Science.gov

Sample records for rocky mountain spotted

  1. Rocky Mountain spotted fever

    MedlinePlus

    ... Mountain spotted fever is caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii (R. Rickettsii) , which is carried by ticks. ... Saunders; 2014:chap 212. Walker DH, Blaton LS. Rickettsia rickettsii and other spotted fever group rickettsiae (Rocky ...

  2. Rocky Mountain spotted fever in children.

    PubMed

    Woods, Charles R

    2013-04-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever is typically undifferentiated from many other infections in the first few days of illness. Treatment should not be delayed pending confirmation of infection when Rocky Mountain spotted fever is suspected. Doxycycline is the drug of choice even for infants and children less than 8 years old.

  3. Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Argentina

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cases of epidemic typhus have been documented in Argentina since 1919; however, no confirmed reports of spotted fever rickettsiosis were described in this country until 1999. We describe the first molecular confirmation of Rickettsia rickettsii, the etiologic agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (R...

  4. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Argentina

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We describe the first molecular confirmation of Rickettsia rickettsii, the cause of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), from a tick vector, Amblyomma cajennense, and from a cluster of fatal spotted fever cases in Argentina. Questing A. cajennense ticks were collected at or near sites of presumed or...

  5. Rocky mountain spotted fever on the arm (image)

    MedlinePlus

    Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a disease transmitted to humans by a tick bite. The spots begin as flat (macular) red (erythematous) patches that may bleed into the skin, causing purplish spots (purpura). The disease ...

  6. Why sulfonamides are contraindicated in Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

    PubMed

    Ren, Vicky; Hsu, Sylvia

    2014-02-01

    Sulfonamide antibiotics are not effective for the treatment of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). Patients suspected of having RMSF based on history and physical exam should be treated with doxycycline and not a sulfonamide to avoid increased morbidity and mortality. PMID:24612569

  7. Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis after Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

    PubMed

    Wei, T Y; Baumann, R J

    1999-07-01

    Although acute disseminated encephalomyelitis has been observed after a variety of viral infections and an occasional bacterial infection, it has not been reported in association with rickettsial infections. Reported is a 7-year-old male with magnetic resonance images and clinical manifestations suggestive of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis after a tick bite and serologically proven Rocky Mountain spotted fever. PMID:10428440

  8. Self-reported treatment practices by healthcare providers could lead to death from Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

    PubMed

    Zientek, Jillian; Dahlgren, F Scott; McQuiston, Jennifer H; Regan, Joanna

    2014-02-01

    Among 2012 Docstyle survey respondents, 80% identified doxycycline as the appropriate treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever in patients ≥ 8 years old, but only 35% correctly chose doxycycline in patients <8 years old. These findings raise concerns about the higher pediatric case-fatality rate of Rocky Mountain spotted fever observed nationally. Targeted education efforts are needed.

  9. A Fatal Urban Case of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Presenting an Eschar in San José, Costa Rica

    PubMed Central

    Argüello, Ana Patricia; Hun, Laya; Rivera, Patricia; Taylor, Lizeth

    2012-01-01

    This study reports the first urban human case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, in Costa Rica. An 8-year-old female who died at the National Children's Hospital 4 days after her admission, and an important and significant observation was the presence of an “eschar” (tache noire), which is typical in some rickettsial infections but not frequent in Rocky Mountain spotted fever cases. PMID:22855769

  10. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever as a cause of macular star figure.

    PubMed

    Vaphiades, Michael S

    2003-12-01

    An 86-year-old woman with a history of tick bites in the previous months developed subnormal visual acuity in both eyes, keratic precipitates, anterior chamber and vitreous cells, optic disc edema, retinal hemorrhages, and retinal arteriolar sheathing. She had no fever or skin rash. Three weeks later, binocular macular star figures appeared. Brain imaging was negative; cerebrospinal fluid disclosed a lymphocytic pleocytosis and elevated protein. The serum Rickettsia rickettsii antibody test was markedly positive, establishing a diagnosis of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) as the cause of the ophthalmic findings. Despite treatment with oral doxycycline, these findings improved only modestly. Although neuroretinitis has been previously described in RMSF, macular star has not been documented.

  11. Phylogeography of Rickettsia rickettsii Genotypes Associated with Fatal Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

    PubMed Central

    Paddock, Christopher D.; Denison, Amy M.; Lash, R. Ryan; Liu, Lindy; Bollweg, Brigid C.; Dahlgren, F. Scott; Kanamura, Cristina T.; Angerami, Rodrigo N.; Pereira dos Santos, Fabiana C.; Brasil Martines, Roosecelis; Karpathy, Sandor E.

    2014-01-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), a tick-borne zoonosis caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, is among the deadliest of all infectious diseases. To identify the distribution of various genotypes of R. rickettsii associated with fatal RMSF, we applied molecular typing methods to samples of DNA extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue specimens obtained at autopsy from 103 case-patients from seven countries who died of RMSF. Complete sequences of one or more intergenic regions were amplified from tissues of 30 (29%) case-patients and revealed a distribution of genotypes consisting of four distinct clades, including the Hlp clade, regarded previously as a non-pathogenic strain of R. rickettsii. Distinct phylogeographic patterns were identified when composite case-patient and reference strain data were mapped to the state and country of origin. The phylogeography of R. rickettsii is likely determined by ecological and environmental factors that exist independently of the distribution of a particular tick vector. PMID:24957541

  12. Phylogeography of Rickettsia rickettsii genotypes associated with fatal Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

    PubMed

    Paddock, Christopher D; Denison, Amy M; Lash, R Ryan; Liu, Lindy; Bollweg, Brigid C; Dahlgren, F Scott; Kanamura, Cristina T; Angerami, Rodrigo N; Pereira dos Santos, Fabiana C; Brasil Martines, Roosecelis; Karpathy, Sandor E

    2014-09-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), a tick-borne zoonosis caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, is among the deadliest of all infectious diseases. To identify the distribution of various genotypes of R. rickettsii associated with fatal RMSF, we applied molecular typing methods to samples of DNA extracted from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue specimens obtained at autopsy from 103 case-patients from seven countries who died of RMSF. Complete sequences of one or more intergenic regions were amplified from tissues of 30 (29%) case-patients and revealed a distribution of genotypes consisting of four distinct clades, including the Hlp clade, regarded previously as a non-pathogenic strain of R. rickettsii. Distinct phylogeographic patterns were identified when composite case-patient and reference strain data were mapped to the state and country of origin. The phylogeography of R. rickettsii is likely determined by ecological and environmental factors that exist independently of the distribution of a particular tick vector.

  13. "Rickettsia amblyommii" induces cross protection against lethal Rocky Mountain spotted fever in a guinea pig model.

    PubMed

    Blanton, Lucas S; Mendell, Nicole L; Walker, David H; Bouyer, Donald H

    2014-08-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a severe illness caused by Rickettsia rickettsii for which there is no available vaccine. We hypothesize that exposure to the highly prevalent, relatively nonpathogenic "Rickettsia amblyommii" protects against R. rickettsii challenge. To test this hypothesis, guinea pigs were inoculated with "R. amblyommii." After inoculation, the animals showed no signs of illness. When later challenged with lethal doses of R. rickettsii, those previously exposed to "R. amblyommii" remained well, whereas unimmunized controls developed severe illness and died. We conclude that "R. amblyommii" induces an immune response that protects from illness and death in the guinea pig model of RMSF. These results provide a basis for exploring the use of low-virulence rickettsiae as a platform to develop live attenuated vaccine candidates to prevent severe rickettsioses.

  14. Rocky mountain spotted fever in Connecticut: human cases, spotted-fever group rickettsiae in ticks, and antibodies in mammals.

    PubMed

    Magnarelli, L A; Anderson, J F; Burgdorfer, W

    1979-08-01

    Three parameters were used in 1976 and 1977 to assess the status of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in Connecticut--compilation and review of clinical data on suspected human cases for the 13-year period 1965--1977, examination of tick tissues for spotted fever-group rickettsiae by the hemolymph test and direct immunofluorescence, and analyses of mammalian sera for antibodies against Rickettsia rickettsii. There were six presumptive RMSF cases which probably originated in Connecticut. Four of these cases occurred in areas where the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, abounds. A total of 2994 ticks were examined by the hemolymph test. Rickettsia-like organisms were observed in 67 (2.9%) of 2330 D. variabilis and two (0.6%) of 351 Ixodes sp. near scapularis. Fewer than one-half of these organisms stained positively with spotted fever-group conjugate. Microagglutination tests on 1093 mammalian sera indicated that eight (16%) of 49 raccoons, 14 (2.6%) of 549 white-tailed deer, eight (1.7%) of 470 white-footed mice, and one of two gray squirrels had agglutinins in titers greater than or equal to 1:8 against R. rickettsii. Spotted fever-group rickettsiae are present at low frequency in inland as well as coastal regions of Connecticut. PMID:111543

  15. Microimmunofluorescence test for the serological study of rocky mountain spotted fever and typhus.

    PubMed Central

    Philip, R N; Casper, E A; Ormsbee, R A; Peacock, M G; Burgdorfer, W

    1976-01-01

    A microimmunofluorescence test was used to study antibody responses to various spotted fever group and typhus group rickettsiae during Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) and epidemic typhus (ET). Patients with RMSF reacted most strongly to Rickettsia rickettsii; those with ET reacted predominantly to R. prowazekii. The degree of cross-reaction to other rickettsial strains varied from patient to patient, but a particular pattern of cross-reaction was consistently observed in serial sera from the same patient. Fresh isolates from three Montana RMSF cases were indistinguishable from each other and from strain R of R. rickettsii used as a standard antigen in all tests. Immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies were usually present in high titer in early-convalescent-phase sera from RMSF, as well as ET, patients. After RMSF, IgM antibodies persisted for a few months and, in one instance, for as long as 10 months. IgM responses to laboratory-acquired infections were infrequent in persons previously vaccinated with antigens related to the infecting strain. Previous antigenic conditioning from infection or vaccination may have accounted partly for the apparent lack of IgM response in a few study participants. Images PMID:815267

  16. Antibodies to Rickettsia rickettsii in Peromyscus leucopus from a focus of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Connecticut.

    PubMed

    Magnarelli, L A; Anderson, J F; Burgdorfer, W; Philip, R N; Chappell, W A

    1984-04-01

    During 1980-1982, white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) were captured in Newtown, Connecticut, an area where Rickettsia rickettsii, the etiologic agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, is thought to be enzootic. An indirect microimmunofluorescence test identified specific antibodies to this organism in 16 of 237 (7%) sera: titration end points for 14 samples were relatively high (1:128-1:2048). Antibodies were detected in mice during 1980 and 1981 with monthly prevalences varying from 8 to 22%. These results suggest that P. leucopus may be involved in the ecology of R. rickettsii and that these rodents can be included along with other mammals to monitor spotted fever rickettsial infections in nature.

  17. Rocky Mountain acidification study

    SciTech Connect

    Gibson, J.H.; Galloway, J.N.; Schofield, C.; McFee, W.; Johnson, R.; McCarley, S.; Dise, N.; Herzog, D.

    1983-10-01

    The objectives of this report were to determine the sensitivity of watersheds characteristic of the Rocky Mountain Region and the relationship of watershed sensitivity to geology and soils; to evaluate the extent of current acidification and the potential for increasing acidification with increasing deposition of nitrate and sulfate; to evaluate the results of the preceding in terms of impacts on fish populations; and to develop recommendations for assessment of future trends in both changing water chemistry and impacts on fish populations. Areas selected for study included the Rocky Mountain National Ppark and Yellowstone National Park, exemplifying two different geologic types that are representative of a large portion of the Rocky Mountain region. Rocky Mountain National Park is primarily underlain by granite and Yellowstone National Park by volcanic materials. Sensitivity is primarily determined by bedrock geology and varies inversely with elevation. High-elevation lakes and streams in the central Rocky Mountain region are very sensitive to acidic deposition. With respect to fish populations there is currently no evidence of chronic acidification and thus no apparent impact on fisheries. However, the very low base cation concentration observed in the headwater drainages of Rocky Mountain National Park suggests extreme sensitivity to acidification. Waters in volcanic areas such as Yellowstone National Park are generally of high alkalinity and do not represent potentially sensitive habitats. 109 references, 31 figures, 24 tables.

  18. Rocky Mountain Perspectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dutkiewicz, Jody Steiner, Ed.

    This publication features articles detailing the state of educational programs in the Rocky Mountain area. The articles address: 1) the impact of physical geography on culture, education, and lifestyle; 2) the education of migrant and/or agricultural workers and their children; 3) educational needs of children in rural areas; 4) outdoor education;…

  19. Hierarchical Bayesian Spatio–Temporal Analysis of Climatic and Socio–Economic Determinants of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

    PubMed Central

    Raghavan, Ram K.; Goodin, Douglas G.; Neises, Daniel; Anderson, Gary A.; Ganta, Roman R.

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to examine the spatio-temporal dynamics of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) prevalence in four contiguous states of Midwestern United States, and to determine the impact of environmental and socio–economic factors associated with this disease. Bayesian hierarchical models were used to quantify space and time only trends and spatio–temporal interaction effect in the case reports submitted to the state health departments in the region. Various socio–economic, environmental and climatic covariates screened a priori in a bivariate procedure were added to a main–effects Bayesian model in progressive steps to evaluate important drivers of RMSF space-time patterns in the region. Our results show a steady increase in RMSF incidence over the study period to newer geographic areas, and the posterior probabilities of county-specific trends indicate clustering of high risk counties in the central and southern parts of the study region. At the spatial scale of a county, the prevalence levels of RMSF is influenced by poverty status, average relative humidity, and average land surface temperature (>35°C) in the region, and the relevance of these factors in the context of climate–change impacts on tick–borne diseases are discussed. PMID:26942604

  20. Risk Factors for Fatal Outcome From Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in a Highly Endemic Area—Arizona, 2002–2011

    PubMed Central

    Regan, Joanna J.; Traeger, Marc S.; Humpherys, Dwight; Mahoney, Dianna L.; Martinez, Michelle; Emerson, Ginny L.; Tack, Danielle M.; Geissler, Aimee; Yasmin, Seema; Lawson, Regina; Williams, Velda; Hamilton, Charlene; Levy, Craig; Komatsu, Ken; Yost, David A.; McQuiston, Jennifer H.

    2016-01-01

    Background Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a disease that now causes significant morbidity and mortality on several American Indian reservations in Arizona. Although the disease is treatable, reported RMSF case fatality rates from this region are high (7%) compared to the rest of the nation (<1%), suggesting a need to identify clinical points for intervention. Methods The first 205 cases from this region were reviewed and fatal RMSF cases were compared to nonfatal cases to determine clinical risk factors for fatal outcome. Results Doxycycline was initiated significantly later in fatal cases (median, day 7) than nonfatal cases (median, day 3), although both groups of case patients presented for care early (median, day 2). Multiple factors increased the risk of doxycycline delay and fatal outcome, such as early symptoms of nausea and diarrhea, history of alcoholism or chronic lung disease, and abnormal laboratory results such as elevated liver aminotransferases. Rash, history of tick bite, thrombocytopenia, and hyponatremia were often absent at initial presentation. Conclusions Earlier treatment with doxycycline can decrease morbidity and mortality from RMSF in this region. Recognition of risk factors associated with doxycycline delay and fatal outcome, such as early gastrointestinal symptoms and a history of alcoholism or chronic lung disease, may be useful in guiding early treatment decisions. Healthcare providers should have a low threshold for initiating doxycycline whenever treating febrile or potentially septic patients from tribal lands in Arizona, even if an alternative diagnosis seems more likely and classic findings of RMSF are absent. PMID:25697742

  1. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Characterization and Comparison to Similar Illnesses in a Highly Endemic Area—Arizona, 2002–2011

    PubMed Central

    Traeger, Marc S.; Regan, Joanna J.; Humpherys, Dwight; Mahoney, Dianna L.; Martinez, Michelle; Emerson, Ginny L.; Tack, Danielle M.; Geissler, Aimee; Yasmin, Seema; Lawson, Regina; Hamilton, Charlene; Williams, Velda; Levy, Craig; Komatsu, Kenneth; McQuiston, Jennifer H.; Yost, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Background Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) has emerged as a significant cause of morbidity and mortality since 2002 on tribal lands in Arizona. The explosive nature of this outbreak and the recognition of an unexpected tick vector, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, prompted an investigation to characterize RMSF in this unique setting and compare RMSF cases to similar illnesses. Methods We compared medical records of 205 patients with RMSF and 175 with non-RMSF illnesses that prompted RMSF testing during 2002–2011 from 2 Indian reservations in Arizona. Results RMSF cases in Arizona occurred year-round and peaked later (July–September) than RMSF cases reported from other US regions. Cases were younger (median age, 11 years) and reported fever and rash less frequently, compared to cases from other US regions. Fever was present in 81% of cases but not significantly different from that in patients with non-RMSF illnesses. Classic laboratory abnormalities such as low sodium and platelet counts had small and subtle differences between cases and patients with non-RMSF illnesses. Imaging studies reflected the variability and complexity of the illness but proved unhelpful in clarifying the early diagnosis. Conclusions RMSF epidemiology in this region appears different than RMSF elsewhere in the United States. No specific pattern of signs, symptoms, or laboratory findings occurred with enough frequency to consistently differentiate RMSF from other illnesses. Due to the nonspecific and variable nature of RMSF presentations, clinicians in this region should aggressively treat febrile illnesses and sepsis with doxycycline for suspected RMSF. PMID:25697743

  2. Hierarchical Bayesian Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Climatic and Socio-Economic Determinants of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

    PubMed

    Raghavan, Ram K; Goodin, Douglas G; Neises, Daniel; Anderson, Gary A; Ganta, Roman R

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to examine the spatio-temporal dynamics of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) prevalence in four contiguous states of Midwestern United States, and to determine the impact of environmental and socio-economic factors associated with this disease. Bayesian hierarchical models were used to quantify space and time only trends and spatio-temporal interaction effect in the case reports submitted to the state health departments in the region. Various socio-economic, environmental and climatic covariates screened a priori in a bivariate procedure were added to a main-effects Bayesian model in progressive steps to evaluate important drivers of RMSF space-time patterns in the region. Our results show a steady increase in RMSF incidence over the study period to newer geographic areas, and the posterior probabilities of county-specific trends indicate clustering of high risk counties in the central and southern parts of the study region. At the spatial scale of a county, the prevalence levels of RMSF is influenced by poverty status, average relative humidity, and average land surface temperature (>35°C) in the region, and the relevance of these factors in the context of climate-change impacts on tick-borne diseases are discussed.

  3. Hierarchical Bayesian Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Climatic and Socio-Economic Determinants of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

    PubMed

    Raghavan, Ram K; Goodin, Douglas G; Neises, Daniel; Anderson, Gary A; Ganta, Roman R

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to examine the spatio-temporal dynamics of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) prevalence in four contiguous states of Midwestern United States, and to determine the impact of environmental and socio-economic factors associated with this disease. Bayesian hierarchical models were used to quantify space and time only trends and spatio-temporal interaction effect in the case reports submitted to the state health departments in the region. Various socio-economic, environmental and climatic covariates screened a priori in a bivariate procedure were added to a main-effects Bayesian model in progressive steps to evaluate important drivers of RMSF space-time patterns in the region. Our results show a steady increase in RMSF incidence over the study period to newer geographic areas, and the posterior probabilities of county-specific trends indicate clustering of high risk counties in the central and southern parts of the study region. At the spatial scale of a county, the prevalence levels of RMSF is influenced by poverty status, average relative humidity, and average land surface temperature (>35°C) in the region, and the relevance of these factors in the context of climate-change impacts on tick-borne diseases are discussed. PMID:26942604

  4. Clinical presentation, convalescence, and relapse of rocky mountain spotted fever in dogs experimentally infected via tick bite.

    PubMed

    Levin, Michael L; Killmaster, Lindsay F; Zemtsova, Galina E; Ritter, Jana M; Langham, Gregory

    2014-01-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is a tick-borne disease caused by R. rickettsii in North and South America. Domestic dogs are susceptible to infection and canine RMSF can be fatal without appropriate treatment. Although clinical signs of R. rickettsii infection in dogs have been described, published reports usually include descriptions of either advanced clinical cases or experimental infections caused by needle-inoculation of cultured pathogen rather than by tick bite. The natural progression of a tick-borne R. rickettsii infection has not been studied in sufficient detail. Here, we provide a detailed description of clinical, hematological, molecular, and serological dynamics of RMSF in domestic dogs from the day of experimental exposure to infected ticks through recovery. Presented data indicate that neither the height/duration of fever nor detection of rickettsial DNA in dogs' blood by PCR are good indicators for clinical prognosis. Only the apex and subsequent subsidence of neutrophilia seem to mark the beginning of recovery and allow predicting a favorable outcome in Rickettsia-infected dogs, even despite the continuing persistence of mucosal petechiae and skin rash. On the other hand the appropriate (doxycycline) antibiotic therapy of sufficient duration is crucial in prevention of RMSF relapses in dogs.

  5. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

    MedlinePlus

    ... Patients Procedure for Accessing Lab Services Data Package Requirements AIDS Therapies Resource Guide In Vitro Efficacy Evaluations ... Assurances to Users Application and Approval Process User Requirements Malaria Vaccine Production Services Data Sharing and Release ...

  6. Atmospheric deposition maps for the Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nanus, L.; Campbell, D.H.; Ingersoll, G.P.; Clow, D.W.; Mast, M.A.

    2003-01-01

    Variability in atmospheric deposition across the Rocky Mountains is influenced by elevation, slope, aspect, and precipitation amount and by regional and local sources of air pollution. To improve estimates of deposition in mountainous regions, maps of average annual atmospheric deposition loadings of nitrate, sulfate, and acidity were developed for the Rocky Mountains by using spatial statistics. A parameter-elevation regressions on independent slopes model (PRISM) was incorporated to account for variations in precipitation amount over mountainous regions. Chemical data were obtained from the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network and from annual snowpack surveys conducted by the US Geological Survey and National Park Service, in cooperation with other Federal, State and local agencies. Surface concentration maps were created by ordinary kriging in a geographic information system, using a local trend and mathematical model to estimate the spatial variance. Atmospheric-deposition maps were constructed at 1-km resolution by multiplying surface concentrations from the kriged grid and estimates of precipitation amount from the PRISM model. Maps indicate an increasing spatial trend in concentration and deposition of the modeled constituents, particularly nitrate and sulfate, from north to south throughout the Rocky Mountains and identify hot-spots of atmospheric deposition that result from combined local and regional sources of air pollution. Highest nitrate (2.5-3.0kg/ha N) and sulfate (10.0-12.0kg/ha SO4) deposition is found in northern Colorado.

  7. Rocky Mountain High.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, David

    2001-01-01

    Describes Colorado's Eagle Rock School, which offers troubled teens a fresh start by transporting them to a tuition- free campus high in the mountains. The program encourages spiritual development as well as academic growth. The atmosphere is warm, loving, structured, and nonthreatening. The article profiles several students' experiences at the…

  8. Community-Based Control of the Brown Dog Tick in a Region with High Rates of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, 2012–2013

    PubMed Central

    Drexler, Naomi; Miller, Mark; Gerding, Justin; Todd, Suzanne; Adams, Laura; Dahlgren, F. Scott; Bryant, Nelva; Weis, Erica; Herrick, Kristen; Francies, Jessica; Komatsu, Kenneth; Piontkowski, Stephen; Velascosoltero, Jose; Shelhamer, Timothy; Hamilton, Brian; Eribes, Carmen; Brock, Anita; Sneezy, Patsy; Goseyun, Cye; Bendle, Harty; Hovet, Regina; Williams, Velda; Massung, Robert; McQuiston, Jennifer H.

    2014-01-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) transmitted by the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato) has emerged as a significant public health risk on American Indian reservations in eastern Arizona. During 2003–2012, more than 250 RMSF cases and 19 deaths were documented among Arizona's American Indian population. The high case fatality rate makes community-level interventions aimed at rapid and sustained reduction of ticks urgent. Beginning in 2012, a two year pilot integrated tick prevention campaign called the RMSF Rodeo was launched in a ∼600-home tribal community with high rates of RMSF. During year one, long-acting tick collars were placed on all dogs in the community, environmental acaricides were applied to yards monthly, and animal care practices such as spay and neuter and proper tethering procedures were encouraged. Tick levels, indicated by visible inspection of dogs, tick traps and homeowner reports were used to monitor tick presence and evaluate the efficacy of interventions throughout the project. By the end of year one, <1% of dogs in the RMSF Rodeo community had visible tick infestations five months after the project was started, compared to 64% of dogs in Non-Rodeo communities, and environmental tick levels were reduced below detectable levels. The second year of the project focused on use of the long-acting collar alone and achieved sustained tick control with fewer than 3% of dogs in the RMSF Rodeo community with visible tick infestations by the end of the second year. Homeowner reports of tick activity in the domestic and peridomestic setting showed similar decreases in tick activity compared to the non-project communities. Expansion of this successful project to other areas with Rhipicephalus-transmitted RMSF has the potential to reduce brown dog tick infestations and save human lives. PMID:25479289

  9. Rocky Mountain futures: An ecological perspective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill S.

    2002-01-01

    The United Nations has proclaimed 2002 as the International Year of Mountains to increase international awareness of the global importance of mountain ecosystems. The case-based multidisciplinary approach of this book constitutes an important new model for understanding the implications of land-use practices and economic activity on mountains, and will serve a vital role in improving decisionmaking both in the Rocky Mountains and in other parts of the world that face similar challenges.

  10. Late glacial aridity in southern Rocky Mountains

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, O.K.; Pitblado, B.L.

    1995-09-01

    While the slopes of the present-day Colorado Rocky Mountains are characterized by large stands of subalpine and montane conifers, the Rockies of the late glacial looked dramatically different. Specifically, pollen records suggest that during the late glacial, Artemisia and Gramineae predominated throughout the mountains of Colorado. At some point between 11,000 and 10,000 B.P., however, both Artemisia and grasses underwent a dramatic decline, which can be identified in virtually every pollen diagram produced for Colorado mountain sites, including Como Lake (Sangre de Cristo Mountains), Copley Lake and Splains; Gulch (near Crested Butte), Molas Lake (San Juan Mountains), and Redrock Lake (Boulder County). Moreover, the same pattern seems to hold for pollen spectra derived for areas adjacent to Colorado, including at sites in the Chuska Mountains of New Mexico and in eastern Wyoming. The implications of this consistent finding are compelling. The closest modem analogues to the Artemisia- and Gramineae-dominated late-glacial Colorado Rockies are found in the relatively arid northern Great Basin, which suggests that annual precipitation was much lower in the late-glacial southern Rocky Mountains than it was throughout the Holocene.

  11. Reading for Young People: The Rocky Mountains.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laughlin, Mildred, Ed.

    One of five annotated bibliographies that describe books about certain regions of the United States, this compilation focuses on books about the Rocky Mountain area. The stated purposes of these regional bibliographies are: (1) to introduce young people living in the subject region to books dealing with their cultural heritage, (2) to help young…

  12. Seismic exploration in Rocky Mountain region

    SciTech Connect

    Gries, R.R.

    1985-05-01

    Modern exploration in the Rocky Mountain region depends on seismic delineation of prospective targets. In many areas an integration of geology and geophysics is required for a viable prospect today. This recent work resulted in several dramatic discoveries beneath thrusted Precambrian rocks. Continual drilling success in the Overthrust belt has been the result of integrating new subsurface data with improved seismic work. Basin and range deformation, in many places superimposed on the complexities of low-angle thrusts or hidden by volcanic cover is severely testing seismic acquisition technology and interpretation skills. The challenge to acquire good seismic data from beneath thick volcanic fields has been successful in Colorado and Wyoming. Angular unconformities are often clearly visible on seismic sections where they were difficult or impossible to recognize because of the absence of paleontologic data or because the strata above and below the erosional surface are too similar. Detection of angular discordance not only sets up the potential for locating truncation or pinch-out traps, but also enlarges our understanding of the tectonics and timing of Rocky Mountain deformation. Pennsylvanian deformation was as consequential in the Rocky Mountains as Laramide deformation, but is commonly masked by undisturbed Mesozoic rocks. Detection of these faults and folds has been greatly enhanced by seismic data, as well as deep-seated basement faults whose recurrent movement has controlled overlying stratigraphy. Stratigraphic exploration in Rocky Mountain basins has challenged both geologists and geophysicists and they have joined in an increasingly sophisticated search for traps in sand dunes, fluvial channels, incised valley, delta fans, salt-solution structures, carbonate banks and reefs, karst topography, and sometimes in poorly understood, but equally prolific, simple porosity and/or permeability barriers.

  13. Rocky Mountain ecosystems: diversity, complexity and interactions.

    PubMed

    Bassman, John H; Johnson, Jon D; Fins, Lauren; Dobrowolski, James P

    2003-11-01

    The interior west of North America provides many opportunities to study ecosystem responses to climate change, biological diversity and management of disturbance regimes. These ecosystem responses are not unique to the Rocky Mountains, but they epitomize similar scientific problems throughout North America. Better management of these ecosystems depends on a thorough understanding of the underlying biology and ecological interactions of the species that occupy the diverse habitats of this region. This review highlights progress in research to understand aspects of this complex ecosystem.

  14. Symposium 9: Rocky Mountain futures: preserving, utilizing, and sustaining Rocky Mountain ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill S.; Seastedt, Timothy; Fagre, Daniel B.; Hicke, Jeffrey A.; Tomback, Diana; Garcia, Elizabeth; Bowen, Zachary H.; Logan, Jesse A.

    2013-01-01

    In 2002 we published Rocky Mountain Futures, an Ecological Perspective (Island Press) to examine the cumulative ecological effects of human activity in the Rocky Mountains. We concluded that multiple local activities concerning land use, hydrologic manipulation, and resource extraction have altered ecosystems, although there were examples where the “tyranny of small decisions” worked in a positive way toward more sustainable coupled human/environment interactions. Superimposed on local change was climate change, atmospheric deposition of nitrogen and other pollutants, regional population growth, and some national management policies such as fire suppression.

  15. 76 FR 9350 - Patient Safety Organizations: Voluntary Delisting From Rocky Mountain Patient Safety Organization

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-17

    ... Delisting From Rocky Mountain Patient Safety Organization AGENCY: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), HHS. ACTION: Notice of Delisting. SUMMARY: Rocky Mountain Patient Safety Organization: AHRQ has accepted a notification of voluntary relinquishment from Rocky Mountain Patient Safety Organization,...

  16. 77 FR 14418 - Grand Ditch Breach Restoration Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Rocky Mountain National Park...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-09

    ... National Park Service Grand Ditch Breach Restoration Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Rocky Mountain... of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Grand Ditch Breach Restoration, Rocky Mountain... Grand Ditch Breach Restoration, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. The purpose of...

  17. 75 FR 13138 - Grand Ditch Breach Restoration Environmental Impact Statement, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-18

    ... National Park Service Grand Ditch Breach Restoration Environmental Impact Statement, Rocky Mountain... prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Grand Ditch Breach Restoration, Rocky Mountain National... Restoration, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. This effort will result in ecological restoration of...

  18. 36 CFR 7.7 - Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Rocky Mountain National Park. 7.7 Section 7.7 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.7 Rocky Mountain National Park....

  19. 36 CFR 7.7 - Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Rocky Mountain National Park. 7.7 Section 7.7 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.7 Rocky Mountain National Park....

  20. 36 CFR 7.7 - Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Rocky Mountain National Park. 7.7 Section 7.7 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.7 Rocky Mountain National Park....

  1. 36 CFR 7.7 - Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Rocky Mountain National Park. 7.7 Section 7.7 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.7 Rocky Mountain National Park....

  2. 36 CFR 7.7 - Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Rocky Mountain National Park. 7.7 Section 7.7 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.7 Rocky Mountain National Park....

  3. Landscape Morphology of the Canadian Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinlan, K. T.; Barnes, J. B.; Pavelsky, T.

    2013-12-01

    Glaciers and rivers can significantly modify the shape of mountain landscapes. Following deformation and glaciation, bedrock river form and incision patterns are primarily controlled by variations in geologic structure, the glacial preconditioning of the landscape, and climate. However, the extent to which these factors integrate to affect Holocene patterns and rates of fluvial processes is poorly understood. Fluvial processes dominate the morphology of the Canadian Rocky Mountains today, though the inherited imprint of glaciers remains substantial. This study of fluvial geomorphology in the Athabasca River watershed in Jasper National Park, Alberta, addresses two primary ideas: (1) the fluvial response to deglaciation in alpine environments, and (2) the role of thrust belt geology affecting differential erosion in shaping post-orogenic topography. We use the 0.75 arc-second GeoBase Digital Elevation Model (~18m resolution) to analyze patterns of river concavity (θ) and normalized steepness index (ksn), estimate rock erodibility with field-based proxy measurements, and determine basin-averaged erosion rates using existing river gauge data. We find that bedrock geology and glacial preconditioning exhibit different yet recognizable morphological signatures and that they appear to be related to basin erosion rate. The principal differences we observe include the shape and scale of knickzones, magnitude of channel steepness values, channel concavity patterns, and relationship to bedrock geology. We find that lithologically controlled channel steepness patterns are contained to local spatial scales (<500m) and feature sharp increases in channel steepness at or near contacts between lithologies with differences in measured erodibility. By contrast, glacially controlled steepness patterns are expansive in spatial extent (1-10km), are insensitive to bedrock geology, and have higher overall channel steepness values than areas of lithologically controlled channel steepness

  4. Exploring groundwater processes in Rocky Mountain headwaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Janzen, D.; Ireson, A. M.; Yassin, F. A.

    2014-12-01

    More than one-sixth of the Earth's human population relies on freshwater originating in mountain headwaters, which is understood to be generated largely from snowpacks that melt throughout the spring and summer. Annual hydrographs in these regions are characterized by large peaks occurring in the spring, followed by slow recession towards winter baseflow conditions. However, atmospheric warming trends are found to coincide with earlier periods of snowmelt, leading to increased flows in spring and decreased flows in summer. This decreased ability of our 'water towers' to store snow late into the summer suggests that other mechanisms of storage and release may become more important in sustaining baseflows. In particular, subsurface processes leading to late summer and winter flow will become increasingly important earlier on, but are as yet poorly understood. By utilising historical data to inform a better understanding of late-season subsurface processes, we will be better prepared to predict how these mountains will temporarily store and release groundwater in a warmer climate. Here, we analyse long-term data sets from a small (Marmot Creek, Alberta ~10 km2) and a large (Bow River at Banff, Alberta ~1000 km2) basinwithin the Canadian Rocky Mountains, comparing observations with model outputs, to investigate late-season hydrological responses, and particularly the role of groundwater as a temporary storage mechanism.

