5, 2016
Status: Active

Glacier Monitoring Studies

The purpose of the CCME's glacier monitoring studies is to systematically monitor changes in Glacier National Park’s namesake glaciers and to determine the causes of changes, assess their ecological and hydrological effects, and predict future changes and effects.

...

Contacts: Erich Peitzsch
Researchers studying Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park
Date Published: April 5, 2016
Status: Active

Glacier Research

As Glacier National Park’s namesake glaciers recede, CCME staff are monitoring many of the park’s glaciers to determine the causes of change, assess their ecological and hydrological effects, and predict future changes and effects. Intensive research to determine the mass balance of Sperry Glacier will determine whether small cirque glaciers like Sperry can serve as reliable indicators of...

Contacts: Erich Peitzsch
Wetlands
Date Published: April 2, 2016
Status: Active

Restoring Montana Pothole Wetlands - Demonstration Sites and Adaptive Management

Geologic processes from the last ice age have generated extensive areas of pothole wetlands in several Montana landscapes. The Laurentide ice sheet, originating in the Northwest Territories, provided the dominant force in eastern Montana. Similar landscapes developed in the broad valleys of western Montana through the actions of the Cordilleran ice sheet, originating in the mountains of...

Contacts: Todd Preston
Filter Total Items: 249
Looking out the mouth of Reynolds Glacier in Glacier National Park.
September 24, 2014

Looking out the mouth of Reynolds Glacier in Glacier National Park.

Looking out the mouth of Reynolds Glacier in Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park is iconic of the combined impacts of climate change and snow and ice loss – over 80 percent of the park’s glaciers have been lost since the mid-19th century.

Remnants of ice jam on Redwater River at Circle (06177500)
March 14, 2014

Remnants of ice jam on Redwater River at Circle (06177500)

Remnants of ice jam on Redwater River at Circle (06177500)

Ice jam, Redwater River near Vida (06177825)
March 14, 2014

Ice jam, Redwater River near Vida (06177825)

Ice jam, Redwater River near Vida (06177825)

East Poplar Study Area map
December 31, 2013

East Poplar Study Area map

East Poplar Study Area map

Image of Blake Hossack
December 31, 2013

Image of Blake Hossack

USGS scientist Blake Hossack demonstrates swabbing the skin of a boreal toad to detect the amphibian chytrid fungus, to the Conservation Ecology class from the University of Montana.

Glacial fed alpine stream in Glacier National Park.
August 8, 2013

Glacial fed alpine stream in Glacier National Park.

Scientists sample for alpine insects in streams like this near Blackfoot Glacier in Glacier National Park. Alpine streams environments in the northern Rocky Mountains are especially vulnerable to climate change due to rapid warming resulting in loss of glaciers and snowpack. Glacier National Park is iconic of the combined impacts of climate change and snow and ice loss –

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A glacier stonefly (Zapada glacier) on a snowy backdrop in Glacier National Park.
July 24, 2013

Western glacier stonefly on a snowy backdrop in Glacier National Park

A glacier stonefly (Zapada glacier) on a snowy backdrop in Glacier National Park. The species is threatened by climate warming induced glacier and snow loss and has been petitioned for protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act due to climate-change-induced habitat loss.

An oil well on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation
July 17, 2013

An oil well on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation

An oil well on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation

Blackfeet Environmental Office personnel take a groundwater-level measurement on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation
January 20, 2013

Blackfeet Environmental Office personnel take a groundwater-level meas

Blackfeet Environmental Office personnel take a groundwater-level measurement on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

Scientists from the Center work in the northern Rocky Mountains and across the U.S. Many work throughout the world on issues as diverse as global climate change, aquatic ecology, wildlife diseases, bison ecology, and large carnivores.

Go to NOROCK

Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center

Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's hydrologists, engineers, geospatial analysts, hydrologic technicians, geologists, and support staff work to provide hydrologic data and interpretive studies.

Go to Center