Rock Glaciers as Water Towers in the Teton, Gros Ventre, and Wind River Mountain Ranges of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem in Wyoming, USA
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Glaciers, rock glaciers, and other cryospheric landforms (perennial snowfields,debris-covered ice, and gelifluction lobes) store water within ice reserves in alpine and periglacial zones. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) of northwestern Wyoming, United States of America (USA), these landforms recharge the hydrological system through meltwater, which raises questions about the impacts of those limited water reserves in a regime trending toward warmer and drier conditions. This investigation relies on remotely sensed satellite imagery, aerial photography, and in situ field data. Through the analysis of geomorphic characteristics (upslope boundary, terminus location, meltwater presence, longitudinal and transverse ridges and furrows, angle of repose of the terminus, clear or vague outline, and snow cover), this project provides a high-resolution inventory of rock glacier landforms and discusses the extent of meltwater pond features proximate to rock glaciers in the Teton, Gros Ventre, and Wind River mountain ranges within the GYE.