  5. Terrestrial ecosystem biomonitoring at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

    SciTech Connect

    Roy, R.; Matiatos, D.; Seery, D.; Hetrick, M.; Griess, J.; Henry, C.; Vaughn, S.; Miesner, J.

    1994-12-31

    In 1987 the Fish and Wildlife Service became actively involved in wildlife population monitoring at the Arsenal because of the discovery of a bald eagle roost on the site. Since that time the Service has conducted or funded a variety of investigations to inventory the wildlife species present at the Arsenal and determine their population status. As time progressed and as a result of the passage of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Refuge legislation in 1992, the Service developed a biomonitoring strategy to determine the current effects of contaminants on terrestrial wildlife resources at the Arsenal and evaluate the efficacy of remediation to ensure the protection and restoration of wildlife resources at the future refuge. This poster will present an overview of the species being studied, measurement and assessment endpoints, strategies, and methods being used by the Service to assess wildlife health as it relates to contaminant exposure.

  6. Rocky Mountain Basins Produced Water Database

    DOE Data Explorer

    Historical records for produced water data were collected from multiple sources, including Amoco, British Petroleum, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, United States Geological Survey (USGS), Wyoming Oil and Gas Commission (WOGC), Denver Earth Resources Library (DERL), Bill Barrett Corporation, Stone Energy, and other operators. In addition, 86 new samples were collected during the summers of 2003 and 2004 from the following areas: Waltman-Cave Gulch, Pinedale, Tablerock and Wild Rose. Samples were tested for standard seven component "Stiff analyses", and strontium and oxygen isotopes. 16,035 analyses were winnowed to 8028 unique records for 3276 wells after a data screening process was completed. [Copied from the Readme document in the zipped file available at http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/Software/database.html] Save the Zipped file to your PC. When opened, it will contain four versions of the database: ACCESS, EXCEL, DBF, and CSV formats. The information consists of detailed water analyses from basins in the Rocky Mountain region.

  7. Utility of microfossils in Rocky Mountain exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Wornardt, W.W. Jr.

    1983-08-01

    Prior to 1960, exploration geologists in the Rocky Mountain area primarily used lithology, E-logs, geophysics, and a few microfossil groups (fusulinids, invertebrates) for stratigraphic correlations. From 1960 to about 1968, these exploration geologists added several additional groups of microfossils (spores, pollen, and foraminifers) to their tools for correlation. During the past 15 yrs, there has been an explosion in the scientific study of microfossils ranging in age from Cambrian to Holocene. Currently, oil finders are integrating the age-dates and paleoenvironmental information obtained from analyzing 20 different groups of microfossils with the stratigraphy, sedimentology, structure, and geophysical data to create a synergistic exploration program. The addition of micropaleontology and paleoenvironmental data into an exploration program has helped managers make better management decisions, save millions of dollars for the company, and find economical pools of hydrocarbons.

  8. Daily Newspaper Photojournalism in the Rocky Mountain West.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pasternack, Steve; Martin, Don R.

    1985-01-01

    Explores several aspects of photojournalism at daily newspapers in the Rocky Mountain states and provides photojournalism educators with insights into what characteristics photo editors look for in photographers. (FL)

  9. 3. FIRSTFLOOR LABORATORY. VIEW TO SOUTHWEST. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. FIRST-FLOOR LABORATORY. VIEW TO SOUTHWEST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Administration-Laboratory- Change House-Bomb Rail, 420 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 530 feet West of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  10. 1. SOUTH FACADE, BUILDING 742 IN BACKGROUND. Rocky Mountain ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. SOUTH FACADE, BUILDING 742 IN BACKGROUND. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Tank House, Quadrant 1, approximately 1000 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 2200 feet East of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  11. 1. BUILDING 321. VIEW TO NORTHWEST. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. BUILDING 321. VIEW TO NORTHWEST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Boiler Plant-Central Gas Heat Plant, 1022 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 525 feet West of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  12. 2. BUILDING 321. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. BUILDING 321. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Boiler Plant-Central Gas Heat Plant, 1022 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 525 feet West of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  13. 3. BUILDING 321. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. BUILDING 321. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Boiler Plant-Central Gas Heat Plant, 1022 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 525 feet West of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  14. 3. NORTH FACADE OF BUILDING 742A. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. NORTH FACADE OF BUILDING 742-A. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Tank House, Quadrant 1, approximately 1000 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 2200 feet East of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  15. 1. BUILDING 411A. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. BUILDING 411A. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Sulfur Monochloride & Dichloride Manufacturing, 1003 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 412 feet East of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  16. Rocky Mountains offer plenty to keep producers looking for more

    SciTech Connect

    Duey, R.

    1995-12-01

    Throughout the Rocky Mountain region, geological variety offers everything from coalbed methane to helium and carbon dioxide, and producers keep plugging hoping that an upswing in prices could make the region more lucrative.

  17. 1. SUBMERGED QUENCH INCINERATOR. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST. Rocky Mountain ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. SUBMERGED QUENCH INCINERATOR. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Submerged Quench Incinerator, 3940 feet South of Ninth Avenue; 930 feet West of Road NS-4, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  18. The oldest know Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines (Pinus aristata Engelm. )

    SciTech Connect

    Brunstein, F.C. ); Yamaguchi, D.K. )

    1992-08-01

    We have found 12 living Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines (Pinus aristata) more than 1600 yr old, including four that are more than 2 1 00 yr old, on Black Mountain, near South Park, and on Almagre Mountain, in the southern Front Range, Colorado. A core from the oldest of these trees has an inner-ring date of 442 B.C. This tree is therefore at least 2435 yr old and exceeds the age of the oldest previously reported Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine by 846 yr, The ages of these trees show that Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines, under arid environmental conditions, achieve much older ages than have been previously reported. The ages also show that previously inferred trends in bristlecone pine ages, where maximum ages in the eastern range of Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines are much less than maximum ages in the western range of Great Basin bristlecone pines (Pinus longaea), are less strong than previously supposed. Ancient Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines, such as those found in this study, have the potential to expand our knowledge of late Holocene climatic conditions in western North America.

  19. Planned Parenthood of Rocky Mountains v. Owens.

    PubMed

    2002-01-01

    Court Decision: 287 Federal Reporter, 3d Series 910; 2002 Apr 17 (date of decision). The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit agreed with a lower court that Colorado's Parental Notification Act (PNA) was unconstitutional because it failed to provide an exception for a minor's health. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountain Services brought an action challenging the constitutionality of the PNA which required parental notice and a waiting period before a minor could obtain an abortion. The PNA granted an exception in cases where a physician reports that the minor is a victim of child abuse or neglect at the hands of the persons entitled to notice and where an immediate abortion is necessary to prevent the minor's imminent death. The Tenth Circuit held that state abortion regulations must provide an exception to protect maternal health. Noting that medical complications could result in significant harm to the the health of a pregnant woman without constituting a threat of imminent death, the court held that the PNA infringed on the ability of any pregnant woman to protect her health because it failed to provide adequate exceptions to parental notice in cases where maternal health was at risk. The court rejected the defendant's argument that Colorado's Children's Code could be read as superseding the PNA and providing a maternal health exception, and held that the PNA superseded other Colorado law. PMID:16477721

  20. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Statistics and Epidemiology

    MedlinePlus

    ... R. rickettsii in these states is the American dog tick ( Dermacentor variabilis Dermacentor andersoni ). In eastern Arizona, ... of R. rickettii in Arizona is the brown dog tick ( Rhipicephalus sanguineus ), which is found on dogs ...

  1. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (For Parents)

    MedlinePlus

    ... to the rash, the infection can cause fever, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, and nausea. Typically, RMSF is ... often 103°-105°F (39°-40°C) — with chills, muscle aches, and a severe headache. Eyes can ...

  2. Rockies

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2014-05-15

    ... Denver is situated just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, located in the lower right of the images. The Rockies owe their present forms to tectonic uplift and sculpting by millions of years of erosion. Scattered cumulus clouds ...

  3. Inversion Breakup in Small Rocky Mountain and Alpine Basins

    SciTech Connect

    Whiteman, Charles D.; Pospichal, Bernhard; Eisenbach, Stefan; Weihs, P.; Clements, Craig B.; Steinacker, Reinhold; Mursch-Radlgruber, Erich; Dorninger, Manfred

    2004-08-01

    Comparisons are made between the post-sunrise breakup of temperature inversions in two similar closed basins in quite different climate settings, one in the eastern Alps and one in the Rocky Mountains. The small, high-altitude, limestone sinkholes have both experienced extreme temperature minima below -50°C. On undisturbed clear nights, temperature inversions reach to 120 m heights in both sinkholes, but are much stronger in the drier Rocky Mountain basin (24K versus 13K). Inversion destruction takes place 2.6 to 3 hours after sunrise and is accomplished primarily by subsidence warming associated with the removal of air from the base of the inversion by the upslope flows that develop over the sidewalls. Differences in inversion strengths and post-sunrise heating rates are caused by differences in the surface energy budget, with drier soil and a higher sensible heat flux in the Rocky Mountain sinkhole.

  4. An exhumed Late Paleozoic canyon in the rocky mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Soreghan, G.S.; Sweet, D.E.; Marra, K.R.; Eble, C.F.; Soreghan, M.J.; Elmore, R.D.; Kaplan, S.A.; Blum, M.D.

    2007-01-01

    Landscapes are thought to be youthful, particularly those of active orogenic belts. Unaweep Canyon in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, a large gorge drained by two opposite-flowing creeks, is an exception. Its origin has long been enigmatic, but new data indicate that it is an exhumed late Paleozoic landform. Its survival within a region of profound late Paleozoic orogenesis demands a reassessment of tectonic models for the Ancestral Rocky Mountains, and its form and genesis have significant implications for understanding late Paleozoic equatorial climate. This discovery highlights the utility of paleogeomorphology as a tectonic and climatic indicator. ?? 2007 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

  5. 78 FR 60309 - Minor Boundary Revision at Rocky Mountain National Park

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-01

    ... National Park Service Minor Boundary Revision at Rocky Mountain National Park AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. ACTION: Notification of Boundary Revision. SUMMARY: The boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park... Larimer County, Colorado, immediately adjacent to the current eastern boundary of Rocky Mountain...

  6. 78 FR 32441 - Grand Ditch Breach Restoration, Final Environmental Impact Statement, Rocky Mountain National...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-30

    ... National Park Service Grand Ditch Breach Restoration, Final Environmental Impact Statement, Rocky Mountain... Availability of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Grand Ditch Breach Restoration, Rocky Mountain... Grand Ditch Breach Restoration, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. DATES: The National Park...

  7. Natural Gas in the Rocky Mountains: Developing Infrastructure

    EIA Publications

    2007-01-01

    This Supplement to the Energy Information Administration's Short-Term Energy Outlook analyzes current natural gas production, pipeline and storage infrastructure in the Rocky Mountains, as well as prospective pipeline projects in these states. The influence of these factors on regional prices and price volatility is examined.

  8. Wolf-livestock interactions in the northern Rocky Mountains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Since reintroduction in 1995, gray wolf populations in the northern Rocky Mountains have increased dramatically. Although rough tallies of livestock death/injury losses resulting from wolf predation are made each year, we know almost nothing about the indirect effects of wolf-livestock interactions...

  9. 7. Photographic copy of photograph (Source: National Archives, Rocky Mountain ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    7. Photographic copy of photograph (Source: National Archives, Rocky Mountain Region, Denver, Salt River Project History, Final History to 1916. p. 506) Interior view of transformer house. No date. CA. 1916. - Theodore Roosevelt Dam, Transformer House, Salt River, Tortilla Flat, Maricopa County, AZ

  10. 7. Photographic copy of photograph (Source: National Archives, Rocky Mountain ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    7. Photographic copy of photograph (Source: National Archives, Rocky Mountain Region, Denver, Salt River Project History, Final History to 1916. p. 504) Inside Roosevelt power plant showing size of valve. CA. 1916. - Theodore Roosevelt Dam, Power Plant, Salt River, Tortilla Flat, Maricopa County, AZ

  11. Wolf-cattle interactions in the northern Rocky Mountains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Since gray wolf reintroduction in 1995, wolf populations in the northern Rocky Mountains have increased dramatically. Incidents of wolf predation on livestock have increased with wolf populations. Although rough tallies of livestock death or injury losses caused by wolf predation are made each yea...

  12. Observations of captive Rocky Mountain mule deer behavior

    SciTech Connect

    Halford, D.K.; Arthur, W.J. III; Alldredge, A.W.

    1987-01-31

    Observations were made near Fort Collins, Colorado on the behavior of a captive herd of Rocky Mountain mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus). Comparisons in general behavior patterns were made between captive and wild deer. Similar behavior was exhibited by captive and wild deer. Captive deer (as well as other species) may be useful for study of certain behavioral aspects of their wild counterparts.

  13. Teacher Contract Non-Renewal: Midwest, Rocky Mountains, and Southeast

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nixon, Andy; Dam, Margaret; Packard, Abbot L.

    2012-01-01

    This quantitative study investigated reasons that school principals recommend non-renewal of probationary teachers' contracts. Principal survey results from three regions of the US (Midwest, Rocky Mountains, & Southeast) were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U statistical procedures, while significance was tested applying a…

  14. Shoshones in the Rocky Mountain Area. Student Workbook.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hultkrantz, Ake; And Others

    Derived from a monograph of the same title by Ake Hultkrantz, this student workbook contains seven articles which have been adapted for classroom use. Several student activities follow each article. Describing the Shoshones (who have historically lived in the neighborhood of the Rocky Mountains), the articles are titled: Historical Groupings,…

  15. Enhanced climate change and its detection over the Rocky Mountains

    SciTech Connect

    Fyfe, J.C.; Flato, G.M.

    1999-01-01

    Results from an ensemble of climate change experiments with increasing greenhouse gas and aerosols using the Canadian Centre for Climate Modeling and Analysis Coupled Climate Model are presented with a focus on surface quantities over the Rocky Mountains. There is a marked elevation dependency of the simulated surface screen temperature increase over the Rocky Mountains in the winter and spring seasons, with more pronounced changes at higher elevations. The elevation signal is linked to a rise in the snow line in the winter and spring seasons, which amplifies the surface warming via the snow-albedo feedback. Analysis of the winter surface energy budget shows that large changes in the solar component of the radiative input are the direct consequence of surface albedo changes caused by decreasing snow cover. Although the warming signal is enhanced at higher elevations, a two-way analysis of variance reveals that the elevation effect has no potential for early climate change detection. In the early stages of surface warming the elevation effect is masked by relatively large noise, so that the signal-to-noise ratio over the Rocky Mountains is no larger than elsewhere. Only after significant continental-scale warming does the local Rocky Mountain signal begin to dominate the pattern of climate change over western North America (and presumably also the surrounding ecosystems and hydrological networks).

  16. "Rocky Mountain Talent Search" at the University of Denver

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rigby, Kristin

    2005-01-01

    The "Rocky Mountain Talent Search" (RMTS) at the University of Denver was developed based on the talent search model developed by Dr Julian Stanley of Johns Hopkins University. This article summarizes the establishment of RMTS and outlines its contemporary programs. Guided by the philosophy that gifted students have unique needs, require academic…

  17. Zoonotic infections among employees from Great Smoky Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Parks, 2008-2009.

    PubMed

    Adjemian, Jennifer; Weber, Ingrid B; McQuiston, Jennifer; Griffith, Kevin S; Mead, Paul S; Nicholson, William; Roche, Aubree; Schriefer, Martin; Fischer, Marc; Kosoy, Olga; Laven, Janeen J; Stoddard, Robyn A; Hoffmaster, Alex R; Smith, Theresa; Bui, Duy; Wilkins, Patricia P; Jones, Jeffery L; Gupton, Paige N; Quinn, Conrad P; Messonnier, Nancy; Higgins, Charles; Wong, David

    2012-11-01

    U.S. National Park Service employees may have prolonged exposure to wildlife and arthropods, placing them at increased risk of infection with endemic zoonoses. To evaluate possible zoonotic risks present at both Great Smoky Mountains (GRSM) and Rocky Mountain (ROMO) National Parks, we assessed park employees for baseline seroprevalence to specific zoonotic pathogens, followed by evaluation of incident infections over a 1-year study period. Park personnel showed evidence of prior infection with a variety of zoonotic agents, including California serogroup bunyaviruses (31.9%), Bartonella henselae (26.7%), spotted fever group rickettsiae (22.2%), Toxoplasma gondii (11.1%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (8.1%), Brucella spp. (8.9%), flaviviruses (2.2%), and Bacillus anthracis (1.5%). Over a 1-year study period, we detected incident infections with leptospirosis (5.7%), B. henselae (5.7%), spotted fever group rickettsiae (1.5%), T. gondii (1.5%), B. anthracis (1.5%), and La Crosse virus (1.5%) in staff members at GRSM, and with spotted fever group rickettsiae (8.5%) and B. henselae (4.3%) in staff at ROMO. The risk of any incident infection was greater for employees who worked as resource managers (OR 7.4; 95% CI 1.4,37.5; p=0.02), and as law enforcement rangers/rescue crew (OR 6.5; 95% CI 1.1,36.5; p=0.03), relative to those who worked primarily in administration or management. The results of this study increase our understanding of the pathogens circulating within both parks, and can be used to inform the development of effective guidelines and interventions to increase visitor and staff awareness and help prevent exposure to zoonotic agents.

  18. Zoonotic infections among employees from Great Smoky Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Parks, 2008-2009.

    PubMed

    Adjemian, Jennifer; Weber, Ingrid B; McQuiston, Jennifer; Griffith, Kevin S; Mead, Paul S; Nicholson, William; Roche, Aubree; Schriefer, Martin; Fischer, Marc; Kosoy, Olga; Laven, Janeen J; Stoddard, Robyn A; Hoffmaster, Alex R; Smith, Theresa; Bui, Duy; Wilkins, Patricia P; Jones, Jeffery L; Gupton, Paige N; Quinn, Conrad P; Messonnier, Nancy; Higgins, Charles; Wong, David

    2012-11-01

    U.S. National Park Service employees may have prolonged exposure to wildlife and arthropods, placing them at increased risk of infection with endemic zoonoses. To evaluate possible zoonotic risks present at both Great Smoky Mountains (GRSM) and Rocky Mountain (ROMO) National Parks, we assessed park employees for baseline seroprevalence to specific zoonotic pathogens, followed by evaluation of incident infections over a 1-year study period. Park personnel showed evidence of prior infection with a variety of zoonotic agents, including California serogroup bunyaviruses (31.9%), Bartonella henselae (26.7%), spotted fever group rickettsiae (22.2%), Toxoplasma gondii (11.1%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (8.1%), Brucella spp. (8.9%), flaviviruses (2.2%), and Bacillus anthracis (1.5%). Over a 1-year study period, we detected incident infections with leptospirosis (5.7%), B. henselae (5.7%), spotted fever group rickettsiae (1.5%), T. gondii (1.5%), B. anthracis (1.5%), and La Crosse virus (1.5%) in staff members at GRSM, and with spotted fever group rickettsiae (8.5%) and B. henselae (4.3%) in staff at ROMO. The risk of any incident infection was greater for employees who worked as resource managers (OR 7.4; 95% CI 1.4,37.5; p=0.02), and as law enforcement rangers/rescue crew (OR 6.5; 95% CI 1.1,36.5; p=0.03), relative to those who worked primarily in administration or management. The results of this study increase our understanding of the pathogens circulating within both parks, and can be used to inform the development of effective guidelines and interventions to increase visitor and staff awareness and help prevent exposure to zoonotic agents. PMID:22835153

  19. Zoonotic Infections Among Employees from Great Smoky Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Parks, 2008–2009

    PubMed Central

    Weber, Ingrid B.; McQuiston, Jennifer; Griffith, Kevin S.; Mead, Paul S.; Nicholson, William; Roche, Aubree; Schriefer, Martin; Fischer, Marc; Kosoy, Olga; Laven, Janeen J.; Stoddard, Robyn A.; Hoffmaster, Alex R.; Smith, Theresa; Bui, Duy; Wilkins, Patricia P.; Jones, Jeffery L.; Gupton, Paige N.; Quinn, Conrad P.; Messonnier, Nancy; Higgins, Charles; Wong, David

    2012-01-01

    Abstract U.S. National Park Service employees may have prolonged exposure to wildlife and arthropods, placing them at increased risk of infection with endemic zoonoses. To evaluate possible zoonotic risks present at both Great Smoky Mountains (GRSM) and Rocky Mountain (ROMO) National Parks, we assessed park employees for baseline seroprevalence to specific zoonotic pathogens, followed by evaluation of incident infections over a 1-year study period. Park personnel showed evidence of prior infection with a variety of zoonotic agents, including California serogroup bunyaviruses (31.9%), Bartonella henselae (26.7%), spotted fever group rickettsiae (22.2%), Toxoplasma gondii (11.1%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (8.1%), Brucella spp. (8.9%), flaviviruses (2.2%), and Bacillus anthracis (1.5%). Over a 1-year study period, we detected incident infections with leptospirosis (5.7%), B. henselae (5.7%), spotted fever group rickettsiae (1.5%), T. gondii (1.5%), B. anthracis (1.5%), and La Crosse virus (1.5%) in staff members at GRSM, and with spotted fever group rickettsiae (8.5%) and B. henselae (4.3%) in staff at ROMO. The risk of any incident infection was greater for employees who worked as resource managers (OR 7.4; 95% CI 1.4,37.5; p=0.02), and as law enforcement rangers/rescue crew (OR 6.5; 95% CI 1.1,36.5; p=0.03), relative to those who worked primarily in administration or management. The results of this study increase our understanding of the pathogens circulating within both parks, and can be used to inform the development of effective guidelines and interventions to increase visitor and staff awareness and help prevent exposure to zoonotic agents. PMID:22835153

  20. 76 FR 21425 - Rocky Mountain Railcar and Repair, Inc.-Acquisition and Operation Exemption-Line of Railroad in...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-15

    ... Surface Transportation Board Rocky Mountain Railcar and Repair, Inc.--Acquisition and Operation Exemption--Line of Railroad in Tooele County, UT Rocky Mountain Railcar and Repair, Inc. (Rocky Mountain), a... line. \\1\\ Rocky Mountain states that it currently operates a railcar repair facility, but that it...

  1. 76 FR 29264 - Minor Boundary Revision at Rocky Mountain National Park

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-20

    ... National Park Service Minor Boundary Revision at Rocky Mountain National Park AGENCY: National Park Service....S.C. 4601-9(c)(1), the boundary of Rocky Mountain National Park is modified to include an additional... in Grand County, Colorado, immediately adjacent to the current western boundary of Rocky...

  2. Rapid Oligocene Exhumation of the Western Canadian Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szameitat, A.; Parrish, R. R.; Stuart, F. M.; Carter, A.; Fishwick, S.

    2014-12-01

    As part of the North American Cordillera the Rocky Mountains of Canada impact the deflection of weather systems and the jet stream and form a distinct barrier to Pacific moisture reaching the continental interior. The extent to which this climatic pattern extended into the past is at present uncertain, so improving our understanding of the elevation history of the Rockies is critical to determining the controls on climate change within the Northern Hemisphere. We have undertaken a comprehensive apatite (U-Th-Sm)/He and fission track study of the southeastern Canadian Cordillera, i.e. the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains, in order to provide insight into the mid to late Cenozoic uplift and exhumation history of this region. Thermal history and exhumation models of widespread low elevation samples in combination with 6 vertical profiles covering elevations from 500 up to 3100 m a.s.l. show at least 1500 m of rapid exhumation west of the Rocky Mountain Trench (RMT) during the Oligocene (Figure 1). In contrast, the ranges east of the RMT low elevation samples provide Eocene ages throughout. The data show a very different history of recent uplift of the Canadian Rockies compared to what is currently known from published work, which mostly infer that the eastern Canadian Cordillera has not experienced significant uplift since the Eocene. We propose that the most likely cause of this rock uplift was upwelling of asthenosphere around the eastward subducting Farallon Plate. This also led to the eruption of the nearby mainly Miocene Chilcotin Group flood basalts and could have caused underplating of the thin lithosphere west of the RMT, adding to the buoyancy of the plate and lifting the range. Because the Trench marks the edge of the normal thickness craton which was underthrust beneath the Rocky Mountains during the initial upper Cretaceous orogeny, the eastern Rockies have a normal lithosperic thickness. This would impede recent uplift and provides an explanation for the

  3. 78 FR 7852 - Notice of Intent To Rule on Request To Release Airport Property at the Rocky Mountain...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-02-04

    ... Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport, Broomfield, CO AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT... public comment on the release of land at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport under the provisions of..., Manager, Federal Aviation Administration, Northwest Mountain Region, Airports Division, Denver...

  4. Cascading effects of fire exclusion in Rocky Mountain ecosystems: a literature review

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keane, R.E.; Ryan, K.C.; Veblen, T.T.; Allen, C.D.; Logan, J.; Hawkes, B.

    2002-01-01

    The health of many Rocky Mountain ecosystems is in decline because of the policy of excluding fire in the management of these ecosystems. Fire exclusion has actually made it more difficult to fight fires, and this poses greater risks to the people who fight fires and for those who live in and around Rocky Mountain forests and rangelands. This paper discusses the extent of fire exclusion in the Rocky Mountains, then details the diverse and cascading effects of suppressing fires in the Rocky Mountain landscape by spatial scale, ecosystem characteristic, and vegetation type. Also discussed are the varied effects of fire exclusion on some important, keystone ecosystems and human concerns.

  5. State geothermal commercialization programs in seven Rocky Mountain states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunis, B. C.

    1982-08-01

    The activities and findings of the seven state commercialization teams participating in the Rocky Mountain Basin and Range commercialization program are described. The period covered is July through December 1981. Background information is provided, program objectives and the technical approach used are discussed, and the benefits of the program are described. Prospect identification, area development plans, site specific development analyses, time-phased project plans, the aggregated prospective geothermal energy use, and institutional analyses are discussed. Public outreach activities are covered and findings and recommendations are summarized.

  6. 76 FR 47577 - Rocky Mountain Natural Gas LLC; Notice of Filing

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-08-05

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Rocky Mountain Natural Gas LLC; Notice of Filing Take notice that on July 28, 2011, Rocky Mountain Natural Gas LLC filed a revised Statement of Operating Conditions to comply...

  7. Rocky Mountain National Park reduced nitrogen source apportionment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Tammy M.; Rodriguez, Marco A.; Barna, Michael G.; Gebhart, Kristi A.; Hand, Jennifer L.; Day, Derek E.; Malm, William C.; Benedict, Katherine B.; Collett, Jeffrey L., Jr.; Schichtel, Bret A.

    2015-05-01

    Excess wet and dry deposition of nitrogen-containing compounds are a concern at a number of national parks. The Rocky Mountain Atmospheric Nitrogen and Sulfur Study Part II (RoMANS II) campaign was conducted from November 2008 to November 2009 to characterize the composition of reactive nitrogen and sulfur deposited in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). RoMANS II identified reduced nitrogen as the major contributor to reactive nitrogen deposition in RMNP, making up over 50% of the total. Motivated by this finding, the particulate source apportionment technology within the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with extensions was used here to estimate source apportionment of reduced nitrogen concentrations at RMNP. Source apportionment results suggest that approximately 40% of reduced nitrogen deposition to RMNP comes from ammonia sources within Colorado. However, the model evaluation also suggests that this number could be underrepresenting ammonia sources in eastern Colorado due to the difficulty of capturing upslope airflow on the eastern side of the Continental Divide with meteorological models. Emissions from California, the western model boundary, and the Snake River Valley in Idaho, the next three most influential sources, contribute approximately 15%, 8%, and 7%, respectively, to total reduced nitrogen measured in RMNP. Within Colorado, about 61%, 26%, and 13% of the total Colorado contribution comes from sources to the east of the Continental Divide, sources to the west of the Continental Divide, and from the park itself.

  8. The chemical agent experience at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

    SciTech Connect

    Mohrman, G.

    1995-06-01

    Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) was constructed and commissioned in 1942 for the production of sulfur mustard and other chemical munitions for possible use in World War II. RMA also became a production site for Lewisite and Sarin, including synthesis and munition filling. Other chemical agents such as Phosgene were routinely handled, filled into munitions and demilitarized. During the 1970`s and the early 1980`s, RMA served as a primary demilitarization facility for the destruction of chemical agents. Throughout its chemical weapons history, RMA generated waste materials from production, neutralization, decontamination and testing. These operations led to the possibility of chemical agent contamination in soils, process equipment and structures that have required special attention as part of the overall Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) environmental cleanup operations being conducted by the Program Manager Rocky Mountain Arsenal (PMRMA). Adjusting normal sampling operations associated with CERCLA-type activities for the special Army regulations covering chemical agents has been a difficult task. This presentation will describe the evolution of chemical agent related efforts and operations as they pertain to RMA environmental cleanup activities, to include field sampling requirements, analytical methods, commercial laboratory use and the role of the on-site PMRMA laboratory.

  9. A Regional Atmospheric Continuous CO2 Network In The Rocky Mountains (Rocky RACCOON)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, B.; de Wekker, S.; Watt, A.; Schimel, D.

    2005-12-01

    We have established a continuous CO2 observing network in the Rocky Mountains, building on technological and modeling advances made during the Carbon in the Mountains Experiment (CME), to improve our understanding of regional carbon fluxes and to fill key gaps in the North American Carbon Program (NACP). We will present a description of the Rocky RACCOON network and early results from the first three sites. There are strong scientific and societal motivations for determining CO2 exchanges on regional scales. NACP aims to address these concerns through a dramatic expansion in observations and modeling capabilities over North America. Mountain forests in particular represent a significant potential net CO2 sink in the U.S. and are highly sensitive to land-use practices and climate change. However, plans for new continuous CO2 observing sites have omitted the mountain west. This resulted from expensive instrumentation in the face of limited resources, and a perception that current atmospheric transport models are not sophisticated enough to interpret CO2 measurements made in complex terrain. Through our efforts in CME, we have a new autonomous, inexpensive, and robust CO2 analysis system and are developing mountain CO2 modeling tools that will help us to overcome these obstacles. Preliminary observational and modeling results give us confidence that continuous CO2 observations from mountain top observatories will provide useful constraints on regional carbon cycling and will be valuable in the continental inverse modeling efforts planned for NACP. We began at three Colorado sites in August 2005 and hope to add three to six sites in other western states in subsequent years, utilizing existing observatories to the maximum extent possible. The first three sites are at Niwot Ridge, allowing us to have an ongoing intercomparison with flask measurements made by NOAA CMDL; at Storm Peak Laboratory near Steamboat Springs, allowing us to investigate comparisons between these

  10. A tectonic redefinition of the Southern Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, Gordon P.

    1986-12-01

    The Southern Rocky Mountains of the Western United States, physiographically defined and described by N.M. Fenneman nearly 60 yrs ago, are tectonically redefined and extended. They are shown to constitute the crestal range of a mammoth, continental, arch-like feature here named the Alvarado ridge. Its axis trends south from Casper, Wyoming at least as far south as El Paso, Texas, beyond which the ridge begins to lose morphological identity. Maximum elevations along the crest of the ridge exceed 4.2 km. The summit ranges are bordered on either side by gently sloping rises that extend outward for at least 1300 km, falling to elevations of less than 400 m. Modest rift structures along the ridge axis continue beyond the southern terminus of the mountains before playing out. A major sediment-filled axial graben exists over the southern two-thirds of the ridge, but equivalent parts of it farther north were stripped of their Neogene fill by erosion in the headwaters areas of the Colorado and North Platte rivers. The maximum elevation of earlier Laramide mountains in this area has been estimated to have been no more than 2 km in Colorado, half that of the present range. Related topography was nearly obliterated by erosion prior to late Eocene time. Lateral stream planation produced a southeast-sloping, major late Eocene erosion surface across the region that had what was probably an isostatically adjusted, average maximum elevation of less than 900 m. Present day elevations and relief on the ridge crest are the result of steep crestal normal faulting, pronounced block uplift, and regional arching, with extensional strain limited to an axial corridor less than 200 km wide. This episode of mountain building began in middle Miocene time (17 to 12 Ma), culminating in latest Miocene and early Pliocene time, between 7 and 4 Ma ago. Debris from the newly elevated range (the Southern Rocky Mountains, sensu lato) was shed along the full length of the Neogene Alvarado ridge down

  11. Major-ion chemistry of the Rocky Mountain snowpack, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Turk, J.T.; Taylor, H.E.; Ingersoll, G.P.; Tonnessen, K.A.; Clow, D.W.; Mast, M.A.; Campbell, D.H.; Melack, J.M.

    2001-01-01

    During 1993-97, samples of the full depth of the Rocky Mountain snowpack were collected at 52 sites from northern New Mexico to Montana and analyzed for major-ion concentrations. Concentrations of acidity, sulfate, nitrate, and calcium increased from north to south along the mountain range. In the northern part of the study area, acidity was most correlated (negatively) with calcium. Acidity was strongly correlated (positively) with nitrate and sulfate in the southern part and for the entire network. Acidity in the south exceeded the maximum acidity measured in snowpack of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains. Principal component analysis indicates three solute associations we characterize as: (1) acid (acidity, sulfate, and nitrate), (2) soil (calcium, magnesium, and potassium), and (3) salt (sodium, chloride, and ammonium). Concentrations of acid solutes in the snowpack are similar to concentrations in nearby wetfall collectors, whereas, concentrations of soil solutes are much higher in the snowpack than in wetfall. Thus, dryfall of acid solutes during the snow season is negligible, as is gypsum from soils. Snowpack sampling offers a cost-effective complement to sampling of wetfall in areas where wetfall is difficult to sample and where the snowpack accumulates throughout the winter. Copyright ?? 2001 .

  12. Field trips in the southern Rocky Mountains, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, E.P.; Erslev, E.A.

    2004-07-01

    The theme of the 2004 GSA Annual Meeting and Exposition, 'Geoscience in a Changing World' covers both new and traditional areas of the earth sciences. The Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and the High Plains preserve an outstanding record of geological processes from Precambrian through Quaternary times, and thus served as excellent educational exhibits for the meeting. The chapters in this field guide all contain technical content as well as a field trip log describing field trip routes and stops. Of the 25 field trips offered at the Meeting. 14 are described in the guidebook, covering a wide variety of geoscience disciplines, with chapters on tectonics (Precambrian and Laramide), stratigraphy and paleoenvironments (e.g., early Paleozoic environments, Jurassic eolian environments, the K-T boundary, the famous Oligocene Florissant fossil beds), economic deposits (coal and molybdenum), geological hazards, and geoarchaeology. Two papers have been abstracted separately for the Coal Abstracts database.

  13. Scrap metal recycling for waste minimization at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

    SciTech Connect

    Rondinella, M.A.; Harris, V.; Anderson, G.

    1994-12-31

    The US Army Rocky Mountain Arsenal is a former munitions and pesticide production, storage and demilitarization facility. Two large manufacturing complexes remain at the facility. All production activities ceased in 1982, and the Arsenal is now a National Priorities List (NPL) site undergoing environmental restoration. The US Army is now removing tanks, piping and equipment from the manufacturing areas. This paper addresses the Army`s use of recycling to minimize wastes that would otherwise be land disposed during these removal operations. The advantages of recycling and the problems and pitfalls will be addressed. This paper will focus primarily on scrap metal from areas that did not produce or store chemical warfare agents. The special case of recycling of containers and equipment associated with chemical warfare agents will also be briefly addressed.

  14. Overview of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal ecological risk characterization

    SciTech Connect

    Applehans, F.; Jones, M.; Osborn, S.; Tate, D.J.; Cothern, K.A.; Pavlou, S.; Toll, J.E.; Armstrong, J.P.

    1994-12-31

    The Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) Endangerment Assessment was performed to characterize potential threats to human health and the environment from contaminants released as a result of historical operations and past waste disposal practices at RMA. This paper presents an overview of the Ecological Risk Characterization (ERC), one component of the RMA Endangerment Assessment. Because of the magnitude of the ERC and high public profile of RMA, the RMA ecological risk assessment reflects all aspects of SETAC`s meeting theme, Ecological Risk: Science, Policy, Law, and Perception. The conceptual framework for the ERC is described, major technical and practical issues encountered in conducting the ERC are recounted, and key insights and recommendations for future ecological risk assessments are discussed.

  15. Phytoplankton dynamics in three Rocky Mountain Lakes, Colorado, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKnight, Diane M.; Smith, R.L.; Bradbury, J.P.; Baron, J.S.; Spaulding, S.

    1990-01-01

    In 1984 and 1985 in Loch Vale, Rocky Mountain National Park, 3 periods were evident: 1) a spring bloom, during snowmelt, of the planktonic diatom Asterionella formosa, 2) a mid-summer period of minimal algal abundance, and 3) a fall bloom of the blue-green alga Oscillatoria limnetica. Seasonal phytoplankton dynamics are controlled partially by the rapid flushing rate during snowmelt and the transport of phytoplankton from the highest lake to the lower lakes by the stream, Icy Brook. During snowmelt, the A. formosa population in the most downstream lake has a net rate of increase of 0.34 d-1. The decline in A. formosa after snowmelt may be related to grazing by developing zooplankton populations. -from Authors

  16. Rocky Mountain Snowpack Chemistry at Selected Sites, 2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ingersoll, George P.; Mast, M. Alisa; Nanus, Leora; Handran, Heather H.; Manthorne, David J.; Hultstrand, Douglas M.

    2007-01-01

    During spring 2004, the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service collected and analyzed snowpack samples for 65 sites in the Rocky Mountain region from New Mexico to Montana. Snowpacks were sampled from late February through early April and generally had well-below-average- to near-average snow-water equivalent. Regionally, on April 1, snow-water equivalent ranged from 50 to 89 percent. At most regional sites monitored during 1993-2004, snowpack ammonium, nitrate, and sulfate concentrations for 2004 were lower than the 12-year averages. Snowpack ammonium concentrations in the region were lower than average concentrations for the period at 61 percent of sites in the region, but showed a new pattern compared to previous years with three of the four highest 2004 concentrations observed in northern Colorado. Nitrate concentrations in 2004 were lower than the 12-year average for the year at 53 percent of regional sites, and typically occurred at sites in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana where powerplants and large industrial areas were limited. A regional decrease in sulfate concentrations across most of the Rocky Mountains (with concentrations lower than the 12-year average at 84 percent of snowpack sites) was consistent with other monitoring of atmospheric deposition in the Western United States. Total mercury concentrations, although data are only available for the past 3 years, decreased slightly for the region as a whole in 2004 relative to 2003. Ratios of stable sulfur isotopes indicated a similar regional pattern as observed in recent years with sulfur-34 (d34S) values generally increasing northward from northern New Mexico and southern Colorado to northern Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.

  17. 4. FIRSTFLOOR SHOWER/LOCKER ROOM. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. Rocky Mountain ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    4. FIRST-FLOOR SHOWER/LOCKER ROOM. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Administration-Laboratory- Change House-Bomb Rail, 420 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 530 feet West of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  18. 5. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    5. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Refrigeration Napalm & Incendiary Bomb Warehouse-Bomb Filling, 825 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 2425 feet East of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  19. 1. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO SOUTH. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    1. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO SOUTH. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Refrigeration Napalm & Incendiary Bomb Warehouse-Bomb Filling, 825 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 2425 feet East of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  20. 2. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO SOUTHWEST. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    2. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO SOUTHWEST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Refrigeration Napalm & Incendiary Bomb Warehouse-Bomb Filling, 825 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 2425 feet East of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  1. 6. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    6. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Refrigeration Napalm & Incendiary Bomb Warehouse-Bomb Filling, 825 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 2425 feet East of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  2. 3. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO WEST. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    3. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO WEST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Refrigeration Napalm & Incendiary Bomb Warehouse-Bomb Filling, 825 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 2425 feet East of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  3. 4. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO NORTHWEST. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    4. BUILDING 741/742. VIEW TO NORTHWEST. - Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Refrigeration Napalm & Incendiary Bomb Warehouse-Bomb Filling, 825 feet South of December Seventh Avenue; 2425 feet East of D Street, Commerce City, Adams County, CO

  4. Enhanced oil recovery: Project Roundup. 17 waterflood developments in Rocky Mountains reported

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-09-01

    Progress reports on enhanced oil recovery projects primarily in the Rocky Mountain region are presented. The types of recovery processes covered include waterflooding, carbon dioxide injection, steamflooding, polymer/alkalin

  5. SITE Technology Capsule. Demonstration of Rocky Mountain Remediation Services Soil Amendment

    EPA Science Inventory

    This report briefly summarizes the Rocky Mountain Remediation Services treatment technology demonstration of a soil amendment process for lead contaminated soil at Roseville, OH. The evaluation included leaching, bioavailability, geotechnical, and geochemical methods.

  6. Spacing of Rocky Mountain foreland arches and Laramide magmatic activity

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, C.J.; Evans, J.P.; Fletcher, R.C.; Spang, J.H.

    1985-01-01

    First-order Late Cretaceous and Paleocene folds in the Rocky Mountain foreland have a spacing (S) ranging from 45 to 300 km. Spacing of folds and major mountain flank thrusts was controlled in part by the depth of the brittle-ductile transition (BDT). Analysis of folding of a brittle layer of thickness H above a ductile substrate suggests S/H approx. = 4-6. Experimental data indicate that the BDT in quartz rich rock occurs at 300/sup 0/ +/- 50/sup 0/C and therefore its depth depends on geothermal gradient. Regions with high Laramide geothermal gradients should have had a shallower depth to the BDT and a shorter spacing of first-order folds than regions with low gradients. A regional compilation for the Montana and Wyoming foreland shows a correlation between the value of S and syntectonic magmatic activity. The mean S value for southwestern Montana, where Late Cretaceous and Paleocene magmatic activity was widespread, is 65 km. This value of S indicates a relatively shallow (11-16 km) depth of the BDT and suggests a relatively high (16-32/sup 0/C/km) Laramide geothermal gradient. The mean S value for the Wyoming foreland, where no syntectonic magmatic activity is indicated, is 150 km. Measurements of S may allow some predictions of depth to rheologically-controlled mid-crustal decoupling zones. They may also indicate areas where the depth to the BDT was not a major control on S. Structures with S < 40 km correspond to inadmissably shallow BDT zones and were probably controlled by other factors such as preexisting fault zones or basement lithology.

  7. Status and health of biota at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal

    SciTech Connect

    Macrander, A.M.; Mackey, C.V.; Reagen, D.P.; Tate, D.J.

    1994-12-31

    Field studies have been conducted on the populations and communities of the biota at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) since the late 1950`s. While earlier studies were primarily documentation of mortality events, a diverse program of studies conducted since 1982 has assessed a number of relevant endpoints. Studies of sedentary species (e.g. plants, earthworm, grasshoppers) focused on contaminated areas within RMA to identify potential contaminant effects. Studies on more mobile species (e.g. deer, great horned owls, kestrels) were conducted throughout RMA to evaluate effects on their RMA-wide populations. Both on- and off-post reference sites were used in some of the studies. Ecological endpoints were selected that were focused upon the population-level effects that could have a causal relationship to the RMA contaminants, such as population abundance and reproductive success, biomarkers, and community organization. Current EPA guidance on conducting ecological risk assessment encourages the use of observational field studies. Although many of these studies were conducted prior to the issuance of this guidance, they are consistent with its scope and intent. Investigators on the effects of contamination at RMA during the past decade indicate that while some effects may still be present in biota at RMA, the wildlife communities and populations are viable and appear healthy.

  8. The spectrum of relapsing fever in the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Horton, J M; Blaser, M J

    1985-05-01

    Between 1940 and 1976, two cases of tick-borne relapsing fever were reported in Colorado, but since 1977, 23 confirmed cases have occurred. All patients had fever, with a mean of 2.8 febrile episodes (range, one to six). Complications included thrombocytopenia, endophthalmitis, meningitis, abortion, in utero infection, and erythema multiforme. All treated patients were eventually cured with antibiotics, although two pregnant patients failed to be cured by their initial courses of antibiotics. Seven of 21 treated patients had Jarisch-Herxheimer reactions, three of whom required intensive care. Five of nine patients who received tetracycline at an initial dose of 5 mg/kg or more had reactions v none of four patients treated with lower doses. Possible causes of the recent increased incidence include increased physician awareness and reporting, improved diagnostic techniques, and an actual increase due to a larger population at risk. Because summertime visits to the Rocky Mountains are becoming increasingly popular, physicians elsewhere should know how to recognize and treat this condition. PMID:3994463

  9. Hydrogeologic data for the northern Rocky Mountains intermontane basins, Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dutton, DeAnn M.; Lawlor, Sean M.; Briar, D.W.; Tresch, R.E.

    1995-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey began a Regional Aquifer- System Analysis of the Northern Rocky Mountains Intermontane Basins of western Montana and central and central and northern Idaho in 1990 to establish a regional framework of information for aquifers in 54 intermontane basins in an area of about 77,500 square miles. Selected hydrogeologic data have been used as part of this analysis to define the hydro- logic systems. Records of 1,376 wells completed in 31 of the 34 intermontane basins in the Montana part of the study area are tabulated in this report. Data consist of location, alttiude of land surface, date well constructed, geologic unit, depth of well, diameter of casing, type of finish, top of open interval, primary use of water, water level, date water level measured, discharge, specific capacity, source of discharge data, type of log available, date water-quality parameters measured, specific conductance, pH, and temperature. Hydrographs for selected wells also are included. Locations of wells and basins are shown on the accompanying plate.

  10. Phylogenetic Composition of Rocky Mountain Endolithic Microbial Ecosystems▿

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Jeffrey J.; Pace, Norman R.

    2007-01-01

    The endolithic environment, the pore space in rocks, is a ubiquitous microbial habitat. Photosynthesis-based endolithic communities inhabit the outer few millimeters to centimeters of rocks exposed to the surface. Such endolithic ecosystems have been proposed as simple, tractable models for understanding basic principles in microbial ecology. In order to test previously conceived hypotheses about endolithic ecosystems, we studied selected endolithic communities in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States with culture-independent molecular methods. Community compositions were determined by determining rRNA gene sequence contents, and communities were compared using statistical phylogenetic methods. The results indicate that endolithic ecosystems are seeded from a select, global metacommunity and form true ecological communities that are among the simplest microbial ecosystems known. Statistical analysis showed that biogeographical characteristics that control community composition, such as rock type, are more complex than predicted. Collectively, results of this study support the idea that patterns of microbial diversity found in endolithic communities are governed by principles similar to those observed in macroecological systems. PMID:17416689

  11. Rocky Mountain Snowpack Chemistry at Selected Sites, 2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ingersoll, George P.; Mast, M. Alisa; Nanus, Leora; Manthorne, David J.; Clow, David W.; Handran, Heather M.; Winterringer, Jesse A.; Campbell, Donald H.

    2004-01-01

    During spring 2002, the chemical composition of annual snowpacks in the Rocky Mountain region of the Western United States was analyzed. Snow samples were collected at 75 geographically distributed sites extending from New Mexico to Montana. Near the end of the 2002 snowfall season, the snow-water equivalent (SWE) in annual snowpacks sampled generally was below average in most of the region. Regional patterns in the concentrations of major ions (including ammonium, nitrate, and sulfate), mercury, and stable sulfur isotope ratios are presented. The 2002 snowpack chemistry in the region differed from the previous year. Snowpack ammonium concentrations were higher at 66 percent of sites in Montana compared to concentrations in the 2001 snowpack but were lower at 74 percent of sites in Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Nitrate was lower at all Montana sites and lower at all but one Wyoming site; nitrate was higher at all but two Colorado sites and higher at all New Mexico sites. Sulfate was lower across the region at 77 percent of sites. The range of mercury concentrations for the region was similar to those of 2001 but showed more variability than ammonium, nitrate, and sulfate concentrations. Concentrations of stable sulfur isotope ratios exhibited a strong regional pattern with values increasing northward from southern Colorado to northern Colorado and Wyoming.

  12. Trail impact monitoring in Rocky Mountain National Park, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svajda, J.; Korony, S.; Brighton, I.; Esser, S.; Ciapala, S.

    2015-11-01

    This paper examines impacts of increased visitation leading to human trampling of vegetation and soil along several trails in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) to understand how abiotic factors and level of use can influence trail conditions. RMNP is one of the most visited national parks in the USA with 3.3 million visitors in 2012 across 1075 km2 and 571 km of hiking trails. 95 % of the park is designated wilderness making the balance between preservation and visitor use challenging. This research involves the application of trail condition assessments to 56 km of trails to determine prevailing factors and what, if any, connection between them exist. The study looked at a variety of inventory and impact indicators and standards to determine their importance and to develop a baseline condition of trails. The data can be used for future comparison and evaluation of development trends. We found that trail widening (mean trail width 88.9 cm) and soil loss (cross sectional area 172.7 cm2) are the most visible effects of trail degradation. Further statistical analyses of data identified the role and influence of various factors (e.g. use level and topography). Insights into the influence of these factors can lead to the selection of appropriate management measures to avoid or minimize negative consequences from increased visitation.

  13. Trail impact monitoring in Rocky Mountain National Park, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svajda, J.; Korony, S.; Brighton, I.; Esser, S.; Ciapala, S.

    2016-01-01

    This paper examines impacts of increased visitation leading to human trampling of vegetation and soil along several trails in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) to understand how abiotic factors and level of use can influence trail conditions. RMNP is one of the most visited national parks in the USA, with 3.3 million visitors in 2012 across 1075 km2 and 571 km of hiking trails. 95 % of the park is designated wilderness, making the balance between preservation and visitor use challenging. This research involves the application of trail condition assessments to 56 km of trails to determine prevailing factors and what, if any, connection between them exist. The study looked at a variety of inventory and impact indicators and standards to determine their importance and to develop a baseline condition of trails. The data can be used for future comparison and evaluation of development trends. We found that trail widening (mean trail width 88.9 cm) and soil loss (cross-sectional area 172.7 cm2) are the most visible effects of trail degradation. Further statistical analyses of data identified the role and influence of various factors (e.g., use level and topography). Insights into the influence of these factors can lead to the selection of appropriate management measures to avoid or minimize negative consequences from increased visitation.

  14. Phylogenetic composition of Rocky Mountain endolithic microbial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Walker, Jeffrey J; Pace, Norman R

    2007-06-01

    The endolithic environment, the pore space in rocks, is a ubiquitous microbial habitat. Photosynthesis-based endolithic communities inhabit the outer few millimeters to centimeters of rocks exposed to the surface. Such endolithic ecosystems have been proposed as simple, tractable models for understanding basic principles in microbial ecology. In order to test previously conceived hypotheses about endolithic ecosystems, we studied selected endolithic communities in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States with culture-independent molecular methods. Community compositions were determined by determining rRNA gene sequence contents, and communities were compared using statistical phylogenetic methods. The results indicate that endolithic ecosystems are seeded from a select, global metacommunity and form true ecological communities that are among the simplest microbial ecosystems known. Statistical analysis showed that biogeographical characteristics that control community composition, such as rock type, are more complex than predicted. Collectively, results of this study support the idea that patterns of microbial diversity found in endolithic communities are governed by principles similar to those observed in macroecological systems. PMID:17416689

  15. Trends in Rocky Mountain amphibians and the role of beaver as a keystone species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, Blake R.; Gould, William R.; Patla, Debra A.; Muths, Erin L.; Daley, Rob; Legg, Kristin; Corn, P. Stephen

    2015-01-01

    Despite prevalent awareness of global amphibian declines, there is still little information on trends for many widespread species. To inform land managers of trends on protected landscapes and identify potential conservation strategies, we collected occurrence data for five wetland-breeding amphibian species in four national parks in the U.S. Rocky Mountains during 2002–2011. We used explicit dynamics models to estimate variation in annual occupancy, extinction, and colonization of wetlands according to summer drought and several biophysical characteristics (e.g., wetland size, elevation), including the influence of North American beaver (Castor canadensis). We found more declines in occupancy than increases, especially in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks (NP), where three of four species declined since 2002. However, most species in Rocky Mountain NP were too rare to include in our analysis, which likely reflects significant historical declines. Although beaver were uncommon, their creation or modification of wetlands was associated with higher colonization rates for 4 of 5 amphibian species, producing a 34% increase in occupancy in beaver-influenced wetlands compared to wetlands without beaver influence. Also, colonization rates and occupancy of boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas) and Columbia spotted frogs (Rana luteiventris) were ⩾2 times higher in beaver-influenced wetlands. These strong relationships suggest management for beaver that fosters amphibian recovery could counter declines in some areas. Our data reinforce reports of widespread declines of formerly and currently common species, even in areas assumed to be protected from most forms of human disturbance, and demonstrate the close ecological association between beaver and wetland-dependent species.

  16. 14 CFR 136.35 - Prohibition of commercial air tour operations over the Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Prohibition of commercial air tour operations over the Rocky Mountain National Park. 136.35 Section 136.35 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL... Mountain National Park. All commercial air tour operations in the airspace over the Rocky Mountain...

  17. 14 CFR 136.35 - Prohibition of commercial air tour operations over the Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Prohibition of commercial air tour operations over the Rocky Mountain National Park. 136.35 Section 136.35 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL... Mountain National Park. All commercial air tour operations in the airspace over the Rocky Mountain...

  18. 14 CFR 136.35 - Prohibition of commercial air tour operations over the Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Prohibition of commercial air tour operations over the Rocky Mountain National Park. 136.35 Section 136.35 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL... Mountain National Park. All commercial air tour operations in the airspace over the Rocky Mountain...

  19. 14 CFR 136.35 - Prohibition of commercial air tour operations over the Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Prohibition of commercial air tour operations over the Rocky Mountain National Park. 136.35 Section 136.35 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL... Mountain National Park. All commercial air tour operations in the airspace over the Rocky Mountain...

  20. 14 CFR 136.35 - Prohibition of commercial air tour operations over the Rocky Mountain National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 14 Aeronautics and Space 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Prohibition of commercial air tour operations over the Rocky Mountain National Park. 136.35 Section 136.35 Aeronautics and Space FEDERAL... Mountain National Park. All commercial air tour operations in the airspace over the Rocky Mountain...

  1. Attenuation tomography beneath the Rocky Mountain front: Implications for the physical state of the upper mantle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyd, Oliver S.; Sheehan, Anne F.

    Utilizing the Rocky Mountain Front (RMF) broadband seismic dataset acquired in 1992, this study has derived the seismic attenuation structure underlying part of the Southern Rocky Mountains and surrounding areas through measurements of differential t* of S-phase waveforms. Previous studies of the area include P, S and surface wave travel time tomography, and all indicate low upper mantle velocities below the Rocky Mountain region. Calculations of intrinsic attenuation coupled with current velocity models aid in the determination of temperature, partial melt distributions, and compositional variation. A N-S zone of high shear wave attenuation (Qs≃30) is found in the mantle beneath the Rocky Mountains and lies east of the region of lowest shear wave velocity. Relationships between shear wave attenuation and shear wave velocity are consistent with both thermal and compositional variability. Along the eastern Colorado Rockies and due north of the Rio Grande Rift, the relationships are consistent with an interpretation of elevated temperatures by up to 50 K at 125 km depth. West of this region low velocities and low attenuation suggest either unusual composition or very high temperatures. The low density mantle material beneath the Colorado Rocky Mountains in addition to increased crustal thickness and low density crustal intrusions provides a density contrast sufficient to support its overburden.

  2. Rocky Mountain evolution: Tying Continental Dynamics of the Rocky Mountains and Deep Probe seismic experiments with receiver functions

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rumpfhuber, E.-M.; Keller, Gordon R.; Sandvol, E.; Velasco, A.A.; Wilson, D.C.

    2009-01-01

    In this study, we have determined the crustal structure using three different receiver function methods using data collected from the northern transect of the Continental Dynamics of the Rocky Mountains (CD-ROM) experiment. The resulting migrated image and crustal thickness determinations confirm and refine prior crustal thickness measurements based on the CD-ROM and Deep Probe experiment data sets. The new results show a very distinct and thick lower crustal layer beneath the Archean Wyoming province. In addition, we are able to show its termination at 42??N latitude, which provides a seismic tie between the CD-ROM and Deep Probe seismic experiments and thus completes a continuous north-south transect extending from New Mexico into Alberta, Canada. This new tie is particularly important because it occurs close to a major tectonic boundary, the Cheyenne belt, between an Archean craton and a Proterozoic terrane. We used two different stacking techniques, based on a similar concept but using two different ways to estimate uncertainties. Furthermore, we used receiver function migration and common conversion point (CCP) stacking techniques. The combined interpretation of all our results shows (1) crustal thinning in southern Wyoming, (2) strong northward crustal thickening beginning in central Wyoming, (3) the presence of an unusually thick and high-velocity lower crust beneath the Wyoming province, and (4) the abrupt termination of this lower crustal layer north of the Cheyenne belt at 42??N latitude. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  3. Intrinsic movement patterns of grazing Rocky Mountains elk (Cervus elaphus nelsonii) and beef cattle (Bos taurus)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rocky Mountain elk and cattle are important components of mountainous ecosystems in the western United States and exist contemporaneously on many landscapes. These animals utilize similar resources yet the evolutionary lines that produced them have been distinct for approximately 30 million years. ...

  4. Long-term shifts in the phenology of rare and endemic Rocky Mountain plants

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Munson, Seth M.; Sher, Anna A

    2015-01-01

    CONCLUSIONS: These results provide evidence for large shifts in the phenology of rare Rocky Mountain plants related to climate, which can have strong effects on plant fitness, the abundance of associated wildlife, and the future of plant conservation in mountainous regions.                   

  5. Persistent organic pollutants in air and vegetation from the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Deborah A; Wilkinson, Andrew C; Kimpe, Lynda E; Blais, Jules M

    2004-03-01

    The exchange of chlorinated organic pollutants between air and vegetation in cold, mountain environments was investigated through the extraction of coniferous vegetation and high-volume air samples collected from the Canadian Rocky Mountains during the summers of 1999 and 2000. Concentrations of several compounds in vegetation increased as temperatures decreased, whereas atmospheric concentrations were not related to temperature. Daily cycling of these compounds between air and vegetation as a result of diurnal temperature changes was not observed. Compared with concentrations in vegetation from the Canadian Rocky Mountains, plant samples from the western valley in British Columbia (Canada) showed higher pollutant levels. Chemical partitioning between vegetation and air was not correlated with temperature, indicating that air contamination is governed by long-range transport and not by local revolatilization events. Based on these observations, we show that both deposition at higher altitudes and long-range atmospheric transport influence chemical accumulation in vegetation from the Canadian Rocky Mountains. PMID:15285344

  6. Nutritional condition of elk in rocky mountain national park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bender, L.C.; Cook, J.G.

    2005-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that elk in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) were at ecological carrying capacity by determining herd-specific levels of nutritional condition and fecundity. Ingesta-free body fat levels in adult cows that were lactating were 10.6% (s = 1.7; range = 6.2-15.4) and 7.7% (s = 0.5; range = 5.9-10.1) in November 2001 for the Horseshoe and Moraine Park herds, respectively. Cows that were not lactating were able to accrue significantly more body fat: 14.0% (s = 1.1; range = 7.7-19.3) and 11.5% (s = 0.8; range = 8.6-15.1) for the Horseshoe and Moraine Park herds, respectively. Cow elk lost most of their body fat over winter (April 2002 levels were 3.9% [s = 0.4] and 2.9% [s = 0.4] for the Horseshoe and Moraine Park herds, respectively). Nutritional condition indicated that both Horseshoe Park and Moraine Park elk were well below condition levels elk can achieve on very good-excellent nutrition (i.e., >15% body fat; Cook et al. 2004) and were comparable to other free-ranging elk populations. However, condition levels were higher than those expected at a "food-limited" carrying capacity, and a proportion of elk in each herd were able to achieve condition levels indicative of very good-excellent nutrition. Elk in RMNP are likely regulated and/or limited by a complex combination of density-independent (including significant heterogeneity in forage conditions across RMNP's landscape) and density-dependent processes, as condition levels contradict a simple density-dependent model of a population at ecological carrying capacity.

  7. Isotopes in North American Rocky Mountain snowpack 1993–2014

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Lesleigh; Max Berkelhammer,; Mast, M. Alisa

    2015-01-01

    We present ∼1300 new isotopic measurements (δ18O and δ2H) from a network of snowpack sites in the Rocky Mountains that have been sampled since 1993. The network includes 177 locations where depth-integrated snow samples are collected each spring near peak accumulation. At 57 of these locations snowpack samples were obtained for 10–21 years and their isotopic measurements provide unprecedented spatial and temporal documentation of snowpack isotope values at mid-latitudes. For environments where snowfall accounts for the majority of annual precipitation, snowmelt is likely to have the strongest influence on isotope values retained in proxy archives. In this first presentation of the dataset we (1) describe the basic features of the isotope values in relation to the Global Meteoric Water Line (GMWL), (2) evaluate space for time substitutions traditionally used to establish δ18O-temperature relations, (3) evaluate site-to-site similarities across the network and identify those that are the most regionally representative, (4) examine atmospheric circulation patterns for several years with spatially coherent isotope patterns, and (5) provide examples of the implications this new dataset has for interpreting paleoclimate records (Bison Lake, Colorado and Minnetonka Cave, Idaho). Results indicate that snowpack δ18O is rarely a simple proxy of temperature. Instead, it exhibits a high degree of spatial heterogeneity and temporal variance that reflect additional processes such as vapor transport and post-depositional modification. Despite these complexities we identify consistent climate-isotope patterns and regionally representative locations that serve to better define Holocene hydroclimate estimates and their uncertainty. Climate change has and will affect western U.S. snowpack and we suggest these changes can be better understood and anticipated by oxygen and hydrogen isotope-based reconstructions of Holocene hydroclimate using a process-based understanding of the

  8. Science and management of Rocky Mountain grizzly bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mattson, D.J.; Herrero, S.; Wright, R.G.; Pease, C.M.

    1996-01-01

    The science and management of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) in the Rocky Mountains of North America have spawned considerable conflict and controversy. Much of this can be attributed to divergent public values, but the narrow perceptions and incomplete and fragmented problem definitions of those involved have exacerbated an inherently difficult situation. We present a conceptual model that extends the traditional description of the grizzly bear conservation system to include facets of the human domain such as the behavior of managers, elected officials, and the public. The model focuses on human-caused mortality, the key determinant of grizzly bear population growth in this region and the interactions and feedback loops among humans that have a major potential influence on bear mortality. We also briefly evaluate existing information and technical methods relevant to understanding this complex human-biophysical system. We observe not only that the extant knowledge is insufficient for prediction (and in some cases for description), but also that traditional positivistic science alone is not adequate for dealing with the problems of grizzly bear conservation. We recommend changes in science and management that could improve learning and responsiveness among the involved individuals and organizations, clarify some existing uncertainty, and thereby increase the effectiveness of grizzly bear conservation and management. Although adaptive management is a promising approach, we point out some keya??as yet unfulfilleda??contingencies for implementation of a method such as this one that relies upon social processes and structures that promote open learning and flexibility in all facets of the policy process.

  9. Isotopes in North American Rocky Mountain Snowpack 1993-2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Lesleigh; Berkelhammer, Max; Mast, M. Alisa

    2016-01-01

    We present ∼1300 new isotopic measurements (δ18O and δ2H) from a network of snowpack sites in the Rocky Mountains that have been sampled since 1993. The network includes 177 locations where depth-integrated snow samples are collected each spring near peak accumulation. At 57 of these locations snowpack samples were obtained for 10-21 years and their isotopic measurements provide unprecedented spatial and temporal documentation of snowpack isotope values at mid-latitudes. For environments where snowfall accounts for the majority of annual precipitation, snowmelt is likely to have the strongest influence on isotope values retained in proxy archives. In this first presentation of the dataset we (1) describe the basic features of the isotope values in relation to the Global Meteoric Water Line (GMWL), (2) evaluate space for time substitutions traditionally used to establish δ18O-temperature relations, (3) evaluate site-to-site similarities across the network and identify those that are the most regionally representative, (4) examine atmospheric circulation patterns for several years with spatially coherent isotope patterns, and (5) provide examples of the implications this new dataset has for interpreting paleoclimate records (Bison Lake, Colorado and Minnetonka Cave, Idaho). Results indicate that snowpack δ18O is rarely a simple proxy of temperature. Instead, it exhibits a high degree of spatial heterogeneity and temporal variance that reflect additional processes such as vapor transport and post-depositional modification. Despite these complexities we identify consistent climate-isotope patterns and regionally representative locations that serve to better define Holocene hydroclimate estimates and their uncertainty. Climate change has and will affect western U.S. snowpack and we suggest these changes can be better understood and anticipated by oxygen and hydrogen isotope-based reconstructions of Holocene hydroclimate using a process-based understanding of the

  10. Isotopes in Rocky Mountain Snowpack 1993-2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, L.; Berkelhammer, M. B.; Mast, A.

    2015-12-01

    We present ~1300 new isotopic measurements (δ18O and δ2H) from a network of snowpack sites in the Rocky Mountains (IRMS) that have been sampled since 1993. The network includes 177 locations where depth-integrated snow samples are collected each spring near peak accumulation. At 57 of these locations snowpack samples were obtained for 10 to 21 years and their isotopic measurements provide unprecedented spatial and temporal documentation of snowpack isotope values at mid-latitudes. For environments where snowfall accounts for the majority of annual precipitation, snowmelt is likely to have the strongest influence on isotope values retained in proxy archives. In this first presentation of the dataset we (1) describe the basic features of the isotope values in relation to the Global Meteoric Water Line (GMWL), (2) evaluate space for time substitutions traditionally used to establish δ18O-temperature relations, (3) evaluate site-to-site similarities across the network and identify those that are the most regionally representative, (4) examine atmospheric circulation patterns for several years with spatially coherent isotope patterns, and (5) provide examples of the implications this new dataset has for interpreting paleoclimate records (Bison Lake, Colorado and Minnetonka Cave, Idaho). Results indicate that snowpack δ18O is rarely a simple proxy of temperature. Instead, it exhibits a high degree of spatial heterogeneity and temporal variance that reflect additional processes such as vapor transport and post-depositional modification. Despite these complexities we identify consistent climate-isotope patterns and regionally representative locations that serve to better define Holocene hydroclimate estimates and their uncertainty. Climate change has and will affect western U.S. snowpack and we suggest these changes can be better understood and anticipated by hydrogen and oxygen isotope-based reconstructions of Holocene hydroclimate using a process-based understanding

  11. Habitat selection of Rocky Mountain elk in a nonforested environment

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sawyer, H.; Nielson, R.M.; Lindzey, F.G.; Keith, L.; Powell, J.H.; Abraham, A.A.

    2007-01-01

    Recent expansions by Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) into nonforested habitats across the Intermountain West have required managers to reconsider the traditional paradigms of forage and cover as they relate to managing elk and their habitats. We examined seasonal habitat selection patterns of a hunted elk population in a nonforested high-desert region of southwestern Wyoming, USA. We used 35,246 global positioning system locations collected from 33 adult female elk to model probability of use as a function of 6 habitat variables: slope, aspect, elevation, habitat diversity, distance to shrub cover, and distance to road. We developed resource selection probability functions for individual elk, and then we averaged the coefficients to estimate population-level models for summer and winter periods. We used the population-level models to generate predictive maps by assigning pixels across the study area to 1 of 4 use categories (i.e., high, medium-high, medium-low, or low), based on quartiles of the predictions. Model coefficients and predictive maps indicated that elk selected for summer habitats characterized by higher elevations in areas of high vegetative diversity, close to shrub cover, northerly aspects, moderate slopes, and away from roads. Winter habitat selection patterns were similar, except elk shifted to areas with lower elevations and southerly aspects. We validated predictive maps by using 528 locations collected from an independent sample of radiomarked elk (n = 55) and calculating the proportion of locations that occurred in each of the 4 use categories. Together, the high- and medium-high use categories of the summer and winter predictive maps contained 92% and 74% of summer and winter elk locations, respectively. Our population-level models and associated predictive maps were successful in predicting winter and summer habitat use by elk in a nonforested environment. In the absence of forest cover, elk seemed to rely on a combination of shrubs

  12. Rocky Mountain snowpack chemistry at selected sites for 2001

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ingersoll, George P.; Mast, M. Alisa; Clow, David W.; Nanus, Leora; Campbell, Donald H.; Handran, Heather

    2003-01-01

    Because regional-scale atmospheric deposition data in the Rocky Mountains are sparse, a program was designed by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, and other agencies, to more thoroughly determine the chemical composition of precipitation and to identify sources of atmospherically deposited contaminants in a network of high-elevation sites. Samples of seasonal snowpacks at 57 geographically distributed sites, in a regional network from New Mexico to Montana, were collected and analyzed for major ions (including ammonium, nitrate, and sulfate), alkalinity, and dissolved organic carbon during 2001. Sites selected in this report have been sampled annually since 1993, enabling identification of increases or decreases in chemical concentrations from year to year. Spatial patterns in snowpack-chemical data for concentrations of ammonium, nitrate, and sulfate indicate that concentrations of these acid precursors in less developed areas of the region are lower than concentrations in the heavily developed areas. Results for the 2001 snowpack-chemistry analyses, however, indicate increases in concentrations of ammonium and nitrate in particular at sites where past concentrations typically were lower. Since 1993, concentrations of nitrate and sulfate were highest from snowpack samples in northern Colorado that were collected from sites adjacent to the Denver metropolitan area to the east and the coal-fired powerplants to the west. In 2001, relatively high concentrations of nitrate (12.3 to 23.0 microequivalents per liter (?eq/L) and sulfate (7.7 to 12.5 ?eq/L) were detected in Montana and Wyoming. Ammonium concentrations were highest in north-central Colorado (14.5 to 16.9 ?eq/L) and southwestern Montana (12.8 to 14.2 ?eq/L).

  13. Water Table Dynamics of a Rocky Mountain Riparian Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westbrook, C. J.

    2009-05-01

    Riparian areas in mountain valleys serve as collection points for local precipitation, hillslope runoff, deeper groundwater, and channel water. Little is known about how complex hydrological interactions among these water sources govern riparian water table dynamics, particularly on an event basis partly owing to a lack of high frequency spatial and temporal data. Herein I describe the magnitude and rate of change of groundwater storage in a 1.3 km2 Canadian Rocky Mountain peat riparian area. Weekly manual measurement of hydraulic heads in a network of 51 water table wells during the summers of 2006 and 2007 showed large temporal and spatial variations in well response. A near constant increase in the spatial heterogeneity of the water table was observed as the riparian area dried. Cluster analysis and principle components analysis were performed on these weekly data to objectively classify the riparian area into spatial response units. Results were classification of the standpipes into five distinct water table regimes. One well representing each water table regime was outfitted with a sensor in 2008 that measured hourly head, which was used to characterize temporal dynamics of water table response. In spring, snowmelt runoff combined with an ice lens 20-30 cm below the ground surface led to consistently high water tables throughout the riparian area. In summer, the water table fell throughout the riparian in response to declining hillslope inputs and increased evaporative demand, but rates of decline were highly variable among the water table regimes. Chloride concentrations suggest variability reflects differences in the degree to which the water table regimes are influenced by stream stage, hillslope inputs, and proximity to beaver dams. Water table regime responses to rain events were flashy, with dramatic rises and falls (up to 20 cm) in short periods of time (<30 h), suggesting the unsaturated soil was near saturation. The stream was considerably more

  14. Body mass and antler development patterns of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) in Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bender, L.C.; Carlson, E.; Schmitt, S.M.; Haufler, J.B.

    2003-01-01

    We documented mean and maximum body mass, mass accretion patterns and ander development patterns of Rocky Mountain elk in Michigan. Mean body mass of bulls averaged 9-11% heavier, and maximum body mass 23-27% heavier, in Michigan than in other Rocky Mountain elk populations. Mean live body mass of cows averaged 11% heavier in Michigan, but mean eviscerated body mass did not differ. Maximum body mass of cows was 10-24% heavier in Michigan. Body mass peaked at age 7.5 for bulls and 8.5 for cows, similar to other Rocky Mountain elk populations despite the greater body mass achieved in Michigan. Sexual dimorphism in bull and cow body mass increased until peak body mass was attained, whereupon bulls were ???38% heavier than cows. Antler development of bull elk peaked at age 10.5, comparable to other Rocky Mountain elk populations. Relations between antler development and body mass within age classes were highly variable, but generally weak. Greater body mass seen in Michigan, and the peaking of antler development well after body mass in bulls, suggested a phenotypic response to nutritional conditions that allow Rocky Mountain elk in Michigan to maximize the species growth potential.

  15. Climate insensitivity of treeline in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, E. A.; Macias Fauria, M.

    2011-12-01

    Successful modelling efforts demonstrate that tree presence over a ~ 200 km2 alpine/subalpine area in the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rocky Mountains results from a multi-scale spatiotemporal process competition involving not only growing season temperatures but also topographical shelter, water availability, and substrate stability and availability. The study area was selected to represent the diversity of substrates and geomorphologic processes found in the Canadian Rockies, and ranges in elevation from 1400 to > 2800 meters above sea level. Tree presence was mapped at 10m resolution using a combination of remote sensing imagery (taken in 2008) and intensive ground truthing, and modelled with an ensemble of state-of-the-art environmental envelope models. Explanatory variables chosen represented not only temperature and moisture availability (computed over 1971-2000 climate normals), but also substrate diversity, slope angle and type, geomorphologic features, modelled regolith depth, and concavity/convexity of the terrain. Such variables were meant to serve as proxies for known convergent and divergent processes that occur on steep landscapes and that have profound influence on tree establishment and survival. Model performance was very high and revealed substrate and geomorphology to be the most important explanatory variables for tree presence in the area. Available high-resolution imagery for 1954 enabled the mapping of tree presence over most of the study area and the identification of changes in the distribution of trees over the last nearly six decades. Overall, the only major observed changes were related to post-fire stand recovery, and areas with treeline advance were insignificant at the landscape scale. Tree suitable sites were projected onto high resolution grids of late 21st century climatic conditions predicted by regional climate models driven by atmosphere-ocean general circulation models. Emissions scenario was A2 (as defined in the Special

  16. Impact of rock uplift on rates of late Cenozoic Rocky Mountain river incision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riihimaki, Catherine A.; Anderson, Robert S.; Safran, Elizabeth B.

    2007-09-01

    The high relief of the modern Rocky Mountain landscape formed in the late Cenozoic by downcutting of a fluvial network that links a series of easily eroded sedimentary basins across relatively resistant crystalline cores of adjacent ranges. Using a numerical model of fluvial erosion and the flexural isostatic response to the associated unloading, we first calculate the expected pattern and pace of incision caused by rock uplift related to migration of the Yellowstone hot spot and to growth of the northern portion of the Rio Grande rift. Calculated incision rates are <60 m/Myr, and total depth of erosion of sedimentary basins is <300 m, well below the long-term incision rates and amounts of erosion interpreted from the geologic record. Broad-scale tilting of the region toward the east, accomplished by a gradient in rock uplift of ˜1 km along the north-south axis of the central Rockies, declining to zero 1000 km to the east, can account for the additional erosion needed to match observations. In each modeling scenario, stream incision is nonsteady, with rock uplift outpacing erosion for <1 Myr in perimeter basins and 1-5 Myr in interior basins. Three factors dominate the spatial and temporal pattern of regional landscape evolution: (1) the time since uplift began, (2) the uplift pattern, and (3) the distribution of relatively resistant bedrock within the region. Our results suggest that the spatial variability in late Cenozoic exhumation can be explained by a long-lived transience in the stream network response to these various late Cenozoic geophysical events.

  17. A Natural Resource Condition Assessment for Rocky Mountain National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Theobald, D.M.; Baron, J.S.; Newman, P.; Noon, B.; Norman, J. B.; Leinwand, I.; Linn, S.E.; Sherer, R.; Williams, K.E.; Hartman, M.

    2010-01-01

    We conducted a natural resource assessment of Rocky Mountain National Park (ROMO) to provide a synthesis of existing scientific data and knowledge to address the current conditions for a subset of important park natural resources. The intent is for this report to help provide park resource managers with data and information, particularly in the form of spatially-explicit maps and GIS databases, about those natural resources and to place emerging issues within a local, regional, national, or global context. With an advisory team, we identified the following condition indicators that would be useful to assess the condition of the park: Air and Climate: Condition of alpine lakes and atmospheric deposition Water: Extent and connectivity of wetland and riparian areas Biotic Integrity: Extent of exotic terrestrial plant species, extent of fish distributions, and extent of suitable beaver habitat Landscapes: Extent and pattern of major ecological systems and natural landscapes connectivity These indicators are summarized in the following pages. We also developed two maps of important issues for use by park managers: visitor use (thru accessibility modeling) and proportion of watersheds affected by beetle kill. Based on our analysis, we believe that there is a high degree of concern for the following indicators: condition of alpine lakes; extent and connectivity of riparian/wetland areas; extent of exotic terrestrial plants (especially below 9,500’); extent of fish distributions; extent of suitable beaver habitat; and natural landscapes and connectivity. We found a low degree of concern for: the extent and pattern of major ecological systems. The indicators and issues were also summarized by the 34 watershed units (HUC12) within the park. Generally, we found six watersheds to be in “pristine” condition: Black Canyon Creek, Comanche Creek, Middle Saint Vrain Creek, South Fork of the Cache la Poudre, Buchanan Creek, and East Inlet. Four watersheds were found to have

  18. 76 FR 77224 - Rocky Mountain Natural Gas LLC; Notice of Petition for Rate Approval and Revised Statement of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-12

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Rocky Mountain Natural Gas LLC; Notice of Petition for Rate Approval and Revised Statement of Operating Conditions Take notice that on November 30, 2011, Rocky Mountain...

  19. Professional School Counseling in the Rocky Mountain Region: Graduation Rates of CACREP vs. Non-CACREP Accredited Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hancock, Mary D.; Boes, Susan R.; Snow, Brent M.; Chibbaro, Julia S.

    2010-01-01

    School Counseling in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States was explored with a focus on the production of professional school counselors in the Rocky Mountain region of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (RMACES). Comparisons of program graduates are made by state and program as well as by accreditation status. State…

  20. Characterization of Most Promising Sequestration Formations in the Rocky Mountain Region (RMCCS)

    SciTech Connect

    McPherson, Brian; Matthews, Vince

    2013-09-30

    The primary objective of the “Characterization of Most Promising Carbon Capture and Sequestration Formations in the Central Rocky Mountain Region” project, or RMCCS project, is to characterize the storage potential of the most promising geologic sequestration formations within the southwestern U.S. and the Central Rocky Mountain region in particular. The approach included an analysis of geologic sequestration formations under the Craig Power Station in northwestern Colorado, and application or extrapolation of those local-scale results to the broader region. A ten-step protocol for geologic carbon storage site characterization was a primary outcome of this project.

  1. Paratuberculosis (Johne's disease) in bighorn sheep and a Rocky Mountain goat in Colorado.

    PubMed

    Williams, E S; Spraker, T R; Schoonveld, G G

    1979-04-01

    Between May, 1972 and February, 1978, six cases of paratuberculosis (Johne's Disease) caused by Mycobacterium paratuberculosis were diagnosed in free-ranging Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) and one Rocky Mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) on or near Mt. Evans in Colorado. Diagnosis of paratuberculosis was based on gross and histopathologic examination of the animals and by isolation of M. paratuberculosis from three sheep and the goat. The clinical signs and pathologic changes seen in the bighorn sheep resembled those described in cattle, while the lesions in the goat were similar to those described for domestic sheep and goats.

  2. Labs in the field? Rocky mountain biological stations in the early twentieth century.

    PubMed

    Vetter, Jeremy

    2012-01-01

    Biological field stations proliferated in the Rocky Mountains region of the western United States during the early decades of the twentieth century. This essay examines these Rocky Mountain field stations as hybrid lab-field sites from the perspective of the field side of the dichotomy: as field sites with raised walls rather than as laboratories whose walls with the natural world have been lowered. Not only were these field stations transformed to be more like laboratories, but they were also embedded within the particular regional environmental and institutional context of the Rocky Mountains. Using the University of Colorado's Mountain Laboratory at Tolland and other contemporaneous sites as examples, this essay analyzes key features of these sites, including their location within transportation networks, buildings, equipment, personnel, scheduling, recreational and social activities, and other material and social practices on the ground. Considering both the distinctive and shared characteristics of the Rocky Mountain field stations in comparison to other types of field stations provides a more complete picture of the diversity and range of lab-field hybrid sites in the biological sciences in the early twentieth-century United States. PMID:21858531

  3. Mountain Pine Beetle Host Selection Between Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pines in the Southern Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    West, Daniel R; Briggs, Jennifer S; Jacobi, William R; Negrón, José F

    2016-02-01

    Recent evidence of range expansion and host transition by mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins; MPB) has suggested that MPB may not primarily breed in their natal host, but will switch hosts to an alternate tree species. As MPB populations expanded in lodgepole pine forests in the southern Rocky Mountains, we investigated the potential for movement into adjacent ponderosa pine forests. We conducted field and laboratory experiments to evaluate four aspects of MPB population dynamics and host selection behavior in the two hosts: emergence timing, sex ratios, host choice, and reproductive success. We found that peak MPB emergence from both hosts occurred simultaneously between late July and early August, and the sex ratio of emerging beetles did not differ between hosts. In two direct tests of MPB host selection, we identified a strong preference by MPB for ponderosa versus lodgepole pine. At field sites, we captured naturally emerging beetles from both natal hosts in choice arenas containing logs of both species. In the laboratory, we offered sections of bark and phloem from both species to individual insects in bioassays. In both tests, insects infested ponderosa over lodgepole pine at a ratio of almost 2:1, regardless of natal host species. Reproductive success (offspring/female) was similar in colonized logs of both hosts. Overall, our findings suggest that MPB may exhibit equally high rates of infestation and fecundity in an alternate host under favorable conditions. PMID:26546596

  4. How the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) breached the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Janes, Jasmine K; Li, Yisu; Keeling, Christopher I; Yuen, Macaire M S; Boone, Celia K; Cooke, Janice E K; Bohlmann, Joerg; Huber, Dezene P W; Murray, Brent W; Coltman, David W; Sperling, Felix A H

    2014-07-01

    The mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins), a major pine forest pest native to western North America, has extended its range north and eastward during an ongoing outbreak. Determining how the MPB has expanded its range to breach putative barriers, whether physical (nonforested prairie and high elevation of the Rocky Mountains) or climatic (extreme continental climate where temperatures can be below -40 °C), may contribute to our general understanding of range changes as well as management of the current epidemic. Here, we use a panel of 1,536 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to assess population genetic structure, connectivity, and signals of selection within this MPB range expansion. Biallelic SNPs in MPB from southwestern Canada revealed higher genetic differentiation and lower genetic connectivity than in the northern part of its range. A total of 208 unique SNPs were identified using different outlier detection tests, of which 32 returned annotations for products with putative functions in cholesterol synthesis, actin filament contraction, and membrane transport. We suggest that MPB has been able to spread beyond its previous range by adjusting its cellular and metabolic functions, with genome scale differentiation enabling populations to better withstand cooler climates and facilitate longer dispersal distances. Our study is the first to assess landscape-wide selective adaptation in an insect. We have shown that interrogation of genomic resources can identify shifts in genetic diversity and putative adaptive signals in this forest pest species. PMID:24803641

  5. How the Mountain Pine Beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) Breached the Canadian Rocky Mountains

    PubMed Central

    Janes, Jasmine K.; Li, Yisu; Keeling, Christopher I.; Yuen, Macaire M.S.; Boone, Celia K.; Cooke, Janice E.K.; Bohlmann, Joerg; Huber, Dezene P.W.; Murray, Brent W.; Coltman, David W.; Sperling, Felix A.H.

    2014-01-01

    The mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins), a major pine forest pest native to western North America, has extended its range north and eastward during an ongoing outbreak. Determining how the MPB has expanded its range to breach putative barriers, whether physical (nonforested prairie and high elevation of the Rocky Mountains) or climatic (extreme continental climate where temperatures can be below −40 °C), may contribute to our general understanding of range changes as well as management of the current epidemic. Here, we use a panel of 1,536 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to assess population genetic structure, connectivity, and signals of selection within this MPB range expansion. Biallelic SNPs in MPB from southwestern Canada revealed higher genetic differentiation and lower genetic connectivity than in the northern part of its range. A total of 208 unique SNPs were identified using different outlier detection tests, of which 32 returned annotations for products with putative functions in cholesterol synthesis, actin filament contraction, and membrane transport. We suggest that MPB has been able to spread beyond its previous range by adjusting its cellular and metabolic functions, with genome scale differentiation enabling populations to better withstand cooler climates and facilitate longer dispersal distances. Our study is the first to assess landscape-wide selective adaptation in an insect. We have shown that interrogation of genomic resources can identify shifts in genetic diversity and putative adaptive signals in this forest pest species. PMID:24803641

  6. Mountain Pine Beetle Host Selection Between Lodgepole and Ponderosa Pines in the Southern Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    West, Daniel R; Briggs, Jennifer S; Jacobi, William R; Negrón, José F

    2016-02-01

    Recent evidence of range expansion and host transition by mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins; MPB) has suggested that MPB may not primarily breed in their natal host, but will switch hosts to an alternate tree species. As MPB populations expanded in lodgepole pine forests in the southern Rocky Mountains, we investigated the potential for movement into adjacent ponderosa pine forests. We conducted field and laboratory experiments to evaluate four aspects of MPB population dynamics and host selection behavior in the two hosts: emergence timing, sex ratios, host choice, and reproductive success. We found that peak MPB emergence from both hosts occurred simultaneously between late July and early August, and the sex ratio of emerging beetles did not differ between hosts. In two direct tests of MPB host selection, we identified a strong preference by MPB for ponderosa versus lodgepole pine. At field sites, we captured naturally emerging beetles from both natal hosts in choice arenas containing logs of both species. In the laboratory, we offered sections of bark and phloem from both species to individual insects in bioassays. In both tests, insects infested ponderosa over lodgepole pine at a ratio of almost 2:1, regardless of natal host species. Reproductive success (offspring/female) was similar in colonized logs of both hosts. Overall, our findings suggest that MPB may exhibit equally high rates of infestation and fecundity in an alternate host under favorable conditions.

  7. How the mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) breached the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Janes, Jasmine K; Li, Yisu; Keeling, Christopher I; Yuen, Macaire M S; Boone, Celia K; Cooke, Janice E K; Bohlmann, Joerg; Huber, Dezene P W; Murray, Brent W; Coltman, David W; Sperling, Felix A H

    2014-07-01

    The mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins), a major pine forest pest native to western North America, has extended its range north and eastward during an ongoing outbreak. Determining how the MPB has expanded its range to breach putative barriers, whether physical (nonforested prairie and high elevation of the Rocky Mountains) or climatic (extreme continental climate where temperatures can be below -40 °C), may contribute to our general understanding of range changes as well as management of the current epidemic. Here, we use a panel of 1,536 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to assess population genetic structure, connectivity, and signals of selection within this MPB range expansion. Biallelic SNPs in MPB from southwestern Canada revealed higher genetic differentiation and lower genetic connectivity than in the northern part of its range. A total of 208 unique SNPs were identified using different outlier detection tests, of which 32 returned annotations for products with putative functions in cholesterol synthesis, actin filament contraction, and membrane transport. We suggest that MPB has been able to spread beyond its previous range by adjusting its cellular and metabolic functions, with genome scale differentiation enabling populations to better withstand cooler climates and facilitate longer dispersal distances. Our study is the first to assess landscape-wide selective adaptation in an insect. We have shown that interrogation of genomic resources can identify shifts in genetic diversity and putative adaptive signals in this forest pest species.

  8. Indicators for elevated risk of human exposure to host-seeking adults of the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni) in Colorado.

    PubMed

    Eisen, Lars; Ibarra-Juarez, Luis A; Eisen, Rebecca J; Piesman, Joseph

    2008-06-01

    The human-biting adult stage of the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni) can cause tick paralysis in humans and domestic animals and is the primary tick vector in the intermountain west of the pathogens causing Colorado tick fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tularemia. We conducted drag sampling studies in Poudre Canyon and Rocky Mountain National Park of Larimer County, CO, to determine microhabitat use patterns by host-seeking D. andersoni adults and find environmental factors signaling elevated risk of tick exposure. Big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) was found to serve as a general indicator of areas with elevated risk of exposure to host-seeking D. andersoni adults; this likely results from a shared climate tolerance of big sagebrush and D. andersoni. Grass was the favored substrate for host-seeking ticks. Drag sampling of open grass or grass bordering rock or shrub produced abundances of D. andersoni adults significantly higher than sampling of brush. Sampling sites in Rocky Mountain National Park, relative to Poudre Canyon, were characterized by more intense usage by elk (Cervus elaphus) but decreased brush coverage, smaller brush size, and lower abundances of host-seeking D. andersoni adults. There has been a tremendous increase in the population of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park over the last decades and we speculate that this has resulted in an ecological cascade where overgrazing of vegetation by elk is followed by suppression of rodent populations, decreased tick abundance, and, ultimately, reduced risk of human exposure to D. andersoni and its associated pathogens. PMID:18697314

  9. Ground-water reconnaissance of selected sites in Rocky Mountain National Park and Shadow Mountain National Recreation area, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welder, F.A.

    1971-01-01

    An evaluation of the ground-water supply potential at 30 sites within the Rocky Mountain National Park and Shadow Mountain National Recreation Area was made by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1967 and 1968. The work consisted of a geohydrologic reconnaissance, well inventory, and test drilling. The study sites are underlain by. Precambrian crystalline rocks, Tertiary sediments, or Quaternary glacial and alluvial deposits. The crystalline rocks are generally poor aquifers; however, some wells intercepting fractures may yield as much as 10 gallons per minute from wells 100 to 200 feet deep. Wells drilled in Tertiary sandstones to a depth of 50 to 500 feet may supply 1 to 50 gallons per minute. Wells drilled in unconsolidated glacial and alluvial deposits of Quaternary age yield the largest supplies of ground water in the Rocky Mountain National Park. These deposits commonly can supply 5 to 100 gallons per minute to wells.

  10. THE EFFECTS OF ELEVATED METALS ON BENTHIC COMMUNITY METABOLISM IN A ROCKY MOUNTAIN STREAM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effects of elevated metals (dissolved Zn, Mn and/or Fe) in a Rocky Mountain stream were assessed using measures of primary productivity, community respiration and water-column toxicity. Primary productivity was measured as rates of O2 evolution from natural substrates incubat...

  11. Effect of lunar phase on diurnal activity of Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus Elaphus Nelsonii)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsonii) are important components in many ecosystems across the western US and are integral with both Native American and contemporary western culture. They are prized by hunters and are the object of countless works of art. These magnificent creatures are studi...

  12. A Field Trip to the Rocky Mountains to Teach Undergraduate Ecology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Neil, Lyman; Skelton, Jerry

    1994-01-01

    Diverts from the traditional approach to teaching ecology and moves toward a more interdisciplinary approach by engaging students in a field trip to the Rocky Mountains. Using examples and insights, the author describes and identifies opportunities for promoting knowledge, understanding, and awareness of the environment and its surroundings. (ZWH)

  13. Adolescent Drug Use in Three Small Rural Communities in the Rocky Mountain Region.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swaim, Randall; And Others

    1986-01-01

    Differences were found among three small Rocky Mountain towns in both lifetime prevalence and frequency of occurrence of different types of drug users, indicating that small, rural communities are likely to develop idiosyncratic patterns of drug use. These differences were more evident among eighth-grade than among twelfth-grade students.…

  14. Survey of Multiply Handicapped, Visually Impaired Children in the Rocky Mountain/Great Plains Region.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gates, Carmella Ficociello

    1985-01-01

    A survey of visually impaired children (from birth to age 12) in the Rocky Mountain/Great Plains region indicated that the majority were multiply handicapped, and that within this group, the greatest number were in the mild to moderate range. Data are presented on age ranges, current service delivery options, vocational and alternative-living…

  15. The characterization and manipulation of the bacterial microbiome of the Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: In North America, ticks are the most economically impactful vectors of human and animal pathogens. The Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni (Acari: Ixodidae), transmits Rickettsia rickettsii and Anaplasma marginale to humans and cattle, respectively. In recent years, studies h...

  16. Association analysis of PRNP gene region with chronic wasting disease in Rocky Mountain elk

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background: Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of cervids including whitetail (Odocoileus virginianus) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni), and moose (Alces alces). A leucine variant at position 132 (132L) in...

  17. Current and historical deposition of PBDEs, pesticides, PCBs, and PAHs to Rocky Mountain National Park

    EPA Science Inventory

    An analytical method was developed for the trace analysis of 98 semi-volatile organic compounds (SOCs) in remote, high elevation lake sediment. Sediment cores from Lone Pine Lake (West of the Continental Divide) and Mills Lake (East of the Continental Divide) in Rocky Mountain Na...

  18. Rocky Mountain Regional Resource Center: An Overview. Volume I of III. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buffmire, Judy Ann

    The first of three volumes on the Rocky Mountain Regional Resource Center provides an overview of the Center's functioning from its inception in 1970 through 1974. A perspective is provided on regional resource centers (RRC) in general, including such aspects as the educational system's link to an RRC and the relationship of the RRC to the…

  19. National coal resource assessment: Fort Union coals of the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains

    SciTech Connect

    Flores, R.M.; Bader, L.R.; Ellis, M.S. |

    1996-12-31

    The present investigation assesses geologic controls on the distribution, resource occurrence, and quality of the Paleocene Fort Union and equivalent coals in the northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. Results of this investigation will assist in predicting areas wit h high quality coals that will be available for development. Published products will include digital output and hard copy readily accessible for analysis and utilization.

  20. Geographic patterns of genetic variation and population structure in Pinus aristata, Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pinus aristata Engelm., Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine, has a narrow core geographic and elevational distribution, occurs in disjunct populations and is threatened by multiple stresses, including rapid climate change, white pine blister rust, and bark beetles. Knowledge of genetic diversity and pop...

  1. Spatiotemporal patterns of mountain pine beetle activity in the southern Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Teresa B; Veblen, Thomas T; Schoennagel, Tania

    2012-10-01

    The current mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak in the southern Rocky Mountains has impacted approximately 750 000 ha of forest. Weather and habitat heterogeneity influence forest insect population dynamics at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Comparison of forest insect population dynamics in two principal host species may elucidate the relative contribution of weather and landscape factors in initiating and driving extensive outbreaks. To investigate potential drivers of the current MPB outbreak, we compared broadscale spatiotemporal patterns of MPB activity in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) from 1996 to 2010 in Colorado and southern Wyoming with regional weather fluctuations, and then tracked the annual meso-scale progression of the epidemic in lodgepole pine with respect to weather, topographic, previous MPB activity, and forest stand attributes. MPB activity in lodgepole pine compared to ponderosa pine showed higher magnitude and extent of spatial synchrony. Warm temperatures and low annual precipitation favorable to beetle populations showed high regional synchrony across areas of both pine species, suggesting that habitat interacts with weather in synchronizing MPB populations. Cluster analysis of time series patterns identified multiple, disjunct locations of incipient MPB activity (epicenters) in lodgepole pine, which overlapped an earlier 1980s MPB outbreak, and suggests a regional trigger (drought) across this homogenous forest type. Negative departures from mean annual precipitation played a key role in subsequent spread of MPB outbreak. Development of the outbreak was also associated with lower elevations, greater dominance by lodgepole pine, stands of larger tree size, and stands with higher percentage canopy cover. After epidemic levels of MPB activity were attained, MPB activity was less strongly associated with stand and weather variables. These results emphasize the importance of

  2. Spatiotemporal patterns of mountain pine beetle activity in the southern Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Teresa B; Veblen, Thomas T; Schoennagel, Tania

    2012-10-01

    The current mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreak in the southern Rocky Mountains has impacted approximately 750 000 ha of forest. Weather and habitat heterogeneity influence forest insect population dynamics at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Comparison of forest insect population dynamics in two principal host species may elucidate the relative contribution of weather and landscape factors in initiating and driving extensive outbreaks. To investigate potential drivers of the current MPB outbreak, we compared broadscale spatiotemporal patterns of MPB activity in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) from 1996 to 2010 in Colorado and southern Wyoming with regional weather fluctuations, and then tracked the annual meso-scale progression of the epidemic in lodgepole pine with respect to weather, topographic, previous MPB activity, and forest stand attributes. MPB activity in lodgepole pine compared to ponderosa pine showed higher magnitude and extent of spatial synchrony. Warm temperatures and low annual precipitation favorable to beetle populations showed high regional synchrony across areas of both pine species, suggesting that habitat interacts with weather in synchronizing MPB populations. Cluster analysis of time series patterns identified multiple, disjunct locations of incipient MPB activity (epicenters) in lodgepole pine, which overlapped an earlier 1980s MPB outbreak, and suggests a regional trigger (drought) across this homogenous forest type. Negative departures from mean annual precipitation played a key role in subsequent spread of MPB outbreak. Development of the outbreak was also associated with lower elevations, greater dominance by lodgepole pine, stands of larger tree size, and stands with higher percentage canopy cover. After epidemic levels of MPB activity were attained, MPB activity was less strongly associated with stand and weather variables. These results emphasize the importance of

  3. Rocky Mountain snowpack chemistry network; history, methods, and the importance of monitoring mountain ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ingersoll, George P.; Turk, John T.; Mast, M. Alisa; Clow, David W.; Campbell, Donald H.; Bailey, Zelda C.

    2002-01-01

    Because regional-scale atmospheric deposition data in the Rocky Mountains are sparse, a program was designed by the U.S. Geological Survey to more thoroughly determine the quality of precipitation and to identify sources of atmospherically deposited pollution in a network of high-elevation sites. Depth-integrated samples of seasonal snowpacks at 52 sampling sites, in a network from New Mexico to Montana, were collected and analyzed each year since 1993. The results of the first 5 years (1993?97) of the program are discussed in this report. Spatial patterns in regional data have emerged from the geographically distributed chemical concentrations of ammonium, nitrate, and sulfate that clearly indicate that concentrations of these acid precursors in less developed areas of the region are lower than concentrations in the heavily developed areas. Snowpacks in northern Colorado that lie adjacent to both the highly developed Denver metropolitan area to the east and coal-fired powerplants to the west had the highest overall concentrations of nitrate and sulfate in the network. Ammonium concentrations were highest in northwestern Wyoming and southern Montana.

  4. Impact of horse traffic on trails in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Summer, R.M.

    1980-01-01

    Disturbances related to the impact of horses on trails in Rocky Mountain National Park vary across the landscape. Geomorphic monitoring of permanent sites suggests that horse traffic is not the single, dominant process active on trails, nor is degredation always a direct result of horse use. Instead, amounts and rates of change are a function of geomorphic and biologic characteristics of the terrain interacting with horse traffic of varying degrees. The most influential landscape factors governing trail deteriortion, rockiness, stoniness, vegetation, and drainage. - from Author

  5. Assessment of lake sensitivity to acidic deposition in national parks of the Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nanus, L.; Williams, M.W.; Campbell, D.H.; Tonnessen, K.A.; Blett, T.; Clow, D.W.

    2009-01-01

    The sensitivity of high-elevation lakes to acidic deposition was evaluated in five national parks of the Rocky Mountains based on statistical relations between lake acid-neutralizing capacity concentrations and basin characteristics. Acid-neutralizing capacity (ANC) of 151 lakes sampled during synoptic surveys and basin-characteristic information derived from geographic information system (GIS) data sets were used to calibrate the statistical models. The explanatory basin variables that were considered included topographic parameters, bedrock type, and vegetation type. A logistic regression model was developed, and modeling results were cross-validated through lake sampling during fall 2004 at 58 lakes. The model was applied to lake basins greater than 1 ha in area in Glacier National Park (n = 244 lakes), Grand Teton National Park (n = 106 lakes), Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (n = 11 lakes), Rocky Mountain National Park (n = 114 lakes), and Yellowstone National Park (n = 294 lakes). Lakes that had a high probability of having an ANC concentration 3000 m, with 80% of the catchment bedrock having low buffering capacity. The modeling results indicate that the most sensitive lakes are located in Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Teton National Park. This technique for evaluating the lake sensitivity to acidic deposition is useful for designing long-term monitoring plans and is potentially transferable to other remote mountain areas of the United States and the world.

  6. Mummy cave: prehistoric record from rocky mountains of wyoming.

    PubMed

    Wedel, W R; Husted, W M; Moss, J H

    1968-04-12

    Archeological materials from 8.5 meters of deposits in a stratified rock shelter in the Absaroka Mountains near Yellowstone National Park provide a projectile point sequence and cultutral record beginning more than 9000 years ago, and include evidence of human occupation durnig the Altithermal period. PMID:17740426

  7. Wind energy resource atlas. Volume 8. The southern Rocky Mountain region

    SciTech Connect

    Andersen, S.R.; Freeman, D.L.; Hadley, D.L.; Elliott, D.L.; Barchet, W.R.; George, R.L.

    1981-03-01

    The Southern Rocky Mountain atlas assimilates five collections of wind resource data: one for the region and one for each of the four states that compose the Southern Rocky Mountain region (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah). At the state level, features of the climate, topography and wind resource are discussed in greater detail than is provided in the regional discussion, and the data locations on which the assessment is based are mapped. Variations, over several time scales, in the wind resource at selected stations in each state are shown on graphs of monthly average and interannual wind speed and power, and hourly average wind speed for each season. Other graphs present speed, direction, and duration frequencies of the wind at these locations.

  8. Peneplains of the Front Range and Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Willis T.

    1923-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to call attention to some of the major surface features in the Rocky Mountain National Park and to point out their probable correlation with similar features in neighboring regions. The observations on which the paper is based were made in the summer of 1916, during an investigation in which other work demanded first consideration. This paper may therefore be considered a by-product. For the same reason many of the observations were not followed to conclusions, yet the data obtained seem to be sufficient to establish a certain order of events, the recognition of which may be of assistance in working out in detail the geologic and geographic history of the Rocky Mountain region.

  9. Geologic uses and non-uses of ERTS-1 - Northern Rocky Mountains and similar areas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weidman, R. M.; Alt, D. D.

    1974-01-01

    Using prints of ERTS-1 multispectral scanner imagery a large area of varied geology and vegetative cover was studied, utilizing the classic methods of photogeology generally applied to conventional aerial photographs. The study area was mainly the western half of Montana, but extension of tectonic annotations to the west resulted in coverage of most of the northern Rocky Mountains, as well as the plains to the east. The northern Rocky Mountains are exceptionally suitable for a feasibility study because they contain a wide range of geologic styles exposed under varying conditions of plant and soil cover. The basic approach was to study the satellite imagery visually, applying background knowledge of regional geology and experience with conventional aerial photographs.

  10. Mapping critical loads of nitrogen deposition for aquatic ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nanus, Leora; Clow, David W.; Saros, Jasmine E.; Stephens, Verlin C.; Campbell, Donald H.

    2012-01-01

    Spatially explicit estimates of critical loads of nitrogen (N) deposition (CLNdep) for nutrient enrichment in aquatic ecosystems were developed for the Rocky Mountains, USA, using a geostatistical approach. The lowest CLNdep estimates (-1 yr-1) occurred in high-elevation basins with steep slopes, sparse vegetation, and abundance of exposed bedrock and talus. These areas often correspond with areas of high N deposition (>3 kg N ha-1 yr-1), resulting in CLNdep exceedances ≥1.5 ± 1 kg N ha-1 yr-1. CLNdep and CLNdep exceedances exhibit substantial spatial variability related to basin characteristics and are highly sensitive to the NO3- threshold at which ecological effects are thought to occur. Based on an NO3- threshold of 0.5 μmol L-1, N deposition exceeds CLNdep in 21 ± 8% of the study area; thus, broad areas of the Rocky Mountains may be impacted by excess N deposition, with greatest impacts at high elevations.

  11. Translating science into policy: using ecosystem thresholds to protect resources in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    PubMed

    Porter, Ellen; Johnson, Susan

    2007-10-01

    Concern over impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition to ecosystems in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, has prompted the National Park Service, the State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Environmental Protection Agency, and interested stakeholders to collaborate in the Rocky Mountain National Park Initiative, a process to address these impacts. The development of a nitrogen critical load for park aquatic resources has provided the basis for a deposition goal to achieve resource protection, and parties to the Initiative are now discussing strategies to meet that goal by reducing air pollutant emissions that contribute to nitrogen deposition in the Park. Issues being considered include the types and locations of emissions to be reduced, the timeline for emission reductions, and the impact of emission reductions from programs already in place. These strategies may serve as templates for addressing ecosystem impacts from deposition in other national parks.

  12. Growth-Form Characteristics of Ancient Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pines (Pinus aristata), Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brunstein, F. Craig

    2006-01-01

    This report describes and illustrates growth-form characteristics of Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines (Pinus aristata) at several sites in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Most of this study concentrates on 1,000- to 2,500-year-old bristlecone pines; however, the report also describes some of the growth-form characteristics of younger trees (about 20 to less than 1,000 years old) in order to show the continuous changes in tree form from youth to old age. To better describe the trees in this study, some tree-structure nomenclature is introduced and a growth-form classification system is provided. Other topics include the relationship of the trees to their substrate and the potential changes in the growth forms of some bristlecone pines due to damage caused by fire, porcupines, impacts from tumbling boulders, and lightning strikes.

  13. The importance of atmospheric ammonia in the Rocky Mountain region of the western U.S

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collett, J. L.; Benedict, K. B.; Chen, D.; Day, D.; Prenni, A. J.; Li, Y.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Schichtel, B. A.; McDade, C.; Malm, W. C.

    2013-12-01

    Although it is not a regulated pollutant, ammonia is an important contributor to several air quality problems. Included among these are the formation of fine particles that contribute to visibility degradation and adverse health effects as well as contributions to excess nitrogen deposition to sensitive ecosystems. Because it is not regulated, gaseous ammonia and fine particle ammonium have traditionally not been routinely measured in many air quality monitoring networks. Measurements of ammonium wet deposition by the National Atmospheric Deposition Program, however, clearly indicate an increasing contribution to reactive nitrogen deposition. Here we report observations of several recent research efforts to characterize atmospheric ammonia and ammonium in the Rocky Mountain region of the western United States. These include measurements made as part of the Rocky Mountain Atmospheric Nitrogen and Sulfur (RoMANS) deposition study (2006-10), the Grand Teton Reactive Nitrogen Deposition Study (GrandTReNDS) (2011), and through pilot-scale operation of an NHx (NHx = gaseous NH3 plus fine particle NH4+) monitoring effort at 9 sites within the Interagency Monitoring of PROtected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) program (2011-12). Measurements during RoMANS clearly reveal the importance of agricultural source emission contributions to both dry and wet reactive nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park. The importance of ammonia and ammonium deposition is even greater at Grand Teton National Park, which often sits downwind of extensive agricultural operations in central Idaho and northern Utah. Over a year of measurements in the IMPROVE NHx pilot network reveals strong spatial gradients in reduced nitrogen concentrations across the Rocky Mountain region, with higher concentrations in regions closer to agricultural sources and at locations and times strongly impacted by wildfires. These observations, along with additional observations from other related studies in the

  14. Caeoma cassiopae sp. nov., a rust on Cassiope tetragona in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Crane, Patricia E

    2003-01-01

    Caeoma cassiopae sp. nov. (Uredinales) is described on the arctic-alpine shrub Cassiope tetragona. It was found in three locations in the Rocky Mountains of west-central Alberta, and is the first rust reported on the genus Cassiope. The sori resemble the uredinia of species in the genus Chrysomyxa. The host in the Ericaceae also suggests affinity with that genus. However, the spore morphology, studied by light and scanning electron microscopy, does not resemble known species of Chrysomyxa. PMID:21156602

  15. Proceedings, 95th regular meeting: The Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute

    SciTech Connect

    Finnie, D.G.

    1999-07-01

    In addition to the nine convention papers published in these proceedings, information is given on the membership and organization of the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute. The papers are concerned with the economics and management of coal companies, occupational safety of their employees, public anxiety of the environmental impacts of surface mining, and contracting for mining equipment maintenance. Papers have been processed separately for inclusion on the data base.

  16. Late Paleozoic deformation of interior North America: The greater Ancestral Rocky Mountains

    SciTech Connect

    Ye, Hongzhuan |; Royden, L.; Burchfiel, C.; Schuepbach, M.

    1996-09-01

    Late Paleozoic deformation within interior North America has produced a series of north-northwest- to northwest-trending elongate basins that cover much of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Each basin thickens asymmetrically toward an adjacent region of coeval basement uplift from which it is separated by synsedimentary faults with great vertical relief. The remarkable coincidence in timing, geometry, and apparent structural style throughout the region of late Paleozoic deformation strongly suggests that these paired regions of basin subsidence and basement uplift form a unified system of regional deformation, the greater Ancestral Rocky Mountains. Over this region, basin subsidence and basement uplift were approximately synchronous, beginning in the Chesterian-Morrowan, continuing through the Pennsylvanian, and ending in the Wolfcampian (although minor post-Wolfcampian deformation occurs locally). The basement uplifts show evidence for folding and faulting in the Pennsylvanian and Early Permian. Reverse faults and thrust faults have been drilled over many of the uplifts, but only in the Anadarko region has thrusting of the basement uplifts over the adjacent basin been clearly documented. Extensive basement-involved thrusting also occurs along the margins of the Delaware and Midland basins, and suggests that the entire greater Ancestral Rocky Mountains region probably formed as the result of northeast-southwest-directed-intraplate shortening. Deformation within the greater Ancestral Rocky Mountains was coeval with late Paleozoic subduction along much of the North American plate margin, and has traditionally been related to emplacement of thrust sheets within the Ouachita-Marathon orogenic belt. The nature, timing, and orientation of events along the Ouachita-Marathon belt make it difficult to drive the deformation of the greater Ancestral Rocky Mountains by emplacement of the Ouachita-Marathon belt along the southern margin of North America.

  17. On the palynomorph-based biozones in paleogene strata of rocky mountain basins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, D.J.

    2009-01-01

    In a paper published in this journal, and in five previous papers published elsewhere, Lillegraven and McKenna (2008) criticize the research of Nichols and Ott (1978) and Nichols and Flores (2006). They attempt to cast doubt on the validity of the palynomorph-based biozones (the "P- zone" system) applied in strata of Paleocene age throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Their conclusions are without merit.

  18. Lead in mule deer forage in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    SciTech Connect

    Harrison, P.D.; Dyer, M.I.

    1984-01-01

    Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) forage collected from roadsides in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, contained lead (Pb) concentrations ranging from 0.8 to >50 ..mu..g/g. Concentrations were inversely correlated with distance from the roadway. Equations developed to estimate deer absorption of Pb from contaminated roadside vegetation indicate that deer in some age-classes need only to consume 1.4% of their daily intake of forage from roadsides before consuming excessive amounts of Pb.

  19. Marked genetic divergence among sky island populations of Sedum lanceolatum (Crassulaceae) in the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Dechaine, Eric G; Martin, Andrew P

    2005-03-01

    Climate change during the Quaternary played an important role in the differentiation and evolution of plants. A prevailing hypothesis is that alpine and arctic species survived glacial periods in refugia at the periphery of glaciers. Though the Rocky Mountains, south of the southernmost extent of continental ice, served as an important glacial refuge, little is known about how climate cycles influenced populations within this region. We inferred the phylogeography of Sedum lanceolatum (Crassulaceae) within the Rocky Mountain refugium to assess how this high-elevation plant responded to glacial cycles. We sequenced 884 base pairs (bp) of cpDNA intergenic spacers (tRNA-L to tRNA-F and tRNA-S to tRNA-G) for 333 individuals from 18 alpine populations. Our highly variable markers allowed us to infer that populations persisted across the latitudinal range throughout the climate cycles, exhibited significant genetic structure, and experienced cycles of range expansion and fragmentation. Genetic differentiation in S. lanceolatum was most likely a product of short-distance elevational migration in response to climate change, low seed dispersal, and vegetative reproduction. To the extent that Sedum is a good model system, paleoclimatic cycles were probably a major factor preserving genetic variation and promoting divergence in high-elevation flora of the Rocky Mountains. PMID:21652425

  20. Evolution of Synthyris sect. Dissecta (Plantaginaceae) on sky islands in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Marlowe, K; Hufford, Larry

    2008-03-01

    We examined the phylogeography of Synthyris sect. Dissecta (Plantaginaceae), which is restricted to the Olympic (S. lanuginosa) and Northern Rocky Mountains (S. dissecta and S. canbyi), to infer effects of sky islands and modes of speciation. Sequences of cpDNA trnT-trnL and psbA-trnH intergenic spacers resolved 22 haplotypes among 185 individuals sampled from 16 populations of the three species. Gene flow in the ancestral lineage and random capture of haplotypes in species lineages of sect. Dissecta have resulted in haplotype clades that are not exclusive to species. Nested clade analysis (NCA) indicates that allopatric fragmentation separated Olympic and Northern Rocky Mountain populations, giving rise to the Olympic endemic S. lanuginosa, which is characterized by unique haplotypes consistent with long temporal isolation. Low haplotype and nucleotide diversity in S. canbyi are consistent with newly founded populations experiencing a bottleneck. Furthermore, we infer S. canbyi evolved as a peripheral isolate of S. dissecta. NCA indicated limited migration in S. dissecta with possible isolation by distance. Both isolation on interglacial sky islands and valley glaciers during at least the last glaciation limited gene flow among populations of S. dissecta in different ranges of the Northern Rocky Mountains. PMID:21632362

  1. Rocky Mountain Snowpack Physical and Chemical Data for Selected Sites, 1993-2008

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ingersoll, George P.; Mast, M. Alisa; Campbell, Donald H.; Clow, David W.; Nanus, Leora; Turk, John T.

    2009-01-01

    The Rocky Mountain Snowpack program established a network of snowpack-sampling sites in the Rocky Mountain region from New Mexico to Montana to monitor the chemical content of snow to help in the understanding of the effects of atmospheric deposition to this region. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, Teton County in Wyoming, Rio Blanco County in Colorado, Pitkin County in Colorado, and others, collected and analyzed snowpack samples annually for 48 or more sites in the Rocky Mountain region during 1993-2008. Forty-eight of the 162 snow-sampling sites have been sampled annually since 1993. Data include acid-neutralization capacity, specific conductance, pH, hydrogen ion concentrations, dissolved concentrations of major constituents (calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, ammonium, chloride, sulfate, and nitrate), dissolved organic carbon concentrations, snow/ water equivalent, snow depth, stable sulfur isotope ratios, total mercury concentrations (beginning in 2001), and ionic charge balance. Quality-assurance data for field and laboratory blanks and field replicates for individual years (1993-2008) also are included.

  2. Orbital control, climate seasonality, and landscape evolution in the Quaternary Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sewall, Jacob O.; Riihimaki, Catherine A.; Kadegis, Jeffrey

    2015-12-01

    While climate has long been implicated in the extensive erosion of Eocene through Miocene-aged basin fills in the Rocky Mountains, lack of precise, high temporal-density datasets of landform ages has made it difficult to detail the mechanisms by which climate increased relief. A dense dataset of (U-Th)/He dates from the Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana, USA, indicates correspondence between elevated exhumation and peaks in orbital eccentricity. Here we use an atmospheric general circulation model to investigate the potential role of eccentricity in enhancing erosion in the Rocky Mountains. We find that with high orbital eccentricity (0.05767), elevated seasonality (the moving vernal equinox of perihelion [MVELP] = 270°) results in 10-100% more summer precipitation and surface runoff than low seasonality (MVELP = 90°). Under low orbital eccentricity (0.0034), precipitation and runoff changes across a precession cycle are negligible. These results suggest that elevated eccentricity could, indeed, be associated with more intense summer precipitation and runoff, which could then drive higher landscape erosion rates. This finding could explain the occurrence of ~ 100-kyr cyclicity in Powder River Basin landform ages and provides a clear, non-glacial, link between climate variability and landscape evolution in the Rocky Mountains. In this, and other low-to-mid-latitude sedimentary basins, runoff volume and not glacier dynamics may be the variable that exerts primary control on landscape evolution.

  3. Marked genetic divergence among sky island populations of Sedum lanceolatum (Crassulaceae) in the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Dechaine, Eric G; Martin, Andrew P

    2005-03-01

    Climate change during the Quaternary played an important role in the differentiation and evolution of plants. A prevailing hypothesis is that alpine and arctic species survived glacial periods in refugia at the periphery of glaciers. Though the Rocky Mountains, south of the southernmost extent of continental ice, served as an important glacial refuge, little is known about how climate cycles influenced populations within this region. We inferred the phylogeography of Sedum lanceolatum (Crassulaceae) within the Rocky Mountain refugium to assess how this high-elevation plant responded to glacial cycles. We sequenced 884 base pairs (bp) of cpDNA intergenic spacers (tRNA-L to tRNA-F and tRNA-S to tRNA-G) for 333 individuals from 18 alpine populations. Our highly variable markers allowed us to infer that populations persisted across the latitudinal range throughout the climate cycles, exhibited significant genetic structure, and experienced cycles of range expansion and fragmentation. Genetic differentiation in S. lanceolatum was most likely a product of short-distance elevational migration in response to climate change, low seed dispersal, and vegetative reproduction. To the extent that Sedum is a good model system, paleoclimatic cycles were probably a major factor preserving genetic variation and promoting divergence in high-elevation flora of the Rocky Mountains.

  4. Rocky Mountain area petroleum product availability with reduced PADD IV refining capacity

    SciTech Connect

    Hadder, G.R.; Chin, S.M.

    1994-02-01

    Studies of Rocky Mountain area petroleum product availability with reduced refining capacity in Petroleum Administration for Defense IV (PADD IV, part of the Rocky Mountain area) have been performed with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Refinery Yield Model, a linear program which has been updated to blend gasolines to satisfy constraints on emissions of nitrogen oxides and winter toxic air pollutants. The studies do not predict refinery closures in PADD IV. Rather, the reduced refining capacities provide an analytical framework for probing the flexibility of petroleum refining and distribution for winter demand conditions in the year 2000. Industry analysts have estimated that, for worst case scenarios, 20 to 35 percent of PADD IV refining capacity could be shut-down as a result of clean air and energy tax legislation. Given these industry projections, the study scenarios provide the following conclusions: The Rocky Mountain area petroleum system would have the capability to satisfy winter product demand with PADD IV refinery capacity shut-downs in the middle of the range of industry projections, but not in the high end of the range of projections. PADD IV crude oil production can be maintained by re-routing crude released from PADD IV refinery demands to satisfy increased crude oil demands in PADDs II (Midwest), III (Gulf Coast), and Washington. Clean Air Act product quality regulations generally do not increase the difficulty of satisfying emissions reduction constraints in the scenarios.

  5. Phylogeography of the red-tailed chipmunk (Tamias ruficaudus), a northern Rocky Mountain endemic.

    PubMed

    Good, J M; Sullivan, J

    2001-11-01

    The northern Rocky Mountains have experienced a complex history of geological events and environmental fluctuation, including Pleistocene glaciation. To provide an initial assessment of the genetic impact of this history on the regional biota we estimated phylogenetic relationships within Tamias ruficaudus, a regional endemic, from cytochrome b sequence variation using parsimony, maximum likelihood, and nested clade analysis. Analyses of sequence variation in 187 individuals from 43 localities across the distribution of T. ruficaudus indicate a history of vicariance events and range fluctuation consistent with successive periods of extensive Pleistocene glaciation in the northern Rocky Mountains. Intraspecific divergence levels (c. 4.7% uncorrected) and phylogenetic structure are consistent with a genealogical vicariance initiated prior to the Late Pleistocene, whereas nested clade analyses indicate more recent population history structured by both fragmentation and range expansion. A comparison of sequence variation with bacular morphology indicates that the two genetically and morphologically differentiated entities exhibit a zone of differential character introgression. Sequence data support a multiple refugia hypothesis and provide a phylogeographical case study for the ongoing synthesis of regional biogeography for northern Rocky Mountain endemics. PMID:11883882

  6. Rocky Mountain snowpack physical and chemical data for selected sites, 2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ingersoll, George P.; Mast, M. Alisa; Swank, James M.; Campbell, Chelsea D.

    2010-01-01

    The Rocky Mountain Snowpack program established a network of snowpack-sampling sites in the Rocky Mountain region, from New Mexico to Montana, to monitor the chemical content of snow and to understand the effects of regional atmospheric deposition on freshwater systems. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Park Service; the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; Teton County, Wyoming; and others, annually collected and analyzed snow-pack samples at 48 or more sites in the Rocky Mountain region during 1993-2010. Sixty-three snowpack-sampling sites were each sampled once in 2010, and those data are presented in this report. Data include acid-neutralization capacity, specific conductance, pH, hydrogen ion concentrations, dissolved concentrations of major constituents (calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, ammonium, chloride, sulfate, and nitrate), dissolved organic carbon concentrations, snow-water equivalent, snow depth, total mercury concentrations, and ionic charge balance. Quality-assurance data for field and laboratory blanks and field replicates for 2010 also are included.

  7. Rocky Mountain snowpack physical and chemical data for selected sites, 2009

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ingersoll, George P.; Mast, M. Alisa; Swank, James M.; Campbell, Chelsea D.

    2010-01-01

    The Rocky Mountain Snowpack program established a network of snowpack-sampling sites in the Rocky Mountain region from New Mexico to Montana to monitor the chemical content of snow and to understand the effects of regional atmospheric deposition. The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Park Service; the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; Teton County, Wyoming; and others, collected and analyzed snowpack samples annually for 48 or more sites in the Rocky Mountain region during 1993-2009. Sixty-three snowpack-sampling sites were sampled once each in 2009 and data are presented in this report. Data include acid-neutralization capacity, specific conductance, pH, hydrogen ion concentrations, dissolved concentrations of major constituents (calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, ammonium, chloride, sulfate, and nitrate), dissolved organic carbon concentrations, snow-water equivalent, snow depth, total mercury concentrations, and ionic charge balance. Quality-assurance data for field and laboratory blanks and field replicates for 2009 also are included.

  8. Nitrogen fluxes in a high elevation Colorado Rocky Mountain basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, J.S.; Campbell, D.H.

    1997-01-01

    Measured, calculated and simulated values were combined to develop an annual nitrogen budget for Loch Vale Watershed (LVWS) in the Colorado Front Range. Nine-year average wet nitrogen deposition values were 1??6 (s = 0??36) kg NO3-N ha-1, and 1??0 (s = 0??3) kg NH4-N ha-1. Assuming dry nitrogen deposition to be half that of measured wet deposition, this high elevation watershed receives 3??9 kg N ha-1. Although deposition values fluctuated with precipitation, measured stream nitrogen outputs were less variable. Of the total N input to the watershed (3??9 kg N ha-1 wet plus dry deposition), 49% of the total N input was immobilized. Stream losses were 2??0 kg N ha-1 (1125 kg measured dissolved inorganic N in 1992, 1-2 kg calculated dissolved organic N, plus an average of 203 kg algal N from the entire 660 ha watershed). Tundra and aquatic algae were the largest reservoirs for incoming N, at approximately 18% and 15% of the total 2574 kg N deposition, respectively. Rocky areas and forest stored the remaining 11% and 5%, respectively. Fully 80% of N losses from the watershed came from the 68% of LVWS that is alpine. ?? 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  9. Differential insect and mammalian response to Late Quaternary climate change in the Rocky Mountain region of North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elias, Scott A.

    2015-07-01

    Of the 200 beetle species identified from Rocky Mountain Late Pleistocene insect faunal assemblages, 23% are no longer resident in this region. None of the 200 species is extinct. In contrast to this, only 8% of 73 identified mammal species from Rocky Mountain Late Pleistocene assemblages are no longer resident in the Rockies, and 12 species are now extinct. Since both groups of organisms are highly mobile, it would appear that their responses to the large-scale fluctuations of climate associated with the last 125,000 years have been considerably different. Most strikingly contrasting with the insects, there are no mammals in the Rocky Mountain Late Pleistocene fossil record that are found exclusively today in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region. The PNW does have a distinctive modern mammalian fauna, but only one of these, Keen's Myotis, has a fossil record outside the PNW region, in the eastern and central United States. No modern PNW vertebrate species have been found in any Rocky Mountain fossil assemblages. Based on these data, it appears that there has been little or no mammalian faunal exchange between the PNW region and the Rocky Mountains during the Late Pleistocene or Holocene. This is in stark contrast to the fossil beetle record, where PNW species are a substantial component in many faunas, right through to the Late Holocene.

  10. Relation of the Cretaceous formations to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee, Willis T.

    1916-01-01

    Some time ago, while working on a problem that involved the question of the presence or absence of islands near the close of the Cretaceous period in the region now occupied by the southern part of the Rocky Mountains, I was forced to the conclusion that no land masses or islands of any considerable size persisted there throughout the Cretaceous period, for I found no sedimentary rocks that were clearly derived from such islands. This result led to a reexamination of available information to see what evidence the sedimentary rocks in other areas near the present mountains could furnish, and I found rather unexpected confirmation of my conclusion. In the course of this study it became evident t that there is apparent conflict of testimony between different classes of fossils and that the physical evidence, including lithology, structure, and sequence of beds, is at variance with some of the commonly accepted correlations. In this state of uncertainty I tried to apply physiographic principles to see if they would throw any light on the interrelations of the interrelations of the Cretaceous formations of the Rocky Mountain region and on the events that opened and closed the period. This led me to a conclusion similar to that reached by the paleontologist C. A. White many years ago, namely, that the Upper Cretaceous formations up to and including the Laramie extended across the site of the mountains.

  11. Passive-roof duplexes under the Rocky Mountain foreland basin, Alberta

    SciTech Connect

    Skuce, A.G. ); Goody, N.P. ); Maloney, J. )

    1992-01-01

    Seismic reflection data in the Central Alberta Foothills near Edson reveal the presence of small passive-roof duplexes in Upper Cretaceous rocks within the otherwise undeformed foreland basin, as much as 40 km northeast of the mountain front monocline. The tops and bottoms of the duplexes are defined by backthrusts and sole thrusts, which follow bedding planes within Upper Cretaceous strata. Overlying the structures is an essentially uncontracted 1.8-km-thick section of Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks, which is passively uplifted over the thickened duplexes. The underlying autochthonous sequence of Mesozoic and Paleozoic rocks exhibits some minor folding but is also uncontracted. The authors' interpretation extends both the upper and lower detachments of the widely accepted triangle-zone model more than 30 km farther under the foreland basin than has previously been supposed. The seismic data illustrate relatively clearly the form of the leading edge of the last phase of Rocky Mountain thrusting. The authors expect that similar features will be observed elsewhere in the Rocky Mountain foothills and, probably, at other mountain fronts worldwide.

  12. Campylobacter enteritis from untreated water in the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Taylor, D N; McDermott, K T; Little, J R; Wells, J G; Blaser, M J

    1983-07-01

    During the summers of 1980 and 1981 Campylobacter jejuni was isolated from 23% and Giardia lamblia was isolated from 8% of persons with diarrheal disease acquired in the area of Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Campylobacter enteritis occurred most frequently in young adults who had been hiking in wilderness areas and was significantly associated with drinking untreated surface water in the week before illness (p less than 0.02 in 1980; p less than 0.005 in 1981). Penner serotype 4 was the commonest serotype isolated from humans and the only serotype isolated from an implicated mountain stream. These studies show that backcountry surface water can be an important source of C. jejuni and that infection with Campylobacter, as well as G. lamblia, should be considered as a cause of diarrhea in those who have recently returned from wilderness areas. PMID:6859722

  13. Is there biomagnification of organochlorines in a Rocky Mountain aquatic food web?

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, L.M.; Schindler, D.W.; Kidd, K.; Donald, D.D.; Muir, D.

    1995-12-31

    In 1991--92, 14 lakes in the Canadian Rocky Mountains were surveyed for organochlorine contamination (PCBs, DDT isomers, toxaphene, and other pesticides) of water and lake trout. Lake trout from Bow Lake, near the Continental Divide, in Banff National Park, contained particularly high concentrations of organochlorines, notably toxaphene, in their tissue compared to other mountain lake trout populations. The hypothesis that the high degree of contamination in fish is caused by biomagnification is being tested by analysis of lake trout (Salveninus namaycush), mountain whitefish (Propsopium williamsoni), benthic invertebrates, and zooplankton for organochlorine compounds and stable nitrogen isotopes (15N/14N). Fish, invertebrates, sediments and water collected from Bow Lake in 1994 were all found to contain organochlorines, and the authors are investigating the apparent patterns of contamination present. The possibility that contaminants deposited in past decades on the glaciers that feed Bow Lake contributes to the high values is also being examined.

  14. Sustaining Rocky Mountain landscapes: Science, policy and management for the Crown of the Continent ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prato, Tony; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2007-01-01

    Prato and Fagre offer the first systematic, multi-disciplinary assessment of the challenges involved in managing the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem ( CCE), an area of the Rocky Mountains that includes northwestern Montana, southwestern Alberta, and southeastern British Columbia. The spectacular landscapes, extensive recreational options, and broad employment opportunities of the CCE have made it one of the fastest growing regions in the United States and Canada, and have lead to a shift in its economic base from extractive resource industries to service-oriented recreation and tourism industries. In the process, however, the amenities and attributes that draw people to this “New West” are under threat. Pastoral scenes are disappearing as agricultural lands and other open spaces are converted to residential uses, biodiversity is endangered by the fragmentation of fish and wildlife habitats, and many areas are experiencing a decline in air and water quality. Sustaining Rocky Mountain Landscapes provides a scientific basis for communities to develop policies for managing the growth and economic transformation of the CCE without sacrificing the quality of life and environment for which the land is renowned. This forthcoming edited volume focuses on five aspects of sustaining mountain landscapes in the CCE and similar regions in the Rocky Mountains. The five aspects are: 1) how social, economic, demo graphic and environmental forces are transforming ecosystem structure and function, 2) trends in use and conditions for human and environmental resources, 3) activating science, policy and education to enhance sustainable landscape management, 4) challenges to sustainable management of public and private lands, and 5) future prospects for achieving sustainable landscapes.

  15. Assessment of lake sensitivity to acidic deposition in national parks of the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Nanus, L; Williams, M W; Campbell, D H; Tonnessen, K A; Blett, T; Clow, D W

    2009-06-01

    The sensitivity of high-elevation lakes to acidic deposition was evaluated in five national parks of the Rocky Mountains based on statistical relations between lake acid-neutralizing capacity concentrations and basin characteristics. Acid-neutralizing capacity (ANC) of 151 lakes sampled during synoptic surveys and basin-characteristic information derived from geographic information system (GIS) data sets were used to calibrate the statistical models. The explanatory basin variables that were considered included topographic parameters, bedrock type, and vegetation type. A logistic regression model was developed, and modeling results were cross-validated through lake sampling during fall 2004 at 58 lakes. The model was applied to lake basins greater than 1 ha in area in Glacier National Park (n = 244 lakes), Grand Teton National Park (n = 106 lakes), Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (n = 11 lakes), Rocky Mountain National Park (n = 114 lakes), and Yellowstone National Park (n = 294 lakes). Lakes that had a high probability of having an ANC concentration <100 microeq/L, and therefore sensitive to acidic deposition, are located in basins with elevations >3000 m, with <30% of the catchment having northeast aspect and with >80% of the catchment bedrock having low buffering capacity. The modeling results indicate that the most sensitive lakes are located in Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Teton National Park. This technique for evaluating the lake sensitivity to acidic deposition is useful for designing long-term monitoring plans and is potentially transferable to other remote mountain areas of the United States and the world. PMID:19544737

  16. Assessment of lake sensitivity to acidic deposition in national parks of the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Nanus, L; Williams, M W; Campbell, D H; Tonnessen, K A; Blett, T; Clow, D W

    2009-06-01

    The sensitivity of high-elevation lakes to acidic deposition was evaluated in five national parks of the Rocky Mountains based on statistical relations between lake acid-neutralizing capacity concentrations and basin characteristics. Acid-neutralizing capacity (ANC) of 151 lakes sampled during synoptic surveys and basin-characteristic information derived from geographic information system (GIS) data sets were used to calibrate the statistical models. The explanatory basin variables that were considered included topographic parameters, bedrock type, and vegetation type. A logistic regression model was developed, and modeling results were cross-validated through lake sampling during fall 2004 at 58 lakes. The model was applied to lake basins greater than 1 ha in area in Glacier National Park (n = 244 lakes), Grand Teton National Park (n = 106 lakes), Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve (n = 11 lakes), Rocky Mountain National Park (n = 114 lakes), and Yellowstone National Park (n = 294 lakes). Lakes that had a high probability of having an ANC concentration <100 microeq/L, and therefore sensitive to acidic deposition, are located in basins with elevations >3000 m, with <30% of the catchment having northeast aspect and with >80% of the catchment bedrock having low buffering capacity. The modeling results indicate that the most sensitive lakes are located in Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Teton National Park. This technique for evaluating the lake sensitivity to acidic deposition is useful for designing long-term monitoring plans and is potentially transferable to other remote mountain areas of the United States and the world.

  17. Anelastic Modeling of Upper Mantle Seismic Observations: Explaining Rocky Mountain Isostacy and Constraining Rheological Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyd, O. S.; Sheehan, A. F.

    2001-12-01

    Utilizing tomographic models of attenuation and velocity derived using the Rocky Mountain Front (RMF) broadband seismic dataset acquired in 1992, this study models the relationships of attenuation to velocity to identify regions of elevated temperature and anomalous rheology. Studies of the area include P, S and surface wave velocity tomography and all indicate slow upper mantle velocities below the Rocky Mountain region. Recent attenuation measurements exhibit a similar trend. The coupling of attenuation and velocity measurements provides an indication of the change in temperature (Karato, 1993). A more vigorous examination of the relationships between attenuation and velocity can provide insight into the rheological parameters of the mantle. The theoretical basis of the modeling is the complex modulus of the standard anelastic solid under the influence of a thermally activated process (Nowick and Berry, 1972). An activation energy of 500 kJ/mol, the diffusion of oxygen through olivine, is assumed. An integral part of the modeling is the assumption that the thermally activated process has a normal distribution of activation energies. A greater variance of this distribution is an indication of the materials inability to equilibrate differential stress. Relationships between attenuation and velocity suggest elevated temperatures up to 300 K 100 to 150 km beneath the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This temperature difference is enough to cause density changes partly responsible for isostacy of the mountains. Additional findings include a significant reduction in variance of the activation energies in the upper mantle coincident with the region of elevated temperature. This is due to a softening of the mantle material and may imply the existence of partial melt. >http://ucsu.colorado.edu/~oliverb/AnMod.html

  18. Left-lateral intraplate deformation along the ancestral rocky mountains: Implications for late paleozoic plate motions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budnik, Roy T.

    1986-12-01

    North America underwent synchronous orogenic events during the late Paleozoic along its eastern margin (Alleghanian orogeny), southern margin (Ouachita orogeny), and within the southwestern part of the continent (Ancestral Rocky Mountain orogeny). All three orogenies were initiated in the late Mississippian to early Pennsylvanian, reached the greatest intensity in the middle Pennsylvanian, and ended in the early Permian. The Alleghanian and Ouachita orogenies have been related to the closing of the proto-Atlantic and the collision between North America and South America-Africa: it is here proposed that the Ancestral Rocky Mountains were produced by a collision between eastern North America and Africa. The Ancestral Rockies were formed as the result of reactivation of the Wichita megashear, a preexisting zone of weakness that extends from southern Oklahoma to eastern Utah. Previous plate tectonic models have implied that the megashear was a zone of right-lateral strike-slip faulting and north-northwest-directed compression. However, structural and stratigraphic data from Oklahoma and Texas suggest that the Wichita megashear was a major left-lateral fault zone formed under east-northeast-oriented compression. Palinspastic reconstruction of pre-mid-Devonian strata across the megashear in Texas indicates that 120 to 150 km of left slip occurred during the Desmoinesian (middle Pennsylvanian). The proposed plate tectonic model for the Ancestral Rocky Mountain orogeny includes: (1) movement of the North American plate eastward from a spreading center in the proto-Pacific; (2) closing of the proto-Atlantic Ocean; (3) collision of North America-Europe (Laurussia) and South America-Africa (Gondwana) resulting in the Hercynian, Alleghanian, and Ouachita orogenies; (4) differential movement across the Wichita megashear and formation of a left-lateral strike-slip fault zone (Ancestral Rocky Mountain orogeny) as the result of east-west compression within the North American plate

  19. Land-atmosphere carbon cycle research in the southern Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowling, D. R.; Blanken, P.; Brooks, P. D.; Ehleringer, J. R.; Ewers, B. E.; Lehman, S.; Litvak, M. E.; Massman, W. J.; Miller, J. B.; Stephens, B. B.; Vaughn, B. H.

    2013-12-01

    The majority of land-atmosphere carbon exchange in the southern U.S. Rocky Mountains (Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico) occurs in mid- to high-elevation forests, and in urban metropolitan areas. Forest-atmosphere carbon exchange is highly variable from year to year due to fluctuations in environmental conditions (particularly water availability) and following disturbances by insects and fire. A wide variety of long-term carbon cycle datasets from many locations are freely available to the scientific community from this region, varying in length from a few years to several decades. These include flask observations from the NOAA Cooperative Air Sampling Network (UTA, NWR, NWF, and BAO sites) which include CO2, CO2 stable and radioisotopes, CH4, and CO, continuous CO2 observations from the Rocky RACCOON mountaintop and Salt Lake Valley urban CO2 monitoring sites, forest flux observations from several AmeriFlux towers (GLEES, Niwot Ridge, and Valles Caldera sites), and continuous CO2 isotope observations (Niwot Ridge). Many of these sites include measurements before and after major ecological disturbances. This presentation will describe the publicly available datasets that exist, examining some of the features of these datasets that highlight the regional carbon cycle in the southern Rocky Mountains. Our goal is to encourage use and synthesis of these data by the observational, modeling, and remote sensing communities.

  20. Spatiotemporal analysis of Quaternary normal faults in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davarpanah, A.; Babaie, H. A.; Reed, P.

    2010-12-01

    The mid-Tertiary Basin-and-Range extensional tectonic event developed most of the normal faults that bound the ranges in the northern Rocky Mountains within Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. The interaction of the thermally induced stress field of the Yellowstone hot spot with the existing Basin-and-Range fault blocks, during the last 15 my, has produced a new, spatially and temporally variable system of normal faults in these areas. The orientation and spatial distribution of the trace of these hot-spot induced normal faults, relative to earlier Basin-and-Range faults, have significant implications for the effect of the temporally varying and spatially propagating thermal dome on the growth of new hot spot related normal faults and reactivation of existing Basin-and-Range faults. Digitally enhanced LANDSAT 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) and Landsat 4 and 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) bands, with spatial resolution of 30 m, combined with analytical GIS and geological techniques helped in determining and analyzing the lineaments and traces of the Quaternary, thermally-induced normal faults in the study area. Applying the color composite (CC) image enhancement technique, the combination of bands 3, 2 and 1 of the ETM+ and TM images was chosen as the best statistical choice to create a color composite for lineament identification. The spatiotemporal analysis of the Quaternary normal faults produces significant information on the structural style, timing, spatial variation, spatial density, and frequency of the faults. The seismic Quaternary normal faults, in the whole study area, are divided, based on their age, into four specific sets, which from oldest to youngest include: Quaternary (>1.6 Ma), middle and late Quaternary (>750 ka), latest Quaternary (>15 ka), and the last 150 years. A density map for the Quaternary faults reveals that most active faults are near the current Yellowstone National Park area (YNP), where most seismically active faults, in the past 1.6 my

  1. Ecology of tick vectors of American spotted fever

    PubMed Central

    Burgdorfer, W.

    1969-01-01

    The author reviews the natural history of the tick vectors of American spotted fever. The discussion concerns the ecology of the Rocky Mountain wood tick, Dermacentor andersoni, the American dog tick, Dermacentor variabilis, and the lone-star tick, Amblyomma americanum, all of which are proven vectors of Rocky Mountain spotted fever to man. Also included are the rabbit tick, Haemaphysalis leporispalustris and Dermacentor parumapertus, which very rarely bite man but which are considered of importance in maintaining and distributing Rickettsia rickettsi, the etiological agent of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, in nature. Brief reference is also made to recently developed techniques for studying the ecology of tick vectors. PMID:5306621

  2. Experimental repatriation of boreal toad (Bufo boreas) eggs, metamorphs, and adults in Rocky Mountain National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.; Johnson, T.L.; Corn, P.S.

    2001-01-01

    The boreal toad (Bufo boreas) is an endangered species in Colorado and is considered a candidate species for federal listing by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Boreal toads are absent from many areas of suitable habitat in the Southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado presumably due to a combination of causes. We moved boreal toads from existing populations and from captive rearing facilities to habitat which was historically, but is not currently, occupied by toads to experimentally examine methods of repatriation for this species. Repatriation is defined as the release of individuals into areas currently of historically occupied by that species (Dodd and Seigel, 1991). This effort was in response to one of the criteria for delisting the boreal toad in Colorado stated in the conservation plan and agreement for the management and recovery of the Southern Rocky Mountain population of the boreal toad (Loeffler, 1998:16); a??a?|there must be at least 2 viable breeding populations of boreal toads in each of at least 9 of 11 mountain ranges of its historic distribution.a?? Without moving eggs from established wild populations, or from captivity to historical localities, it is doubtful whether the recovery team will attain this ambitions goal.

  3. Temperature, snowmelt, and the onset of spring season landslides in the central Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chleborad, Alan F.

    1997-01-01

    Snow meltwater (snowmelt) that seeps into the subsurface is a major factor contributing to the development of landslides during the spring in mountainous areas of the Rocky Mountain region. An examination of historical temperature data in relation to spring season landslide occurrences reveals an association between the landslide events and intervals of rising temperatures that accelerate the production of snow meltwater. Historical climatic data recorded at local weather stations located near the landslide sites are used to show the association and to identify a temperature threshold that may be useful for forecasting the onset of spring season landslides. Historical daily temperature maximums and minimums for unmonitored landslide sites are estimated by applying an elevation correction factor to historical temperature data from nearby weather stations. The proposed temperature threshold (a 6-day moving average of daily maximum temperature of 58? F) is defined by the number and temporal distribution of snowmelt related landslide events. The results of the study suggest that real-time temperature data recorded at weather stations throughout the Rocky Mountain region is potentially a valuable source of information that may be useful for forecasting the onset of spring season landslides.

  4. Acute toxicity of zinc to several aquatic species native to the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Brinkman, Stephen F; Johnston, Walter D

    2012-02-01

    National water-quality criteria for the protection of aquatic life are based on toxicity tests, often using organisms that are easy to culture in the laboratory. Species native to the Rocky Mountains are poorly represented in data sets used to derive national water-quality criteria. To provide additional data on the toxicity of zinc, several laboratory acute-toxicity tests were conducted with a diverse assortment of fish, benthic invertebrates, and an amphibian native to the Rocky Mountains. Tests with fish were conducted using three subspecies of cutthroat trout (Colorado River cutthroat trout Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus, greenback cutthroat trout O. clarkii stomias, and Rio Grande cutthroat trout O. clarkii virginalis), mountain whitefish (Prosopium williamsoni), mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdi), longnose dace (Rhinichthys cataractae), and flathead chub (Platygobio gracilis). Aquatic invertebrate tests were conducted with mayflies (Baetis tricaudatus, Drunella doddsi, Cinygmula sp. and Ephemerella sp.), a stonefly (Chloroperlidae), and a caddis fly (Lepidostoma sp.). The amphibian test was conducted with tadpoles of the boreal toad (Bufo boreas). Median lethal concentrations (LC(50)s) ranged more than three orders of magnitude from 166 μg/L for Rio Grande cutthroat trout to >67,000 μg/L for several benthic invertebrates. Of the organisms tested, vertebrates were the most sensitive, and benthic invertebrates were the most tolerant. PMID:21811884

  5. Descriptive risk assessment of the effects of acidic deposition on Rocky Mountain amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Vertucci, Frank A.

    1992-01-01

    We evaluated the risk of habitat acidification to the six species of amphibians that occur in the mountains of Colorado and Wyoming. Our evaluation included extrinsic environmental factors (habitat sensitivity and amount of acidic atmospheric deposition) and species-specific intrinsic factors (sensitivity to acid conditions, habitat preferences, and timing of breeding). Only one of 57 surveyed localities had both acid neutralizing capacity μeq/L and sulfate deposition >10 kg/ha/yr, extrinsic conditions with a possible risk of acidification. Amphibian breeding habitats in the Rocky Mountains do not appear to be sufficiently acidic to kill amphibian embryos. Some species breed in high-elevation vernal pools during snowmelt, and an acidic pulse during snowmelt may pose a risk to embryos of these species. However, the acidic pulse, if present, probably occurs before open water appears and before breeding begins. Although inherent variability of amphibian population size may make detection of declines from anthropogenic effects difficult, acidic deposition is unlikely to have caused the observed declines of Bufo boreas and Rana pipiens in Colorado and Wyoming. Amphibians in the Rocky Mountains are not likely to be at risk with acidification inputs at present levels.

  6. Analyzing Whitebark Pine Distribution in the Northern Rocky Mountains in Support of Grizzly Bear Recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawrence, R.; Landenburger, L.; Jewett, J.

    2007-12-01

    Whitebark pine seeds have long been identified as the most significant vegetative food source for grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) and, hence, a crucial element of suitable grizzly bear habitat. The overall health and status of whitebark pine in the GYE is currently threatened by mountain pine beetle infestations and the spread of whitepine blister rust. Whitebark pine distribution (presence/absence) was mapped for the GYE using Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) imagery and topographic data as part of a long-term inter-agency monitoring program. Logistic regression was compared with classification tree analysis (CTA) with and without boosting. Overall comparative classification accuracies for the central portion of the GYE covering three ETM+ images along a single path ranged from 91.6% using logistic regression to 95.8% with See5's CTA algorithm with the maximum 99 boosts. The analysis is being extended to the entire northern Rocky Mountain Ecosystem and extended over decadal time scales. The analysis is being extended to the entire northern Rocky Mountain Ecosystem and extended over decadal time scales.

  7. Transport of pollutants from cow feedlots in eastern Colorado into Rocky Mountain alpine lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pina, A.; Denning, S.; Schumacher, R. S.

    2012-12-01

    Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), also called factory farms, are known for raising tens of millions head of livestock including cows (beef and dairy), swine, and poultry. With as many as 250 head of cattle per acre, a United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) report showed beef cattle from CAFOs in the United States produce as much as 24.1 million tons of manure annually. Gases released from cow manure include methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and ammonia (NH3). During boreal summers Colorado experiences fewer synoptic weather systems, allowing the diurnal cycle to exert greater control of meteorological events along the mountain-plains interface. Anabatic, or upslope winds induced by the diurnal cycle, contribute largely to the transport of gases and particulates from feedlots in eastern Colorado into the Rocky Mountains, presenting a potential harm to natural alpine ecosystems. This study focuses on locating the source of transport of gases from feedlots along the eastern Front Range of Colorado into alpine lakes of the Rocky Mountains. Source regions are approximated using backward time simulation of a Lagrangian Transport model.

  8. Systematics of the ectomycorrhizal genus Lactarius in the Rocky Mountain alpine zone.

    PubMed

    Barge, Edward G; Cripps, Cathy L; Osmundson, Todd W

    2016-01-01

    Lactarius (Russulales) is an important component of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities in cold-dominated contiguous arctic and disjunct alpine habitats where it associates primarily with Betula, Dryas and Salix However, little is known of this genus in the central and southern Rocky Mountain alpine zone (3000-3900 m) of North America. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of nuc rDNA ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 (ITS barcode) and the second largest subunit of the RNA polymerase II gene (RPB2) partial sequences in conjunction with detailed morphological examination confirm at least six species occurring above treeline. Most have intercontinental distributions in North America and Eurasia according to molecular comparison with type material and collections from Europe, Fennoscandia, Svalbard and Alaska. Rocky Mountain collections of L. lanceolatus (subgenus Russularia), along with the type from Alaska are paraphyletic with respect to L. aurantiacus and North American taxa L. luculentus and L. luculentus v. laetus Rocky Mountain collections of L. nanus, L. glyciosmus, L. repraesentaneus and L. salicis-reticulatae (subgenus Piperites) all form clades with European material from type localities and other arctic-alpine habitats. The arctic-alpine L. pseudouvidus/L. brunneoviolaceus group appears to be a complex containing additional taxa. North American material originally described as part of this group is well-separated phylogenetically and is described here as L. pallidomarginatus sp. nov. Lactarius lanceolatus, L. nanus and L. salicis-reticulatae appear largely restricted to arctic-alpine habitats with Salix Lactarius glyciosmus and L. repraesentaneus occur in arctic-alpine, subalpine and boreal habitats with Betula and also Picea and possibly Salix for the latter. Species distributions are hypothesized to be shaped by host ranges, glaciation and long distance dispersal.

  9. Fatal Caprine arthritis encephalitis virus-like infection in 4 Rocky Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus).

    PubMed

    Patton, Kristin M; Bildfell, Robert J; Anderson, Mark L; Cebra, Christopher K; Valentine, Beth A

    2012-03-01

    Over a 3.5-year period, 4 Rocky Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), housed at a single facility, developed clinical disease attributed to infection by Caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV). Ages ranged from 1 to 10 years. Three of the goats, a 1-year-old female, a 2-year-old male, and a 5-year-old male, had been fed raw domestic goat milk from a single source that was later found to have CAEV on the premises. The fourth animal, a 10-year-old male, had not ingested domestic goat milk but had been housed with the other 3 Rocky Mountain goats. All 4 animals had clinical signs of pneumonia prior to death. At necropsy, findings in lungs included marked diffuse interstitial pneumonia characterized histologically by severe lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates with massive alveolar proteinosis, interstitial fibrosis, and type II pneumocyte hyperplasia. One animal also developed left-sided hemiparesis, and locally extensive lymphoplasmacytic myeloencephalitis was present in the cranial cervical spinal cord. Two animals had joint effusions, as well as severe lymphoplasmacytic and ulcerative synovitis. Immunohistochemical staining of fixed sections of lung tissue from all 4 goats, as well as spinal cord in 1 affected animal, and synovium from 2 affected animals were positive for CAEV antigen. Serology testing for anti-CAEV antibodies was positive in the 2 goats tested. The cases suggest that Rocky Mountain goats are susceptible to naturally occurring CAEV infection, that CAEV from domestic goats can be transmitted to this species through infected milk and by horizontal transmission, and that viral infection can result in clinically severe multisystemic disease. PMID:22379056

  10. Fatal Caprine arthritis encephalitis virus-like infection in 4 Rocky Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus).

    PubMed

    Patton, Kristin M; Bildfell, Robert J; Anderson, Mark L; Cebra, Christopher K; Valentine, Beth A

    2012-03-01

    Over a 3.5-year period, 4 Rocky Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), housed at a single facility, developed clinical disease attributed to infection by Caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV). Ages ranged from 1 to 10 years. Three of the goats, a 1-year-old female, a 2-year-old male, and a 5-year-old male, had been fed raw domestic goat milk from a single source that was later found to have CAEV on the premises. The fourth animal, a 10-year-old male, had not ingested domestic goat milk but had been housed with the other 3 Rocky Mountain goats. All 4 animals had clinical signs of pneumonia prior to death. At necropsy, findings in lungs included marked diffuse interstitial pneumonia characterized histologically by severe lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates with massive alveolar proteinosis, interstitial fibrosis, and type II pneumocyte hyperplasia. One animal also developed left-sided hemiparesis, and locally extensive lymphoplasmacytic myeloencephalitis was present in the cranial cervical spinal cord. Two animals had joint effusions, as well as severe lymphoplasmacytic and ulcerative synovitis. Immunohistochemical staining of fixed sections of lung tissue from all 4 goats, as well as spinal cord in 1 affected animal, and synovium from 2 affected animals were positive for CAEV antigen. Serology testing for anti-CAEV antibodies was positive in the 2 goats tested. The cases suggest that Rocky Mountain goats are susceptible to naturally occurring CAEV infection, that CAEV from domestic goats can be transmitted to this species through infected milk and by horizontal transmission, and that viral infection can result in clinically severe multisystemic disease.

  11. Snowpack and precipitation chemistry at a high altitude site in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafrenière, Melissa J.; Sinclair, Kate E.

    2011-11-01

    SummaryThis study presents a first quantitative study of inorganic ion concentrations and loading in precipitation in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The 2005/2006 winter snowpack and July 2006 rainfall are examined to define the magnitude, and altitudinal and seasonal variability of atmospheric deposition at high altitude sites. Little is currently known about the sources and concentrations of inorganic ions in watersheds in this region, and careful measurement of snowpack and rainfall chemistry are required to accurately assess the total annual deposition and the potential environmental effects of atmospheric pollution on high elevation ecosystems and snowmelt-dominated catchments on both sides of the continental divide. Snowpit profiles from three sites between 2100 and 2750 m above sea level (masl) show little variation in ion concentrations with altitude, but all sites show strong seasonal variations. Air-mass back trajectories and the identification of storms in snowpits using high-resolution oxygen isotope (δ 18O) data show that the increases in acid anions in the surface (spring) layers and early-winter snow layers are associated with southwesterly storm systems that swept moisture across the northwestern US into western Canada. July rainfall ion concentrations were 1.5-3.0 times higher than winter snowpack concentrations and were also primarily associated with southwesterly storms. The chemical composition of precipitation in this region, and the relative contribution of snow and rain to annual precipitation, suggest that rates of nitrogen (N) deposition in the Canadian Rocky Mountains may be comparable to the US Rocky Mountains where N deposition is altering ecosystem function. These results lend support to increased monitoring of precipitation chemistry in this environmentally sensitive region.

  12. A new reference section for palynostratigraphic zonation of Paleocene rocks in the Rocky Mountain region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, D.J.; Flores, R.M.

    2006-01-01

    A biostratigraphic (palynostratigraphic) zonation of Paleocene rocks was established in the northeastern Wind River Basin near Waltman, Natrona County, Wyoming, in 1978 and subsequently applied extensively by various workers throughout the Rocky Mountain region. Because the original study on which the zonation was based was proprietary, precise details about the locations of the two reference sections and the samples on which the zonation was based were not published and are no longer retrievable. Therefore, it is useful (although not required) to designate formally a new reference section for the Paleocene biozones. Accordingly, exposures of Paleocene and associated strata within and west of the Castle Gardens Petroglyph Site in Fremont County, Wyoming, in the east-central part of the Wind River Basin, were selected for this purpose. At this location, composite stratigraphic sections encompassing 740 m of strata were measured, described, and sampled. Productive samples yielded characteristic Maastrichtian palynomorphs from the lower part of the sampled interval and diagnostic species of the six palynological biozones zones widely known as P1 (lower Paleocene) through P6 (upper Paleocene), through an interval of about 580 m. The Paleocene biozones are present in the same consistent stratigraphic order in the Castle Gardens area as observed in the 1978 study and subsequent studies throughout the Rocky Mountain region. In accordance with the North American Stratigraphic Code, the historical background is presented; intent to establish the Castle Gardens reference section is declared; the category, rank, and formal names of biostratigraphic units within it are specified; and the features of the biozonation are described, including biozone boundaries, ages, and regional relations. Occurrences of biostratigraphically significant palynological species within each biozone in the reference section are tabulated, and presence of these and other species in correlative

  13. Sarcoptic mange found in wolves in the Rocky Mountains in western United States.

    PubMed

    Jimenez, Michael D; Bangs, Edward E; Sime, Carolyn; Asher, Valpa J

    2010-10-01

    We documented sarcoptic mange caused by mites (Sarcoptes scabiei) in 22 gray wolves (Canis lupus) in the northern Rocky Mountain states of Montana (n=16) and Wyoming (n=6), from 2002 through 2008. To our knowledge, this is the first report of sarcoptic mange in wolves in Montana or Wyoming in recent times. In addition to confirming sarcoptic mange, we recorded field observations of 40 wolves in Montana and 30 wolves in Wyoming displaying clinical signs of mange (i.e., alopecia, hyperkeratosis, and seborrhea). Therefore, we suspect sarcoptic mange may be more prevalent than we were able to confirm. PMID:20966263

  14. Bankfull-channel geometry and discharge curves for the Rocky Mountains Hydrologic Region in Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Foster, Katharine

    2012-01-01

    Regional curves relate bankfull-channel geometry and bankfull discharge to drainage area in regions with similar runoff characteristics and are used to estimate the bankfull discharge and bankfull-channel geometry when the drainage area of a stream is known. One-variable, ordinary least-squares regressions relating bankfull discharge, cross-sectional area, bankfull width, and bankfull mean depth to drainage area were developed from data collected at 35 streamgages in or near Wyoming. Watersheds draining to these streamgages are within the Rocky Mountains Hydrologic Region of Wyoming and neighboring states.

  15. Technology assessment of field portable instrumentation for use at Rocky Mountain Arsenal: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Jenkins, R.A.; Maskarinec, M.P.; Griest, W.H.; Dyer, F.F.; Moody, R.L.; Buchanan, M.V.

    1988-03-01

    An assessment was made of commercially available field instrumentation for analysis of samples at Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The analytes considered were metals, volatile organics, and semivolatile organics. Colorimetrics tests for metals are recommended for screening, with positives being confirmed by microwave digestion followed by portable atomic absorption. A portable mercury monitor is recommended for this analysis. Portable x-ray fluorescence is recommended for higher levels of inorganics. For volatile organics, purge and trap and heated headspace followed by portable gas chromatography are recommended. For semivolatiles in soil, SOXTEC extraction and gas or thin layer chromatography are recommended. For semivolatiles is water, solvent extraction using a MIXXOR is recommended. 1 fig., 13 tabs.

  16. GEOLOGIC ASPECTS OF TIGHT GAS RESERVOIRS IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGION.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spencer, Charles W.

    1985-01-01

    The authors describe some geologic characteristics of tight gas reservoirs in the Rocky Mountain region. These reservoirs usually have an in-situ permeability to gas of 0. 1 md or less and can be classified into four general geologic and engineering categories: (1) marginal marine blanket, (2) lenticular, (3) chalk, and (4) marine blanket shallow. Microscopic study of pore/permeability relationships indicates the existence of two varieties of tight reservoirs. One variety is tight because of the fine grain size of the rock. The second variety is tight because the rock is relatively tightly cemented and the pores are poorly connected by small pore throats and capillaries.

  17. Ecological risk characterization based on exposure to contaminants through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal aquatic food chains

    SciTech Connect

    Toll, J.E.; Cothern, K.A.; Pavlou, S.; Tate, D.J.; Armstrong, J.P.

    1994-12-31

    This paper describes ecological risk characterization methods and results for characterizing potential risk from exposure to bioaccumulative contaminants of concern (aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, DDT, DDE, and mercury) through the lake food chains at Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA). Aquatic risks were estimated for the bald eagle, great blue heron, shorebird, and water bird using a prey-tissue-concentration-based food web model. Methods for estimating missing tissue concentration data were developed on a case-by-case basis and will be described. A sediment-based food web model was also considered and the reasons for its rejection will be described. Generalizable insights from the aquatic ecological risk characterization will be discussed.

  18. Variation in fire regimes of the rocky mountains: Implications for avian communities and fire management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saab, V.A.; Powell, H.D.W.; Kotliar, N.B.; Newlon, K.R.

    2005-01-01

    Information about avian responses to fire in the U.S. Rocky Mountains is based solely on studies of crown fires. However, fire management in this region is based primarily on studies of low-elevation ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests maintained largely by frequent understory fires. In contrast to both of these trends, most Rocky Mountain forests are subject to mixed severity fire regimes. As a result, our knowledge of bird responses to fire in the region is incomplete and skewed toward ponderosa pine forests. Research in recent large wildfires across the Rocky Mountains indicates that large burns support diverse avifauna. In the absence of controlled studies of bird responses to fire, we compared reproductive success for six cavity-nesting species using results from studies in burned and unburned habitats. Birds in ponderosa pine forests burned by stand-replacement fire tended to have higher nest success than individuals of the same species in unburned habitats, but unburned areas are needed to serve species dependent upon live woody vegetation, especially foliage gleaners. Over the last century, fire suppression, livestock grazing, and logging altered the structure and composition of many low-elevation forests, leading to larger and more severe burns. In higher elevation forests, changes have been less marked. Traditional low-severity prescribed fire is not likely to replicate historical conditions in these mixed or high-severity fire regimes, which include many mixed coniferous forests and all lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and spruce-fir (Picea-Abies) forests. We suggest four research priorities: (1) the effects of fire severity and patch size on species' responses to fire, (2) the possibility that postfire forests are ephemeral sources for some bird species, (3) the effect of salvage logging prescriptions on bird communities, and (4) experiments that illustrate bird responses to prescribed fire and other forest restoration methods. This research is

  19. State geothermal commercialization programs in seven Rocky Mountain states. Semiannual progress report, January-July 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Lunis, B.C.; Toth, W.J.

    1982-05-01

    The activities and findings of the seven state commercialization teams participating in the Rocky Mountain Basin and Range commercialization program are described. For each state (Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North and South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming), prospect identification, area development plans, site specific development analyses, time-phased project plans, the aggregated prospective geothermal energy use, and institutional analyses are discussed. Public outreach activities are also covered, and findings and recommendations are given for each state. Some background information about the program is provided. (LEW)

  20. State geothermal commercialization programs in seven Rocky Mountain states. Semiannual progress report, July-December 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Lunis, B. C.; Toth, W. J.

    1981-10-01

    The activities and findings of the seven state commercialization teams participating in the Rocky Mountain Basin and Range commercialization program are described. Background information is provided; program objectives and the technical approach that is used are discussed; and the benefits of the program are described. The summary of findings is presented. Prospect identification, area development plans, site specific development analyses, time-phased project plans, the aggregated prospective geothermal energy use, and institutional analyses are discussed. Public outreach activities are covered and findings and recommendations are summarized. The commercialization activities carried out by the respective state teams are described for the following: Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

  1. State geothermal commercialization programs in seven Rocky Mountain states. Semiannual progress report, July-December 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Lunis, B.C.

    1982-08-01

    The activities and findings of the seven state commercialization teams participating in the Rocky Mountain Basin and Range commercialization program are described. The period covered is July through December 1981. Background information is provided, program objectives and the technical approach used are discussed, and the benefits of the program are described. Prospect identification, area development plans, site specific development analyses, time-phased project plans, the aggregated prospective geothermal energy use, and institutional analyses are discussed. Public outreach activities are covered and findings and recommendations are summarized.

  2. DNA replication in the sex chromosomes of the pronghorn and the Rocky Mountain goat.

    PubMed

    Dain, A

    1977-01-01

    The X chromosomes of the male pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is larger than the "original" type and carries a large segment of late-labelling chromatin. The Y chromosome has a late-labelling segment that appears to duplicate synchronously with that of the X. Both chromosomes have segments that label throughout the period of observation; that the X is about 4.7% of the haploid complement and approaches "original" proportions. The X chromosomes of the Rocky Mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) appear to be of the "original" type, without marked late-labelling regions, and the Y chromosomes is small. The structure and origin of extra-large sex chromosomes are discussed.

  3. Numerical Modeling of Rocky Mountain Paleoglaciers - Insights into the Climate of the Last Glacial Maximum and the Subsequent Deglaciation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, E. M.; Laabs, B. J. C.; Plummer, M. A.

    2014-12-01

    Numerical modeling of paleoglaciers can yield information on the climatic conditions necessary to sustain those glaciers. In this study we apply a coupled 2-d mass/energy balance and flow model (Plummer and Phillips, 2003) to reconstruct local last glacial maximum (LLGM) glaciers and paleoclimate in ten study areas along the crest of the U.S. Rocky Mountains between 33°N and 49°N. In some of the areas, where timing of post-LLGM ice recession is constrained by surface exposure ages on either polished bedrock upvalley from the LLGM moraines or post-LLGM recessional moraines, we use the model to assess magnitudes and rates of climate change during deglaciation. The modeling reveals a complex pattern of LLGM climate. The magnitude of LLGM-to-modern climate change (temperature and/or precipitation change) was greater in both the northern (Montana) Rocky Mountains and southern (New Mexico) Rocky Mountains than in the middle (Wyoming and Colorado) Rocky Mountains. We use temperature depression estimates from global and regional climate models to infer LLGM precipitation from our glacier model results. Our results suggest a reduction of precipitation coupled with strongly depressed temperatures in the north, contrasted with strongly enhanced precipitation and much more modest temperature depression in the south. The middle Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming appear to have experienced a reduction in precipitation at the LLGM without the strong temperature depression of the northern Rocky Mountains. Preliminary work on modeling of deglaciation in the Sangre de Cristo Range in southern Colorado suggests that approximately half of the LLGM-to-modern climate change took place during the initial ~2400 years of deglaciation. If increasing temperature and changing solar insolation were the sole drivers of this initial deglaciation, then temperature would need to have risen by slightly more than 1°C/ky through this interval to account for the observed rate of ice recession.

  4. Comparison of precipitation chemistry in the Central Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heuer, K.; Tonnessen, K.A.; Ingersoll, G.P.

    2000-01-01

    Volume-weighted mean concentrations of nitrate (NO3-), ammonium (NH4+), and sulfate (SO42-) in precipitation were compared at high-elevation sites in Colorado from 1992 to 1997 to evaluate emission source areas to the east and west of the Rocky Mountains. Precipitation chemistry was measured by two sampling methods, the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN) and snowpack surveys at maximum accumulation. Concentrations of NO3- and SO42- in winter precipitation were greater on the western slope of the Rockies, and concentrations of NO3- and NH4+ in summer precipitation were greater on the eastern slope. Summer concentrations in general were almost twice as high as winter concentrations. Seasonal weather patterns in combination with emission source areas help to explain these differences. This comparison shows that high-elevation ecosystems in Colorado are influenced by air pollution emission sources located on both sides of the Continental Divide. It also suggests that sources of nitrogen and sulfur located east of the Divide have a greater influence on precipitation chemistry in the Colorado Rockies. Copyright (C) 2000.

  5. Comparison of precipitation chemistry in the Central Rocky Mountains, Colorado, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heuer, Kristi; Tonnessen, Kathy A.; Ingersoll, George P.

    Volume-weighted mean concentrations of nitrate (NO 3-), ammonium (NH 4+), and sulfate (SO 42-) in precipitation were compared at high-elevation sites in Colorado from 1992 to 1997 to evaluate emission source areas to the east and west of the Rocky Mountains. Precipitation chemistry was measured by two sampling methods, the National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network (NADP/NTN) and snowpack surveys at maximum accumulation. Concentrations of NO 3- and SO 42- in winter precipitation were greater on the western slope of the Rockies, and concentrations of NO 3- and NH 4+ in summer precipitation were greater on the eastern slope. Summer concentrations in general were almost twice as high as winter concentrations. Seasonal weather patterns in combination with emission source areas help to explain these differences. This comparison shows that high-elevation ecosystems in Colorado are influenced by air pollution emission sources located on both sides of the Continental Divide. It also suggests that sources of nitrogen and sulfur located east of the Divide have a greater influence on precipitation chemistry in the Colorado Rockies.

  6. 36 CFR 261.72 - Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2. 261.72 Section 261.72 Parks, Forests, and Public... Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2....

  7. 36 CFR 261.72 - Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2. 261.72 Section 261.72 Parks, Forests, and Public... Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2....

  8. 36 CFR 261.72 - Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2. 261.72 Section 261.72 Parks, Forests, and Public... Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2....

  9. 36 CFR 261.72 - Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2. 261.72 Section 261.72 Parks, Forests, and Public... Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2....

  10. 36 CFR 261.72 - Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2. 261.72 Section 261.72 Parks, Forests, and Public... Regulations applicable to Region 2, Rocky Mountain Region, as defined in § 200.2....

  11. Relational Database for the Geology of the Northern Rocky Mountains - Idaho, Montana, and Washington

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Causey, J. Douglas; Zientek, Michael L.; Bookstrom, Arthur A.; Frost, Thomas P.; Evans, Karl V.; Wilson, Anna B.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Boleneus, David E.; Pitts, Rebecca A.

    2008-01-01

    A relational database was created to prepare and organize geologic map-unit and lithologic descriptions for input into a spatial database for the geology of the northern Rocky Mountains, a compilation of forty-three geologic maps for parts of Idaho, Montana, and Washington in U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2005-1235. Not all of the information was transferred to and incorporated in the spatial database due to physical file limitations. This report releases that part of the relational database that was completed for that earlier product. In addition to descriptive geologic information for the northern Rocky Mountains region, the relational database contains a substantial bibliography of geologic literature for the area. The relational database nrgeo.mdb (linked below) is available in Microsoft Access version 2000, a proprietary database program. The relational database contains data tables and other tables used to define terms, relationships between the data tables, and hierarchical relationships in the data; forms used to enter data; and queries used to extract data.

  12. Mapping critical loads of nitrogen deposition for aquatic ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains, USA.

    PubMed

    Nanus, Leora; Clow, David W; Saros, Jasmine E; Stephens, Verlin C; Campbell, Donald H

    2012-07-01

    Spatially explicit estimates of critical loads of nitrogen (N) deposition (CL(Ndep)) for nutrient enrichment in aquatic ecosystems were developed for the Rocky Mountains, USA, using a geostatistical approach. The lowest CL(Ndep) estimates (<1.5 ± 1 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1)) occurred in high-elevation basins with steep slopes, sparse vegetation, and abundance of exposed bedrock and talus. These areas often correspond with areas of high N deposition (>3 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1)), resulting in CL(Ndep) exceedances ≥ 1.5 ± 1 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1). CL(Ndep) and CL(Ndep) exceedances exhibit substantial spatial variability related to basin characteristics and are highly sensitive to the NO(3)(-) threshold at which ecological effects are thought to occur. Based on an NO(3)(-) threshold of 0.5 μmol L(-1), N deposition exceeds CL(Ndep) in 21 ± 8% of the study area; thus, broad areas of the Rocky Mountains may be impacted by excess N deposition, with greatest impacts at high elevations. PMID:22504426

  13. Estimation of geomorphically significant flows in alpine streams of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado (USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Surian, N.; Andrews, E.D.

    1999-01-01

    Streamflows recorded at 24 gauging stations in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado were analyzed to derive regional regression equations for estimating the natural flow duration and flood frequency in reaches where the natural flows are unknown or have been altered by diversion or regulation. The principal objective of this analysis is to determine whether the relatively high, infrequent, but geomorphically and ecologically important flows in the Rocky Mountains can be accurately estimated by regional flow duration equations. The region considered in this study is an area of relatively abundant runoff, and, consequently, intense water resources development. The specific streams analyzed here, however, are unaltered and remain nearly pristine. Regional flow duration equations are derived for two situations. When the mean annual discharge is known, flows ??? 10% of the time can be estimated with an uncertainty of ??9% for the 10% exceedance flow, to ??11%forthe 1.0% exceedance flow. When the mean annual discharge is unknown, the relatively high, infrequent flow can be estimated using the mean basin precipitation rate (in m3/s), and basin relief with an uncertainty of ??23% for the 10% exceedance flow to ??21% for the 1.0% exeedance flow. The uncertainty in estimated discharges using the equations derived in this analysis is substantially smaller than has been previously reported, especially for the geomorphically significant flows which are relatively large and infrequent. The improvement is due primarily to the quality of streamflow records analyzed and a well-defined hydrologic region.

  14. Triangle zone and displacement transfer structures in the eastern Front Ranges, southern Canadian Rocky Mountains

    SciTech Connect

    Sanderson, D.A. ); Spratt, D.A. )

    1992-06-01

    The geometry of a relict triangle zone at the boundary of the Foothills and Front Ranges in the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains is constrained by detailed surface mapping over 700 m of relief and by seismic reflection data. The geometry and progressive development of the triangle zone along a strike length of 15-20 km, in the displacement transfer zone between the Coleman and Misty thrusts, is illustrated using closely spaced balanced cross sections, palinspastic restorations, and s sequentially restored cross section. Structural geometries show that a northeast- (foreland-) verging, mainly carbonate wedge of Mississippian to Triassic rock was inserted along a major upper detachment zone in shale, near the base of the Jurassic-Cretaceous clastic package. This was accompanied by southwest- (hinterland-) verging displacements along the upper detachment zone, tectonic thickening of the clastic package exceeding 200%, and backthrusting. Later northeast-verging deformation slightly modified the triangle zone by steepening structures, tightening folds, and minor thrusting. Recognition of relict triangle zones within the fold and thrust belt may document important changes in the rate of thrust front advancement, and aid in the delineation of potential hydrocarbon traps, similar to those discovered along the present-day thrust-belt margin in the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains.

  15. Aerosol species concentrations and source apportionment of ammonia at Rocky Mountain National Park.

    PubMed

    Malm, William C; Schichtel, Bret A; Barna, Michael G; Gebhart, Kristi A; Rodriguez, Marco A; Collett, Jeffrey L; Carrico, Christian M; Benedict, Katherine B; Prenni, Anthony J; Kreidenweis, Sonia M

    2013-11-01

    Changes in ecosystem function at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) are occurring because of emissions of nitrogen and sulfate species along the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, as well as sources farther east and west. The nitrogen compounds include both oxidized and reduced nitrogen. A year-long monitoring program of various oxidized and reduced nitrogen species was initiated to better understand their origins as well as the complex chemistry occurring during transport from source to receptor. Specifically the goals of the study were to characterize the atmospheric concentrations of nitrogen species in gaseous, particulate, and aqueous phases (precipitation and clouds) along the east and west sides of the Continental Divide; identify the relative contributions to atmospheric nitrogen species in RMNP from within and outside of the state of Colorado; identify the relative contributions to atmospheric nitrogen species in RMNP from emission sources along the Colorado Front Range versus other areas within Colorado; and identify the relative contributions to atmospheric nitrogen species from mobile sources, agricultural activities, and large and small point sources within the state of Colorado. Measured ammonia concentrations are combined with modeled releases of conservative tracers from ammonia source regions around the United States to apportion ammonia to its respective sources, using receptor modeling tools.

  16. How climate changes in the Rocky Mountains contribute to changes in an alpine lake's phytoplankton community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guido, A. S.; Garland, D.; McKnight, D. M.

    2011-12-01

    It is important to track algae in potable water supplies as they are a factor in the production of dissolved organic matter (DOM) that can result in the formation of disinfection byproducts. Disinfection byproducts have been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a potential carcinogen and have been linked to reproductive and developmental effects in lab animals. Green Lake 4 is located in the Rocky Mountains and is part of the Silver Lake Watershed which provides 40% of Boulder, CO's potable water supply. In 2002, the Rocky Mountain region had below average precipitation and consequently Green Lake experienced a change in its physical and chemical conditions. As a result of the changes experienced in Green Lake 4, a change in the composition of the phytoplankton community was seen. Along with reduced precipitation levels, this area has also experienced an earlier ice-out date. As part of this research, chemical changes, physical changes, and algae changes in Green Lake 4 will be analyzed. Data from 2007 to 2010 will be analyzed; this study will be looking at both the chemical and physical changes of Green Lake 4 as they relate to the change in ice out of the lake and precipitation in the region.

  17. Mapping critical loads of nitrogen deposition for aquatic ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nanus, Leora; Clow, David W.; Saros, Jasmine E.; Stephens, Verlin C.; Campbell, Donald H.

    2012-01-01

    Spatially explicit estimates of critical loads of nitrogen (N) deposition (CLNdep) for nutrient enrichment in aquatic ecosystems were developed for the Rocky Mountains, USA, using a geostatistical approach. The lowest CLNdep estimates (−1 yr−1) occurred in high-elevation basins with steep slopes, sparse vegetation, and abundance of exposed bedrock and talus. These areas often correspond with areas of high N deposition (>3 kg N ha−1 yr−1), resulting in CLNdep exceedances ≥1.5 ± 1 kg N ha−1 yr−1. CLNdep and CLNdep exceedances exhibit substantial spatial variability related to basin characteristics and are highly sensitive to the NO3− threshold at which ecological effects are thought to occur. Based on an NO3− threshold of 0.5 μmol L−1, N deposition exceeds CLNdep in 21 ± 8% of the study area; thus, broad areas of the Rocky Mountains may be impacted by excess N deposition, with greatest impacts at high elevations.

  18. Aspen structure and variability in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kaye, M.W.; Stohlgren, T.J.; Binkley, D.

    2003-01-01

    Elk, fire and climate have influenced aspen populations in the Rocky Mountains, but mostly subjective studies have characterized these factors. A broad-scale perspective may shed new light on the status of aspen in the region. We collected field measurements of aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) patches encountered within 36 randomly located belt transects in 340 km2 of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, to quantify the aspen population. Aspen covered 5.6% of the area in the transects, much more than expected based on previously collected remotely sensed data. The distribution and structure of aspen patches were highly heterogeneous throughout the study area. Of the 123 aspen patches encountered in the 238 ha surveyed, all but one showed signs of elk browsing or had conifer species mixed with the aspen stems. No significant difference occurred in aspen basal area, density, regeneration, browsing of regeneration and patch size, between areas of concentrated elk use (elk winter range) and areas of dispersed elk use (elk summer range). Two-thirds of the aspen patches were mixed with conifer species. We concluded that the population of aspen in our study area is highly variable in structure and that, at a landscape-scale, evidence of elk browsing is widespread but evidence of aspen decline is not.

  19. Social and economic assessment: A technical report used in amending the Rocky Mountain regional guide

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-05-01

    The purpose of the Socio-economic Assessment is threefold in nature: to describe the socio-economic forces at work within the rural and urban areas throughout the Rocky Mountain Region (the Region); to develop social and economic profiles for the Region as a whole and each of its eight subregions; and, finally, to describe the potential impacts of the above mentioned forces on the Region and to make recommendations for developing future strategies to facilitate coordination between the Forest Service, the various state, local, and other federal agencies, and Native American Indian tribes. This project involved the analysis of various social and economic variables in an attempt to determine the social and economic situation in the Rocky Mountain Region, and how it has been altered over the last three decades. To this end, data was collected on demographic changes, income growth, employment and unemployment, payrolls, number and size of firms, and SIC industrial breakdowns for various industries within each subregion and economic impact area.

  20. Assessing the Ability of Nitrogen Isotopes to Distinguish Ammonia Sources Affecting Rocky Mountain National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stratton, J. J.; Ham, J. M.; Williams, C.; Roosendaal, D.; Borch, T.

    2011-12-01

    Extensive evidence has shown that Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) has undergone ecosystem changes due to excessive nitrogen (N) deposition. Previously, the Rocky Mountain Atmospheric Nitrogen and Sulfur (RoMANS) study was conducted to identify the species of N that deposit in RMNP. Results from the RoMANS study showed that reduced N contributions from within Colorado were 45% and 36% for the spring and summer, respectively. There is still much uncertainty as to how much each source within Colorado contributes to ammonia deposition in RMNP. The major goal of this study is to determine whether the isotopic signature of nitrogen can be used as a tracer for ammonia released from sources within Colorado into RMNP. Samples were deployed in May of 2011. All samples were collected using passive samplers, Radiellos, deployed for 2 week and/or monthly integrations periods. Samples were collected from, but not limited to, confined animal feeding operations, dairies, wastewater reclamation, mobile sources, RMNP, etc. Sample locations were chosen based on the location in comparison to RMNP and the availability of meteorological data. The collected ammonia was analyzed using Ion Chromatography, and then diffused for isotopic analysis. Results will be discussed in terms of differences among ammonia emitters and in comparison to RMNP. Studies are also being conducted to investigate the isotopic values of ammonia lost from RMNP soils and wet deposition collected in RMNP.

  1. Aerosol species concentrations and source apportionment of ammonia at Rocky Mountain National Park.

    PubMed

    Malm, William C; Schichtel, Bret A; Barna, Michael G; Gebhart, Kristi A; Rodriguez, Marco A; Collett, Jeffrey L; Carrico, Christian M; Benedict, Katherine B; Prenni, Anthony J; Kreidenweis, Sonia M

    2013-11-01

    Changes in ecosystem function at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) are occurring because of emissions of nitrogen and sulfate species along the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, as well as sources farther east and west. The nitrogen compounds include both oxidized and reduced nitrogen. A year-long monitoring program of various oxidized and reduced nitrogen species was initiated to better understand their origins as well as the complex chemistry occurring during transport from source to receptor. Specifically the goals of the study were to characterize the atmospheric concentrations of nitrogen species in gaseous, particulate, and aqueous phases (precipitation and clouds) along the east and west sides of the Continental Divide; identify the relative contributions to atmospheric nitrogen species in RMNP from within and outside of the state of Colorado; identify the relative contributions to atmospheric nitrogen species in RMNP from emission sources along the Colorado Front Range versus other areas within Colorado; and identify the relative contributions to atmospheric nitrogen species from mobile sources, agricultural activities, and large and small point sources within the state of Colorado. Measured ammonia concentrations are combined with modeled releases of conservative tracers from ammonia source regions around the United States to apportion ammonia to its respective sources, using receptor modeling tools. PMID:24344569

  2. Fish assemblage structure and relations with environmental conditions in a Rocky Mountain watershed

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Quist, M.C.; Hubert, W.A.; Isaak, D.J.

    2004-01-01

    Fish and habitat were sampled from 110 reaches in the Salt River basin (Idaho and Wyoming) during 1996 and 1997 to assess patterns in fish assemblage structure across a Rocky Mountain watershed. We identified four distinct fish assemblages using cluster analysis: (1) allopatric cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki (Richardson, 1836)); (2) cutthroat trout - brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchell, 1814)) - Paiute sculpin (Cottus beldingi Eigenmann and Eigenmann, 1891); (3) cutthroat trout - brown trout (Salmo trutta L., 1758) - mottled sculpin (Cottus bairdi Girard, 1850); and (4) Cyprinidae-Catostomidae. The distribution of fish assemblages was explained by thermal characteristics, stream geomorphology, and local habitat features. Reaches with allopatric cutthroat trout and the cutthroat trout - brook trout - Paiute sculpin assemblage were located in high-elevation, high-gradient streams. The other two fish assemblages were generally located in low-elevation streams. Associations between habitat gradients, locations of reaches in the watershed, and occurrence of species were further examined using canonical correspondence analysis. The results suggest that stream geomorphology, thermal conditions, and local habitat characteristics influence fish assemblage structure across a Rocky Mountain watershed, and they provide information on the ecology of individual species that can guide conservation activities. ?? 2004 NRC Canada.

  3. Detection ratios on winter surveys of Rocky Mountain Trumpeter Swans Cygnus buccinator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bart, J.; Mitchell, C.D.; Fisher, M.N.; Dubovsky, J.A.

    2007-01-01

    We estimated the detection ratio for Rocky Mountain Trumpeter Swans Cygnus buccinator that were counted during aerial surveys made in winter. The standard survey involved counting white or grey birds on snow and ice and thus might be expected to have had low detection ratios. On the other hand, observers were permitted to circle areas where the birds were concentrated multiple times to obtain accurate counts. Actual numbers present were estimated by conducting additional intensive aerial counts either immediately before or immediately after the standard count. Surveyors continued the intensive surveys at each area until consecutive counts were identical. The surveys were made at 10 locations in 2006 and at 19 locations in 2007. A total of 2,452 swans were counted on the intensive surveys. Detection ratios did not vary detectably with year, observer, which survey was conducted first, age of the swans, or the number of swans present. The overall detection ratio was 0.93 (90% confidence interval 0.82-1.04), indicating that the counts were quite accurate. Results are used to depict changes in population size for Rocky Mountain Trumpeter Swans from 1974-2007. ?? Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.

  4. Lineaments and their tectonic implications in Rocky Mountains and adjacent plains region

    SciTech Connect

    Maughan, E.K.; Perry, W.J. Jr.

    1983-08-01

    Two orthogonal sets of lineaments in Phanerozoic rocks of the Rocky Mountains and adjacent plains region probably reflect recurrent structural movement along corresponding fractures in the underlying igneous and metamorphic rocks. The lineaments seem to have been primarily paleotopographic features that affected the depositional and erosional margins, thicknesses, and the distribution of lithofacies of Phanerozoic strata. At small scales, the crosscutting lineaments of either set suggest primarily vertical movements of rectangular blocks along through-going rectilinear fractures in the basement rocks. At larger scales, the differential movement of these blocks apparently was propagated upward through the strata and formed a variety of structures, many of which are en echelon. Blocks in the region moved at different times, and they commonly rotated about horizontal axes, as indicated by lateral differences in rates of associated sedimentation and by structural features along the lineaments. Throughout most of the Phanerozoic, the movements seem to have been mainly along the diagonal set (northeast, northwest) of lineaments, but the cardinal set (north-south, east-west) also influenced the development of Laramide structures and the present landscape in the Rocky Mountain region. The structural stresses, which were released along the two sets of lineaments, may reflect plate movements, and they probably are related to orogenies caused either by plate collisions or by rifting and continental fragmentation.

  5. Aspen Ecology in Rocky Mountain National Park: Age Distribution, Genetics, and the Effects of Elk Herbivory

    SciTech Connect

    Tuskan, Gerald A; Yin, Tongming

    2008-10-01

    Lack of aspen (Populus tremuloides) recruitment and canopy replacement of aspen stands that grow on the edges of grasslands on the low-elevation elk (Cervus elaphus) winter range of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in Colorado has been a cause of concern for more than 70 years (Packard, 1942; Olmsted, 1979; Stevens, 1980; Hess, 1993; R.J. Monello, T.L. Johnson, and R.G. Wright, Rocky Mountain National Park, 2006, written commun.). These aspen stands are a significant resource since they are located close to the park's road system and thus are highly visible to park visitors. Aspen communities are integral to the ecological structure of montane and subalpine landscapes because they contain high native species richness of plants, birds, and butterflies (Chong and others, 2001; Simonson and others, 2001; Chong and Stohlgren, 2007). These low-elevation, winter range stands also represent a unique component of the park's plant community diversity since most (more than 95 percent) of the park's aspen stands grow in coniferous forest, often on sheltered slopes and at higher elevations, while these winter range stands are situated on the low-elevation ecotone between the winter range grasslands and some of the park's drier coniferous forests.

  6. Morphological variation and zoogeography of racers (Coluber constrictor) in the central Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, Paul Stephen; Bury, R. Bruce

    1986-01-01

    We examined 63 specimens of Coluber constrictor from Colorado and Utah using eight external morphological characters that have been used to distinguish C. c. mormon from C. c. flaviventris. We grouped the snakes into three Operational Taxonomic Units (OTU's) in a transect across the Rocky Mountains: the eastern Front Range foothills in Colorado; the inter-mountain region (western slope of Colorado and northeastern Utah); and the western foothills of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah. Statistically significant variation among the OTU's was discovered for ration of tail length to total length, number of central and subcaudal scales, and number of dentary teeth. However, variation is clinal with nearly complete overlap from one end f the transect to the other for each character, suggesting a wide zone of intergradiation in the inter-mountain region. We do not believe reported differences in reproductive parameters between Great Plains and Great Basin racers are sufficient grounds for recognition of species, because clutch size is both geographically variable and dependent on the environment. The distribution of C. constrictor is similar to that of other reptiles with transmontane distributions in the western United States, and we suggest two possible routes of dispersal across the Continental Divide in southwestern Wyoming. Thus, elevation of C. c. mormon to species status is not supported by morphological, reproductive, or zoogeographic evidence.

  7. Geologic history and hydrogeologic units of intermontane basins of the northern Rocky Mountains, Montana and Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tuck, L.K.; Briar, David W.; Clark, David W.

    1996-01-01

    The Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (RASA) program is a series of studies by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to analyze regional ground-water systems that compose a major portion of the Nation’s water supply (Sun, 1986). The Northern Rocky Mountains Intermontane Basins is one of the study regions in this national program. The main objectives of the RASA studies are to: (1) describe the ground-water systems as they exist today, (2) analyze the known changes that have led to the system's present condition, (3) combine results of previous studies in a regional analysis, where possible, and (4) provide means by which effects of future ground-water development can be estimated.The purpose of this study, which began in 1990, was to increase understanding of the hydrogeology of the intermontane basins of the Northern Rocky Mountains area. This report is Chapter Cofa three-part series and describes the quality of ground-water and surface water in the study area. Chapter A (Tück and others, 1996) describes the geologic history and generalized hydrogeologic units. Chapter B (Briar and others, 1996) describes the general distribution of ground-watcrlcwels in basin-fill deposits,Water-quality data illustrated in this report represent the distribution of concentrations and composition of dissolved solids in ground-water and surface water in the intermontane areas. The chemistry of ground and surface water in the intermontane areas is influenced by the chemical and physical nature of the rocks in the basin deposits of the valleys and surrounding bedrock in the mountains.

  8. The Effects of Long Term Nitrogen Fertilization on Soil Respiration in Rocky Mountain National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, J.; Denning, S.; Baron, J.

    2015-12-01

    Anthropogenic activities contribute to increased levels of nitrogen deposition and elevated CO2 concentrations in terrestrial ecosystems. The role that soils play in biogeochemical cycles is an important area of uncertainty in ecosystem ecology. One of the main reasons for this uncertainty is that we have limited understanding of belowground microbial activity and how this activity is linked to soil processes. In particular, elevated CO2 may influence soil nitrogen processes that regulate nitrogen availability to plants. Warming and nitrogen fertilization may both contribute to loss of stored carbon from mountain ecosystems, because they contribute to microbial decomposition of organic matter. To study the effects of long-term nitrogen fertilization on soil respiration, we analyzed results from a 25-year field experiment in Rocky Mountain National Park. Field treatments are in old growth Engelmann spruce forests. Soil respiration responses to the effects of nitrogen fertilization on soil carbon cycling, via respiration, were investigated during the 2013 growing season. Soil moisture, temperature, and respiration rates were measured in six 30 x 30 m plots, of the six plots three are fertilized with 25 kg N ha-1 yr-1 as ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) pellets and three receives ambient atmospheric nitrogen deposition (1-6 kg N/ha/yr) in Rocky Mountain National Park. We found that respirations rates in the fertilized plots were not significantly higher than respiration rates in the unfertilized plots. We speculate that acclimation to long-term fertilization and relatively high levels of nitrogen deposition in the control plots both contribute to the insensitivity of soil respiration to fertilization at this site.

  9. Meltwater runoff from Haig Glacier, Canadian Rocky Mountains, 2002-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, S. J.

    2014-07-01

    Observations of high-elevation meteorological conditions, glacier mass balance, and glacier runoff are sparse in western Canada and the Canadian Rocky Mountains, leading to uncertainty about the importance of glaciers to regional water resources. This needs to be quantified so that the impacts of ongoing glacier recession can be evaluated with respect to alpine ecology, hydroelectric operations, and water resource management. I assess the seasonal evolution of glacier runoff in an alpine watershed on the continental divide in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Analysis is based on meteorological, snowpack and surface energy balance data collected at Haig Glacier from 2002-2013. The study area is one of several glacierized headwaters catchments of the Bow River, which flows eastward to provide an important supply of water to the Canadian prairies. Annual specific discharge from snow- and ice-melt on Haig Glacier averaged 2350 mm water equivalent (w.e.) from 2002-2013, with 42% of the runoff derived from melting of glacier ice and firn, i.e. water stored in the glacier reservoir. This is an order of magnitude greater than the annual specific discharge from non-glacierized parts of the Bow River basin. From 2002-2013, meltwater derived from the glacier storage was equivalent to 5-6% of the flow of the Bow River in Calgary in late summer and 2-3% of annual discharge. The basin is typical of most glacier-fed mountains rivers, where the modest and declining extent of glacierized area in the catchment limits the glacier contribution to annual runoff.

  10. Meltwater run-off from Haig Glacier, Canadian Rocky Mountains, 2002-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marshall, S. J.

    2014-12-01

    Observations of high-elevation meteorological conditions, glacier mass balance, and glacier run-off are sparse in western Canada and the Canadian Rocky Mountains, leading to uncertainty about the importance of glaciers to regional water resources. This needs to be quantified so that the impacts of ongoing glacier recession can be evaluated with respect to alpine ecology, hydroelectric operations, and water resource management. In this manuscript the seasonal evolution of glacier run-off is assessed for an alpine watershed on the continental divide in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The study area is a headwaters catchment of the Bow River, which flows eastward to provide an important supply of water to the Canadian prairies. Meteorological, snowpack, and surface energy balance data collected at Haig Glacier from 2002 to 2013 were analysed to evaluate glacier mass balance and run-off. Annual specific discharge from snow- and ice-melt on Haig Glacier averaged 2350 mm water equivalent from 2002 to 2013, with 42% of the run-off derived from melting of glacier ice and firn, i.e. water stored in the glacier reservoir. This is an order of magnitude greater than the annual specific discharge from non-glacierized parts of the Bow River basin. From 2002 to 2013, meltwater derived from the glacier storage was equivalent to 5-6% of the flow of the Bow River in Calgary in late summer and 2-3% of annual discharge. The basin is typical of most glacier-fed mountain rivers, where the modest and declining extent of glacierized area in the catchment limits the glacier contribution to annual run-off.

  11. Forest disturbance interactions and successional pathways in the Southern Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lu Liang,; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Zhu, Zhiliang; Xuecao Li,; Peng Gong,

    2016-01-01

    The pine forests in the southern portion of the Rocky Mountains are a heterogeneous mosaic of disturbance and recovery. The most extensive and intensive stress and mortality are received from human activity, fire, and mountain pine beetles (MPB;Dendroctonus ponderosae). Understanding disturbance interactions and disturbance-succession pathways are crucial for adapting management strategies to mitigate their impacts and anticipate future ecosystem change. Driven by this goal, we assessed the forest disturbance and recovery history in the Southern Rocky Mountains Ecoregion using a 13-year time series of Landsat image stacks. An automated classification workflow that integrates temporal segmentation techniques and a random forest classifier was used to examine disturbance patterns. To enhance efficiency in selecting representative samples at the ecoregion scale, a new sampling strategy that takes advantage of the scene-overlap among adjacent Landsat images was designed. The segment-based assessment revealed that the overall accuracy for all 14 scenes varied from 73.6% to 92.5%, with a mean of 83.1%. A design-based inference indicated the average producer’s and user’s accuracies for MPB mortality were 85.4% and 82.5% respectively. We found that burn severity was largely unrelated to the severity of pre-fire beetle outbreaks in this region, where the severity of post-fire beetle outbreaks generally decreased in relation to burn severity. Approximately half the clear-cut and burned areas were in various stages of recovery, but the regeneration rate was much slower for MPB-disturbed sites. Pre-fire beetle outbreaks and subsequent fire produced positive compound effects on seedling reestablishment in this ecoregion. Taken together, these results emphasize that although multiple disturbances do play a role in the resilience mechanism of the serotinous lodgepole pine, the overall recovery could be slow due to the vast area of beetle mortality.

  12. Persistence of evapotranspiration impacts from mountain pine beetle outbreaks in lodgepole pine forests, south-central Rocky Mountains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderhoof, Melanie; Williams, Christopher

    2014-05-01

    The current extent and high severity (percent tree mortality) of mountain pine beetle outbreaks across western North America have been attributed to regional climate change, specifically warmer summer and winter temperatures and drier summers. These outbreaks are widespread and have potentially persistent impacts on forest evapotranspiration. The few data-driven studies have largely been restricted by the temporal availability of remote sensing products. This study utilized multiple mountain pine beetle outbreak location datasets, both current and historical, within lodgepole pine stands in the south-central Rocky Mountains. The full seasonal evapotranspiration impact of outbreak events for decades after outbreak (0 to 60 years) and the role of outbreak severity in determining that impact were quantified. We found a 30% reduction in evapotranspiration peaking at 14-20 years post-outbreak during the spring snowmelt period, when water was not limited, but a minimal reduction in evapotranspiration during the remainder of the growing season (June - August). We also found a significant increase in evapotranspiration, relative to non-attacked stands, in intermediate aged stands (20-40 years post-disturbance) corresponding with a peak in LAI and therefore transpiration. During the snow-cover months evapotranspiration initially increased with needle fall and snag fall and corresponding increases in albedo and shortwave transmission to the surface. We found that changes in evapotranspiration during all seasons dissipated by 60 years post-attack. MODIS evapotranspiration values responded most strongly to mountain pine beetle driven changes in net radiation or available energy, and vegetation cover (e.g. LAI, fPAR and EVI). It also appears that the post-attack response of evapotranspiration may be sensitive to precipitation patterns and thus the consequences of a disturbance event may depend on the directionality of climate change conditions.

  13. Structural analysis of Boat Mountain area in Rocky Mountain foreland, Madison Range, Montana

    SciTech Connect

    Sablock, J.M.

    1987-08-01

    Detailed mapping, together with stereographic analysis of over 400 field measurements, has been used to determine the geological structure of the Boat Mountain area in southern Madison Range, Gallatin County, Montana. The principal structure is a north-plunging, north-northwest-trending, overturned and thrusted synform, termed the Bear Creek syncline. Thrusting consists of a duplex of roof and sole thrusts enclosing an imbricate stack of horses in the southwest part of Boat Mountain. Precambrian to Cretaceous (Kootenai Formation) strata are involved in the deformation, which is interpreted as Laramide and of a Foothills Family type, involving several separate pulses of deformation. Stereographic determinations of maximum principal stress directions have shown that an initial northeast-directed stress formed and overturned the synform, caused movement on the out-of-syncline sole thrust, and imbricated the overturned limb. A later, easterly directed stress moved the back-limb roof thrust over the already folded and thrust-faulted rocks of Boat Mountain. Thrusting was succeeded by sinistrally directed tear (or strike-slip) faulting along a northeast-striking fault at the southern end of Boat Mountain. Listric normal faulting on Laramide thrust-fault planes is interpreted as a response to Tertiary extension. Recent normal faulting, on steep-dipping, east-west-striking fault planes and continuing to the present, is interpreted as a response to Yellowstone doming.

  14. REGIONAL ANALYSIS OF INORGANIC NITROGEN YIELD AND RETENTION IN HIGH-ELEVATION ECOSYSTEMS OF THE SIERRA NEVADA AND ROCKY MOUNTAINS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Yields and retention of inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and nitrate concentrations in surface runoff are summarized for 28 high elevation watersheds in the Sierra Nevada, California and Rocky Mountains of Wyoming and Colorado. Catchments ranged in elevation from 2475 to 3603 m and from...

  15. History and Recommendations Resulting from Evaluation Planning for the Federation of Rocky Mountain States' Educational Technology Demonstration. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markle, Nancy H.; And Others

    A summary of the first 18 months of operation of the Federation of Rocky Mountain States' Educational Technology Demonstration (renamed Satellite Technology Demonstration after May 1973) details the history of the demonstration and explains the rationale for the demonstration's evaluation planning and historical analysis. The report concludes with…

  16. Diurnal activity of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) and beef cattle (Bos taurus) grazing a northeastern Oregon summer range

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) and beef cattle (Bos taurus) exist in a complex social environment that is marked by diurnal activities such as periods of foraging, ruminating, resting, and sheltering. Elk unlike cattle, must be continually alert to potential predators. We hypothesize that elk...

  17. The Influence of Distinct Insect Pollinators on Female and Male Reproductive Success in the Rocky Mountain Columbine

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Different groups of pollinators with contrasting behavior may differentially affect gene dispersal and gene flow. Hawkmoths and bumble bees are the two major pollinators of the rocky mountain columbine, Aquilegia coerulea. Bumble bees collect pollen throughout the day and frequently groom; hawkmoths...

  18. Postglacial adjustment of steep, low-order drainage basins, Canadian Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffmann, T.; Müller, T.; Johnson, E. A.; Martin, Y. E.

    2013-12-01

    is generally argued that Pleistocene glaciation results in increased sediment flux in mountain systems. An important, but not well constrained, aspect of Pleistocene glacial erosion is the geomorphic decoupling of cirque basins from main river systems. This study provides a quantitative link between glacier-induced basin morphology, postglacial erosion, and sediment delivery for mountain headwaters (with basin area <10 km2). We analyze the morphology of 57 headwater basins in the Canadian Rockies and establish postglacial sediment budgets for select basins. Notable differences in headwater morphology suggest different degrees of erosion by cirque glaciers, which we classify into headwater basins with either cirque or noncirque morphology. Despite steeper slope gradients in cirque basins, higher-mean postglacial erosion rates in basins with noncirque morphology (0.43-0.6 mm a-1) compared to those in cirques (0.19-0.39 mm a-1) suggest a more complex relationship between hillslope erosion and slope gradient in calcareous mountain environments than implied by the threshold hillslope concept. Higher values of channel profile concavity and lower channel gradients in cirques imply lower transport capacities and, thus, lower sediment delivery ratios (SDR). These results are supported by (i) postglacial SDR values for cirques and noncirque basins of <15% and >28%, respectively, and (ii) larger fan sizes at outlets of noncirque basins compared to cirques. Although small headwater basins represent the steepest part of mountain environments and erode significant postglacial sediment, the majority of sediment remains in storage under interglacial climatic conditions and does not affect large-scale mountain river systems.

  19. Influences of secondary disturbances on lodgepole pine stand development in Rocky Mountain National Park.

    PubMed

    Sibold, Jason S; Veblen, Thomas T; Chipko, Kathryn; Lawson, Lauren; Mathis, Emily; Scott, Jared

    2007-09-01

    Although high-severity fire is the primary type of disturbance shaping the structure of lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) stands in the southern Rocky Mountains, many post-fire stands are also affected by blowdown, low-severity surface fires, and/or outbreaks of mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae). The ecological effects of these secondary disturbances are poorly understood but are potentially important in the context of managing for ecological restoration and fire hazard mitigation. We investigated the effects of blowdown, surface fires, and MPB outbreaks on demographic processes in post-fire lodgepole pine stands in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA. We used dendroecological methods to reconstruct stand characteristics prior to and following secondary disturbances for paired stands with and without secondary disturbances. Surface fire events do not kill canopy trees or trigger pulses of recruitment and as such do not have detectable influences on stand development. In contrast, both MPB and blowdown kill canopy trees and trigger pulses of tree regeneration of lodgepole pine and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa). The amount and species composition of post-disturbance regeneration is dependent on the severity of the disturbance and on the time since stand initiation. Secondary disturbances of higher severity (i.e., killing >50% of the canopy trees) that occur in younger post-fire stands favor new establishment of lodgepole pine. In contrast, secondary disturbances of lower severity in older stands (>250 years) trigger a pulse of establishment of subalpine fir. The results of this study demonstrate that the high tree densities characteristic of lodgepole pine stands in the southern Rockies (southern Wyoming to northern New Mexico) are the result of dense regeneration following stand-replacing fires and that surface fires had little or no thinning effect on tree densities. Thus, current high stand densities in the study area are not the result

  20. Recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks, wildfire severity, and postfire tree regeneration in the US Northern Rockies.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Brian J; Donato, Daniel C; Turner, Monica G

    2014-10-21

    Widespread tree mortality caused by outbreaks of native bark beetles (Circulionidae: Scolytinae) in recent decades has raised concern among scientists and forest managers about whether beetle outbreaks fuel more ecologically severe forest fires and impair postfire resilience. To investigate this question, we collected extensive field data following multiple fires that burned subalpine forests in 2011 throughout the Northern Rocky Mountains across a spectrum of prefire beetle outbreak severity, primarily from mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae). We found that recent (2001-2010) beetle outbreak severity was unrelated to most field measures of subsequent fire severity, which was instead driven primarily by extreme burning conditions (weather) and topography. In the red stage (0-2 y following beetle outbreak), fire severity was largely unaffected by prefire outbreak severity with few effects detected only under extreme burning conditions. In the gray stage (3-10 y following beetle outbreak), fire severity was largely unaffected by prefire outbreak severity under moderate conditions, but several measures related to surface fire severity increased with outbreak severity under extreme conditions. Initial postfire tree regeneration of the primary beetle host tree [lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia)] was not directly affected by prefire outbreak severity but was instead driven by the presence of a canopy seedbank and by fire severity. Recent beetle outbreaks in subalpine forests affected few measures of wildfire severity and did not hinder the ability of lodgepole pine forests to regenerate after fire, suggesting that resilience in subalpine forests is not necessarily impaired by recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks.

  1. Determinants of pika population density vs. occupancy in the Southern Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Erb, Liesl P; Ray, Chris; Guralnick, Robert

    2014-04-01

    Species distributions are responding rapidly to global change. While correlative studies of local extinction have been vital to understanding the ecological impacts of global change, more mechanistic lines of inquiry are needed for enhanced forecasting. The current study assesses whether the predictors of local extinction also explain population density for a species apparently impacted by climate change. We tested a suite of climatic and habitat metrics as predictors of American pika (Ochotona princeps) relative population density in the Southern Rocky Mountains, USA. Population density was indexed as the density of pika latrine sites. Negative binomial regression and AICc showed that the best predictors of pika latrine density were patch area followed by two measures of vegetation quality: the diversity and relative cover of forbs. In contrast with previous studies of habitat occupancy in the Southern Rockies, climatic factors were not among the top predictors of latrine density. Populations may be buffered from decline and ultimately from extirpation at sites with high-quality vegetation. Conversely, populations at highest risk for declining density and extirpation are likely to be those in sites with poor-quality vegetation. PMID:24834730

  2. Determinants of pika population density vs. occupancy in the Southern Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Erb, Liesl P; Ray, Chris; Guralnick, Robert

    2014-04-01

    Species distributions are responding rapidly to global change. While correlative studies of local extinction have been vital to understanding the ecological impacts of global change, more mechanistic lines of inquiry are needed for enhanced forecasting. The current study assesses whether the predictors of local extinction also explain population density for a species apparently impacted by climate change. We tested a suite of climatic and habitat metrics as predictors of American pika (Ochotona princeps) relative population density in the Southern Rocky Mountains, USA. Population density was indexed as the density of pika latrine sites. Negative binomial regression and AICc showed that the best predictors of pika latrine density were patch area followed by two measures of vegetation quality: the diversity and relative cover of forbs. In contrast with previous studies of habitat occupancy in the Southern Rockies, climatic factors were not among the top predictors of latrine density. Populations may be buffered from decline and ultimately from extirpation at sites with high-quality vegetation. Conversely, populations at highest risk for declining density and extirpation are likely to be those in sites with poor-quality vegetation.

  3. Removal of n-nitrosodimethylamine from Rocky Mountain Arsenal waters using innovative adsorption technologies. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Fleming, E.C.; Pennington, J.C.; Francingues, N.R.; Felt, D.R.; Wachob, B.G.

    1996-08-01

    The Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) occupies 27 square miles in Adams County, Colorado, and is located adjacent to the Stapleton Airport. Figure 1 illustrates a general map of the RMA. The U.S. Department of the Army established the RMA in 1942 for the purpose of producing chemicals such as napalm, mustard agent, lewisite, and chlorine. After World War II, a number of private organizations leased the arsenal from the Army for a variety of manufacturing purposes. Most of the manufacturing activities were conducted in the South Plants area (see Figure 1). The North Plants were constructed in 1951 for GB nerve agent production, munitions filling, and demilitarization of munitions and used until 1957. During the 1950s and 1960s, the Air Force operated the hydrazine blending and storage facility (HBSF) of symmetrical and unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine (UDMH). The hydrazine produced at the HBSF was used for the Titan Missile and Lunar Lander programs.

  4. Surface coal mining influences on macroinvertebrate assemblages in streams of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Kuchapski, Kathryn A; Rasmussen, Joseph B

    2015-09-01

    To determine the region-specific impacts of surface coal mines on macroinvertebrate community health, chemical and physical stream characteristics and macroinvertebrate family and community metrics were measured in surface coal mine-affected and reference streams in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Water chemistry was significantly altered in mine-affected streams, which had elevated conductivity, alkalinity, and selenium and ion concentrations compared with reference conditions. Multivariate redundancy analysis (RDA) indicated alterations in macroinvertebrate communities downstream of mine sites. In RDA ordination, Ephemeroptera family densities, family richness, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera (EPT) richness, and % Ephemeroptera declined, whereas densities of Capniidae stoneflies increased along environmental gradients defined by variables associated with mine influence including waterborne Se concentration, alkalinity, substrate embeddedness, and interstitial material size. Shifts in macroinvertebrate assemblages may have been the result of multiple region-specific stressors related to mining influences including selenium toxicity, ionic toxicity, or stream substrate modifications. PMID:25939772

  5. Den-site characteristics of black bears in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baldwin, R.A.; Bender, L.C.

    2008-01-01

    We compared historic (1985-1992) and contemporary (2003-2006) black bear (Ursus americanus) den locations in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Colorado, USA, for habitat and physiographic attributes of den sites and used maximum entropy modeling to determine which factors were most influential in predicting den-site locations. We observed variability in the relationship between den locations and distance to trails and elevation over rime. Locations of historic den sites were most associated with slope, elevation, and covertype, whereas contemporary sites were associated with slope, distance to roads, aspect, and canopy height. Although relationships to covariates differed between historic and contemporary periods, preferred den-site characteristics consistently included steep slopes and factors associated with greater snow depth. Distribution of den locations shifted toward areas closer to human developments, indicating little negative influence of this factor on den-site selection by black bears in RMNP.

  6. Abbreviated bibliography on energy development—A focus on the Rocky Mountain Region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Montag, Jessica M.; Willis, Carolyn J.; Glavin, Levi W.

    2011-01-01

    Energy development of all types continues to grow in the Rocky Mountain Region of the western United States. Federal resource managers increasingly need to balance energy demands, effects on the natural landscape and public perceptions towards these issues. To assist in efficient access to valuable information, this abbreviated bibliography provides citations to relevant information for myriad of issues for which resource managers must contend. The bibliography is organized by seven large topics with various sup-topics: broad energy topics (energy crisis, conservation, supply and demand, etc.); energy sources (fossil fuel, nuclear, renewable, etc.); natural landscape effects (climate change, ecosystem, mitigation, restoration, and reclamation, wildlife, water, etc.); human landscape effects (attitudes and perceptions, economics, community effects, health, Native Americans, etc.); research and technology; international research; and, methods and modeling. A large emphasis is placed on the natural and human landscape effects.

  7. Appraisal of the future climate of the Holocene in the Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Richmond, G.M.

    1972-01-01

    Consideration of the history of Holocene climate in the Rocky Mountains indicates that the over-all trend during the past 2500 yr has been toward increasing warmth, interrupted by cooler times of minor advances of cirque glaciers. Comparison of Holocene climatic history with the record of past interglacials in the region suggests that the present interglacial is not complete and that the climate may become first warmer and subsequently wetter before it is completed. Correlation of the timing of the regional glacial-interglacial record for the past 140,000 yr with the record of major sea level changes and with the calculated changes in the earth's insolation suggest that the present interglacial may be completed within a few millenia and that it may be followed by a significant cooling of the climate. ?? 1972.

  8. Risk Assessment of Geologic Formation Sequestration in The Rocky Mountain Region, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Si-Yong; McPherson, Brian

    2013-08-01

    The purpose of this report is to describe the outcome of a targeted risk assessment of a candidate geologic sequestration site in the Rocky Mountain region of the USA. Specifically, a major goal of the probabilistic risk assessment was to quantify the possible spatiotemporal responses for Area of Review (AoR) and injection-induced pressure buildup associated with carbon dioxide (CO₂) injection into the subsurface. Because of the computational expense of a conventional Monte Carlo approach, especially given the likely uncertainties in model parameters, we applied a response surface method for probabilistic risk assessment of geologic CO₂ storage in the Permo-Penn Weber formation at a potential CCS site in Craig, Colorado. A site-specific aquifer model was built for the numerical simulation based on a regional geologic model.

  9. Rapid hydrologic shifts and prolonged droughts in Rocky Mountain headwaters during the Holocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuman, Bryan; Pribyl, Paul; Minckley, Thomas A.; Shinker, Jacqueline J.

    2010-03-01

    Rapid hydroclimatic shifts repeatedly generated centuries to millennia of extensive aridity across the headwaters of three of North America's largest river systems during the Holocene. Evidence of past lake-level changes at the headwaters of the Snake-Columbia, Missouri-Mississippi, and Green-Colorado Rivers in the Rocky Mountains shows that aridity as extensive and likely as severe as the CE 1930s Dust Bowl developed within centuries or less at ca. 9 ka (thousand years before CE 1950), and persisted across large areas of the watersheds until ca. 3 ka. Regional water levels also shifted abruptly at >11.3 and 1.8-1.2 ka. The record of low water levels during the mid-Holocene on the Continental Divide links similar evidence from the Great Basin and the Midwestern U.S., and shows that extensive aridity was the Holocene norm even though few GCMs have simulated such a pattern.

  10. Groundwater-quality-protection policies for the Rocky Mountain Region and the nation

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-04-01

    This report is a transcript of the Conference on Groundwater Quality Protection Policies for the Rocky Mountain Region and the Nation held in Denver, Colorado on January 18, 1986. The conference, and five others like it in other regions of the country, were held to provide input for a groundwater-protection agenda for the U.S. Congress as it begins debate on new groundwater-quality-protection initiatives. The conference featured roundtable discussions among officials from the sponsoring organizations, local and state officials, environmentalists, corporate representatives, farm groups, and others on groundwater-protection needs and current programs in the region. Also considered were federal policy options, legislation, and mechanisms to implement groundwater policies.

  11. Fault dating in the Canadian Rocky Mountains: Evidence for late Cretaceous and early Eocene orogenic pulses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    van der Pluijm, B.A.; Vrolijk, P.J.; Pevear, D.R.; Hall, C.M.; Solum, J.

    2006-01-01

    Fault rocks from the classic Rocky Mountain foreland fold-and-thrust belt in south-western Canada were dated by Ar analysis of clay grain-size fractions. Using X-ray diffraction quantification of the detrital and authigenic component of each fraction, these determinations give ages for individual faults in the area (illite age analysis). The resulting ages cluster around 72 and 52 Ma (here called the Rundle and McConnell pulses, respectively), challenging the traditional view of gradual forward progression of faulting and thrust-belt history of the area. The recognition of spatially and temporally restricted deformation episodes offers field support for theoretical models of critically stressed wedges, which result in geologically reasonable strain rates for the area. In addition to regional considerations, this study highlights the potential of direct dating of shallow fault rocks for our understanding of upper-crustal kinematics and regional tectonic analysis of ancient orogens. ?? 2006 Geological Society of America.

  12. Surface coal mining influences on macroinvertebrate assemblages in streams of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Kuchapski, Kathryn A; Rasmussen, Joseph B

    2015-09-01

    To determine the region-specific impacts of surface coal mines on macroinvertebrate community health, chemical and physical stream characteristics and macroinvertebrate family and community metrics were measured in surface coal mine-affected and reference streams in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Water chemistry was significantly altered in mine-affected streams, which had elevated conductivity, alkalinity, and selenium and ion concentrations compared with reference conditions. Multivariate redundancy analysis (RDA) indicated alterations in macroinvertebrate communities downstream of mine sites. In RDA ordination, Ephemeroptera family densities, family richness, Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, Trichoptera (EPT) richness, and % Ephemeroptera declined, whereas densities of Capniidae stoneflies increased along environmental gradients defined by variables associated with mine influence including waterborne Se concentration, alkalinity, substrate embeddedness, and interstitial material size. Shifts in macroinvertebrate assemblages may have been the result of multiple region-specific stressors related to mining influences including selenium toxicity, ionic toxicity, or stream substrate modifications.

  13. Distribution and environmental limitations of an amphibian pathogen in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.; Pilliod, D.S.; Livo, L.J.

    2008-01-01

    Amphibian populations continue to be imperiled by the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). Understanding where B. dendrobatidis (Bd) occurs and how it may be limited by environmental factors is critical to our ability to effectively conserve the amphibians affected by Bd. We sampled 1247 amphibians (boreal toads and surrogates) at 261 boreal toad (Bufo boreas) breeding sites (97 clusters) along an 11?? latitudinal gradient in the Rocky Mountains to determine the distribution of B. dendrobatidis and examine environmental factors, such as temperature and elevation, that might affect its distribution. The fungus was detected at 64% of all clusters and occurred across a range of elevations (1030-3550 m) and latitudes (37.6-48.6??) but we detected it in only 42% of clusters in the south (site elevations higher), compared to 84% of clusters in the north (site elevations lower). Maximum ambient temperature (daily high) explained much of the variation in Bd occurrence in boreal toad populations and thus perhaps limits the occurrence of the pathogen in the Rocky Mountains to areas where climatic conditions facilitate optimal growth of the fungus. This information has implications in global climate change scenarios where warming temperatures may facilitate the spread of disease into previously un- or little-affected areas (i.e., higher elevations). This study provides the first regional-level, field-based effort to examine the relationship of environmental and geographic factors to the distribution of B. dendrobatidis in North America and will assist managers to focus on at-risk populations as determined by the local temperature regimes, latitude and elevation.

  14. Rocky Mountain Tertiary coal-basin models and their applicability to some world basins

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flores, R.M.

    1989-01-01

    Tertiary intermontane basins in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States contain large amounts of coal resources. The first major type of Tertiary coal basin is closed and lake-dominated, either mud-rich (e.g., North Park Basin, Colorado) or mud plus carbonate (e.g., Medicine Lodge Basin, Montana), which are both infilled by deltas. The second major type of Tertiary coal basin is open and characterized by a preponderance of sediments that were deposited by flow-through fluvial systems (e.g., Raton Basin, Colorado and New Mexico, and Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana). The setting for the formation of these coals varies with the type of basin sedimentation, paleotectonism, and paleoclimate. The mud-rich lake-dominated closed basin (transpressional paleotectonism and warm, humid paleoclimate), where infilled by sandy "Gilbert-type" deltas, contains thick coals (low ash and low sulfur) formed in swamps of the prograding fluvial systems. The mud- and carbonate-rich lake-dominated closed basin is infilled by carbonate precipitates plus coarse-grained fan deltas and fine-grained deltas. Here, thin coals (high ash and high sulfur) formed in swamps of the fine-grained deltas. The coarse-clastic, open basins (compressional paleotectonism and warm, paratropical paleoclimate) associated with flow-through fluvial systems contain moderately to anomalously thick coals (high to low ash and low sulfur) formed in swamps developed in intermittently abandoned portions of the fluvial systems. These coal development patterns from the Tertiary Rocky Mountain basins, although occurring in completely different paleotectonic settings, are similar to that found in the Tertiary, Cretaceous, and Permian intermontane coal basins in China, New Zealand, and India. ?? 1989.

  15. Stress hormone concentration in Rocky Mountain populations of the American pika (Ochotona princeps).

    PubMed

    Wilkening, Jennifer L; Ray, Chris; Sweazea, Karen L

    2013-01-01

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is considered a sentinel species for detecting ecological effects of climate change. Pikas are declining within a large portion of their range, but previous studies have focused only on local pika extinction as a metric of change. We designed a procedure which can provide an earlier warning signal, based on non-invasive sampling and analysis of physiological stress in living pikas. Pikas were sampled at several locations in the Rocky Mountains for the measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites (GCMs) in faeces. Using a time series of faecal pellets from 12 individuals, we detected a significant increase in faecal GCM level in response to capture, thus biologically validating the use of a corticosterone enzyme immunoassay. We also established baseline, peak, and post-peak GCM concentrations for pikas in the Rocky Mountains, which varied according to gender and individual. This is the first study to measure stress hormone metabolites in any species of pika. The methods developed and validated in this study can be used to add non-invasive measurements of physiological stress to pika monitoring programmes and other research designed to assess pika vulnerability to predicted changes in climate. Pika monitoring programmes currently in place use a protocol that relates current site use by pikas with data on local habitat characteristics, such as elevation, to infer potential effects of climate change. Data generated by these monitoring studies can be used to identify the trends in site use by pikas in relationship to habitat covariates. However, this approach does not take into account the role of behavioural thermoregulation and the pika's use of microhabitats to ameliorate variations in climate. Incorporating a stress metric, such as GCM concentration, will provide relatively direct evidence for or against the hypothesis that pikas can be stressed by climate regardless of behavioural adaptations. PMID:27293611

  16. Provenance record of Paleogene exhumation and Laramide basin evolution along the southern Rocky Mountain front

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bush, M. A.; Horton, B. K.; Murphy, M. A.; Stockli, D. F.

    2015-12-01

    The Sangre de Cristo and Nacimiento uplifts of the southern Rocky Mountains formed key parts of a major Paleogene topographic boundary separating the Cordilleran orogenic system from the North American plate interior. This barrier largely isolated interior Laramide basins from a broad Laramide foreland with fluvial systems draining to the Gulf of Mexico, and thereby played a critical role in the evolution of continental-scale paleodrainage patterns. New detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology and heavy mineral provenance analyses of Cretaceous-Paleogene siliciclastic strata in the Raton, Galisteo-El Rito, and San Juan basins record the partitioning of the broad Cordilleran (Sevier) foreland basin by Laramide basement uplifts. These trends are recognized both in provenance signals and depositional styles corresponding to cratonward (eastward) propagation of the Laramide deformation front and resultant advance of flexural depocenters in the North American interior. Along the eastern flank of the deformation front, the Raton basin shows a mix of Cordilleran, Appalachian, and Grenville age zircons restricted to the Cretaceous Dakota and Vermejo formations, marine units of the Western Interior Seaway. Upsection, the Cordilleran age peaks are absent from Paleocene-Eocene units, consistent with significant Laramide drainage reorganization and isolation from Cordilleran sources to the west. In the Galisteo-El Rito basin system, a shift to dominantly Mazatzal-Yavapai basement ages is recognized in the Paleocene El Rito and Oligocene Ritito formations. The heavy mineral results show a corresponding shift to less mature, dominantly metamorphic source compositions. These new datasets bear upon Cretaceous-Cenozoic reconstructions of North American paleodrainage and have implications for potential linkages between major fluvial systems of the southern Rocky Mountains and Paleogene deepwater reservoir units in the Gulf of Mexico basin.

  17. Ground-water levels in intermontane basins of the northern Rocky Mountains, Montana and Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Briar, David W.; Lawlor, S.M.; Stone, M.A.; Parliman, D.J.; Schaefer, J.L.; Kendy, Eloise

    1996-01-01

    The Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (RASA) program is a series of studies by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to analyze regional ground-water systems that compose a major portion of the Nation's water supply (Sun, 1986). The Northern Rocky Mountains Intermontane Basins is one of the study regions in this national program. The main objectives of the RASA studies are to (1) describe the groundwater systems as they exist today, (2) analyze the known changes that have led to the systems present condition, (3) combine results of previous studies in a regional analysis, where possible, and (4) provide means by which effects of future ground-water development can be estimated.The purpose of this study, which began in 1990, was to increase understanding of the hydrogeology of the intermontane basins of the Northern Rocky Mountains area. This report is Chapter B of a three-part series and shows the general distribution of ground-water levels in basin-fill deposits in the study area. Chapter A (Tuck and others, 1996) describes the geologic history and generalized hydrogeologic units. Chapter C (Clark and Dutton, 1996) describes the quality of ground and surface waters in the study area.Ground-water levels shown in this report were measured primarily during summer 1991 and summer 1992; however, historical water levels were used for areas where more recent data could not be obtained. The information provided allows for the evaluation of general directions of ground-water flow, identification of recharge and discharge areas, and determination of hydraulic gradients within basin-fill deposits.

  18. Use of stable sulfur isotopes to identify sources of sulfate in Rocky Mountain snowpacks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mast, M.A.; Turk, J.T.; Ingersoll, G.P.; Clow, D.W.; Kester, C.L.

    2001-01-01

    Stable sulfur isotope ratios and major ions in bulk snowpack samples were monitored at a network of 52 high-elevation sites along and near the Continental Divide from 1993 to 1999. This information was collected to better define atmospheric deposition to remote areas of the Rocky Mountains and to help identify the major source regions of sulfate in winter deposition. Average annual ??34S values at individual sites ranged from + 4.0 to + 8.2??? and standard deviations ranged from 0.4 to 1.6???. The chemical composition of all samples was extremely dilute and slightly acidic; average sulfate concentrations ranged from 2.4 to 12.2 ??eql-1 and pH ranged from 4.82 to 5.70. The range of ??34S values measured in this study indicated that snowpack sulfur in the Rocky Mountains is primarily derived from anthropogenic sources. A nearly linear relation between ??34S and latitude was observed for sites in New Mexico, Colorado, and southern Wyoming, which indicates that snowpack sulfate in the southern part of the network was derived from two isotopically distinct source regions. Because the major point sources of SO2 in the region are coal-fired powerplants, this pattern may reflect variations in the isotopic composition of coals burned by the plants. The geographic pattern in ??34S for sites farther to the north in Wyoming and Montana was much less distinct, perhaps rflecting the paucity of major point sources of SO2 in the northern part of the network.

  19. Investigating types and sources of organic aerosol in Rocky Mountain National Park using aerosol mass spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schurman, M. I.; Lee, T.; Sun, Y.; Schichtel, B. A.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Collett, J. L., Jr.

    2015-01-01

    The environmental impacts of atmospheric particles are highlighted in remote areas where visibility and ecosystem health can be degraded by even relatively low particle concentrations. Submicron particle size, composition, and source apportionment were explored at Rocky Mountain National Park using a High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer. This summer campaign found low average, but variable, particulate mass (PM) concentrations (max = 93.1 μg m-3, avg. = 5.13 ± 2.72 μg m-3) of which 75.2 ± 11.1% is organic. Low-volatility oxidized organic aerosol (LV-OOA, 39.3% of PM1 on average) identified using Positive Matrix Factorization appears to be mixed with ammonium sulfate (3.9% and 16.6% of mass, respectively), while semi-volatile OOA (27.6%) is correlated with ammonium nitrate (nitrate: 4.3%); concentrations of these mixtures are enhanced with upslope (SE) surface winds from the densely populated Front Range area, indicating the importance of transport. A local biomass burning organic aerosol (BBOA, 8.4%) source is suggested by mass spectral cellulose combustion markers (m/z 60 and 73) limited to brief, high-concentration, polydisperse events (suggesting fresh combustion), a diurnal maximum at 22:00 local standard time when campfires were set at adjacent summer camps, and association with surface winds consistent with local campfire locations. The particle characteristics determined here represent typical summertime conditions at the Rocky Mountain site based on comparison to ~10 years of meteorological, particle composition, and fire data.

  20. Investigating Types and Sources of Organic Aerosol in Rocky Mountain National Park Using Aerosol Mass Spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schurman, M. I.; Lee, T.; Sun, Y.; Schichtel, B. A.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Collett, J. L.

    2011-12-01

    The Rocky Mountain Atmospheric Nitrogen and Sulfur Study (RoMANS) focuses on identifying pathways and sources of nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). Past work has combined measurements from a range of instrumentation such as annular denuders, PILS-IC, Hi-Vol samplers, and trace gas analyzers. Limited information from early RoMANS campaigns is available regarding organic aerosol. While prior measurements have produced a measure of total organic carbon mass, high time resolution measures of organic aerosol concentration and speciation are lacking. One area of particular interest is characterizing the types, sources, and amounts of organic nitrogen aerosol. Organic nitrogen measurements in RMNP wet deposition reveal a substantial contribution to the total reactive nitrogen deposition budget. In this study an Aerodyne High Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (HR-ToF-AMS) was deployed in summer 2010 at RMNP to investigate organic aerosol composition and its temporal variability. The species timeline and diurnal species variations are combined with meteorological data to investigate local transport events and chemistry; transport from the Colorado Front Range urban corridor appears to be more significant for inorganic species than for the overall organic aerosol mass. Considerable variation in organic aerosol concentration is observed (0.5 to 20 μg/m3), with high concentration episodes lasting between hours and two days. High resolution AMS data are analyzed for organic aerosol, including organic nitrogen species that might be expected from local biogenic emissions, agricultural activities, and secondary reaction products of combustion emissions. Positive matrix factorization reveals that semi-volatile oxidized OA, low-volatility oxidized OA, and biomass burning OA comprise most organic mass; the diurnal profile of biomass burning OA peaks at four and nine pm and may arise from local camp fires, while constant concentrations of

  1. Investigating types and sources of organic aerosol in Rocky Mountain National Park using aerosol mass spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schurman, M. I.; Lee, T.; Sun, Y.; Schichtel, B. A.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Collett, J. L., Jr.

    2014-07-01

    The environmental impacts of atmospheric particles are highlighted in remote areas where visibility and ecosystem health can be degraded by even relatively low particle concentrations. Submicron particle size, composition, and source apportionment were explored at Rocky Mountain National Park using a High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer. This summer campaign found low average, but variable, particulate mass (PM) concentrations (max = 93.1 μg m-3, avg. = 5.13 ± 2.72 μg m-3) of which 75.2 ± 11.1% is organic. Low-volatility oxidized organic aerosol (LV-OOA, 39.3% of PM1 on average) identified using Positive Matrix Factorization appears to be mixed with ammonium sulfate (3.9 and 16.6% of mass, respectively), while semi-volatile OOA (27.6%) is correlated with ammonium nitrate (nitrate: 4.3%); concentrations of these mixtures are enhanced with upslope (SE) surface winds from the densely populated Front Range area, indicating the importance of transport. A local biomass burning organic aerosol (BBOA, 8.4%) source is suggested by mass spectral cellulose combustion markers (m/zs 60 and 73) limited to brief, high-concentration, polydisperse events (suggesting fresh combustion), a diurnal maximum at 22:00 local standard time (LST) when campfires were set at adjacent summer camps, and association with surface winds consistent with local campfire locations. The particle characteristics determined here represent typical summertime conditions at the Rocky Mountain site based on comparison to ∼10 years of meteorological, particle composition, and fire data.

  2. Relationships between nutritional condition of adult females and relative carrying capacity for rocky mountain Elk

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piasecke, J.R.; Bender, L.C.

    2009-01-01

    Lactation can have significant costs to individual and population-level productivity because of the high energetic demands it places on dams. Because the difference in condition between lactating and dry Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) cows tends to disappear as nutritional quality rises, the magnitude of that difference could be used to relate condition to habitat quality or the capability of habitats to support elk. We therefore compared nutritional condition of ???2.5-yr-old lactating and dry cows from six free-ranging RockyMountain elk populations throughout the United States.Our goal was to quantify differential accrual of body fat (BF) reserves to determine whether the condition of dry and lactating cows could be used to define relevant management thresholds of habitat quality (i.e., relative carrying capacity) and consequently potential performance of elk populations. Levels of BF that lactating cows were able to accrue in autumn and the proportional difference in BF between dry and lactating cows in autumn were related (F 1-2,10???16.2, P<0.001). Models indicated that elk experienced no negative effects of reproduction on condition when lactating cows were able to accrue ???13.7%BF in autumn.When lactating cows are accruing ???7.9%BF, elk are in a nutritionally stressed condition, which may be limiting population performance. Using the logistic model to predict relative proximity to ecological carrying capacity (ECC), our population-years ranged from3-97%ofECCand proportion of the population lactating (an index of calf survival) was negatively related to proportion of ECC. Results indicate that the proportional difference in accrual of BF between lactating and dry cows can provide a sensitive index to where elk populations reside relative to the quality of their range.

  3. Stress hormone concentration in Rocky Mountain populations of the American pika (Ochotona princeps).

    PubMed

    Wilkening, Jennifer L; Ray, Chris; Sweazea, Karen L

    2013-01-01

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is considered a sentinel species for detecting ecological effects of climate change. Pikas are declining within a large portion of their range, but previous studies have focused only on local pika extinction as a metric of change. We designed a procedure which can provide an earlier warning signal, based on non-invasive sampling and analysis of physiological stress in living pikas. Pikas were sampled at several locations in the Rocky Mountains for the measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites (GCMs) in faeces. Using a time series of faecal pellets from 12 individuals, we detected a significant increase in faecal GCM level in response to capture, thus biologically validating the use of a corticosterone enzyme immunoassay. We also established baseline, peak, and post-peak GCM concentrations for pikas in the Rocky Mountains, which varied according to gender and individual. This is the first study to measure stress hormone metabolites in any species of pika. The methods developed and validated in this study can be used to add non-invasive measurements of physiological stress to pika monitoring programmes and other research designed to assess pika vulnerability to predicted changes in climate. Pika monitoring programmes currently in place use a protocol that relates current site use by pikas with data on local habitat characteristics, such as elevation, to infer potential effects of climate change. Data generated by these monitoring studies can be used to identify the trends in site use by pikas in relationship to habitat covariates. However, this approach does not take into account the role of behavioural thermoregulation and the pika's use of microhabitats to ameliorate variations in climate. Incorporating a stress metric, such as GCM concentration, will provide relatively direct evidence for or against the hypothesis that pikas can be stressed by climate regardless of behavioural adaptations.

  4. Stress hormone concentration in Rocky Mountain populations of the American pika (Ochotona princeps)

    PubMed Central

    Wilkening, Jennifer L.; Ray, Chris; Sweazea, Karen L.

    2013-01-01

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is considered a sentinel species for detecting ecological effects of climate change. Pikas are declining within a large portion of their range, but previous studies have focused only on local pika extinction as a metric of change. We designed a procedure which can provide an earlier warning signal, based on non-invasive sampling and analysis of physiological stress in living pikas. Pikas were sampled at several locations in the Rocky Mountains for the measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites (GCMs) in faeces. Using a time series of faecal pellets from 12 individuals, we detected a significant increase in faecal GCM level in response to capture, thus biologically validating the use of a corticosterone enzyme immunoassay. We also established baseline, peak, and post-peak GCM concentrations for pikas in the Rocky Mountains, which varied according to gender and individual. This is the first study to measure stress hormone metabolites in any species of pika. The methods developed and validated in this study can be used to add non-invasive measurements of physiological stress to pika monitoring programmes and other research designed to assess pika vulnerability to predicted changes in climate. Pika monitoring programmes currently in place use a protocol that relates current site use by pikas with data on local habitat characteristics, such as elevation, to infer potential effects of climate change. Data generated by these monitoring studies can be used to identify the trends in site use by pikas in relationship to habitat covariates. However, this approach does not take into account the role of behavioural thermoregulation and the pika's use of microhabitats to ameliorate variations in climate. Incorporating a stress metric, such as GCM concentration, will provide relatively direct evidence for or against the hypothesis that pikas can be stressed by climate regardless of behavioural adaptations. PMID:27293611

  5. Rocky Mountain hydroclimate: Holocene variability and the role of insolation, ENSO, and the North American Monsoon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Lesleigh

    2012-01-01

    Over the period of instrumental records, precipitation maximum in the headwaters of the Colorado Rocky Mountains has been dominated by winter snow, with a substantial degree of interannual variability linked to Pacific ocean–atmosphere dynamics. High-elevation snowpack is an important water storage that is carefully observed in order to meet increasing water demands in the greater semi-arid region. The purpose here is to consider Rocky Mountain water trends during the Holocene when known changes in earth's energy balance were caused by precession-driven insolation variability. Changes in solar insolation are thought to have influenced the variability and intensity of the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and North American Monsoon and the seasonal precipitation balance between rain and snow at upper elevations. Holocene records are presented from two high elevation lakes located in northwest Colorado that document decade-to-century scale precipitation seasonality for the past ~ 7000 years. Comparisons with sub-tropical records of ENSO indicate that the snowfall-dominated precipitation maxima developed ~ 3000 and 4000 years ago, coincident with evidence for enhanced ENSO/PDO dynamics. During the early-to-mid Holocene the records suggest a more monsoon affected precipitation regime with reduced snowpack, more rainfall, and net moisture deficits that were more severe than recent droughts. The Holocene perspective of precipitation indicates a far broader range of variability than that of the past century and highlights the non-linear character of hydroclimate in the U.S. west.

  6. Recreational trails as corridors for alien plants in the Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wells, Floye H.; Lauenroth, William K.; Bradford, John B.

    2012-01-01

    Alien plant species often use areas of heavy human activity for habitat and dispersal. Roads and utility corridors have been shown to harbor more alien species than the surrounding vegetation and are therefore believed to contribute to alien plant persistence and spread. Recreational trails represent another corridor that could harbor alien species and aid their spread. Effective management of invasive species requires understanding how alien plants are distributed at trailheads and trails and how their dispersal may be influenced by native vegetation. Our overall goal was to investigate the distribution of alien plants at trailheads and trails in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. At trailheads, we found that although the number of alien species was less than the number of native species, alien plant cover ( x̄=50%) did not differ from native plant cover, and we observed a large number of alien seedlings in the soil seed bank, suggesting that alien plants are a large component of trailhead communities and will continue to be so in the future. Along trails, we found higher alien species richness and cover on trail (as opposed to 4 m from the trail) in 3 out of 4 vegetation types, and we observed higher alien richness and cover in meadows than in other vegetation types. Plant communities at both trailheads and trails, as well as seed banks at trailheads, contain substantial diversity and abundance of alien plants. These results suggest that recreational trails in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado may function as corridors that facilitate the spread of alien species into wildlands. Our results suggest that control of alien plants should begin at trailheads where there are large numbers of aliens and that control efforts on trails should be prioritized by vegetation type.

  7. Nitrogen transport and deposition during the Rocky Mountain Airborne Nitrogen and Sulfur (RoMANS) study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collett, J. L.; Raja, S.; Taylor, C.; Carrico, C.; Schwandner, F.; Beem, K.; Lee, T.; Sullivan, A.; Day, D.; McMeeking, G.; Kreidenweis, S.; Hand, J.; Schichtel, B.; Malm, W.

    2007-12-01

    A number of deleterious effects have been noted due to increasing deposition of nitrogen compounds in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP). The Rocky Mountain Airborne Nitrogen and Sulfur (RoMANS) study was conducted to improve our understanding of the sources and transport of airborne nitrogen and sulfur species within RMNP as well as their deposition pathways. Two field campaigns were conducted, in spring and summer 2006, to characterize pollutant transport and deposition during seasons with historically high nitrogen inputs. Several measurements sites were operated within the park, at locations west and east of the park boundaries, and at locations near the NE, NW, and SE boundaries of the state of Colorado. Measurements at several sites included 24-hour integrated gas concentrations (ammonia, nitric acid, sulfur dioxide), PM2.5 composition, and wet deposition. A core measurement site in the park included more detailed and higher time resolution chemical, optical, and particle size distribution measurements. An overview of study findings will be presented including the composition of collected PM2.5, concentrations of key trace gas species, and observations of wet and dry deposition composition and fluxes. Concentrations of N species in RMNP varied significantly with local and regional transport patterns. High concentrations of nitrate/nitric acid and ammonia/ammonium observed routinely on the eastern plains of Colorado reflect a mixture of urban and agricultural emissions. The highest concentrations of N species in RMNP were generally associated with upslope transport from the east. Nitrogen deposition in RMNP during the spring campaign was dominated by a single, upslope snowstorm. A combination of high pollutant concentrations and heavy precipitation during this upslope event acted to produce N deposition fluxes that far outweighed other spring precipitation events. During the summer study, by contrast, numerous events contributed more equally to total N wet

  8. Lineaments and their tectonic implications in Rocky Mountains and adjacent plains region

    SciTech Connect

    Maughan, E.K.; Perry, W.J. Jr.

    1985-05-01

    Two orthogonal sets of lineaments in Phanerozoic rocks of the Rocky Mountains and adjacent plains region probably reflect recurrent structural movement along corresponding fractures in the underlying igneous and metamorphic rocks. The lineaments seem to have been primarily paleotopographic features that affected the depositional and erosional margins, thicknesses, and the distribution of lithofacies of Phanerozoic strata. One set is oriented approximately N5-15/sup 0/E and N75-85/sup 0/W; the other set is oriented about N50-60/sup 0/E and N30-40/sup 0/W. At small scales, the crosscutting lineaments of either set indicate primarily vertical movements of rectangular blocks along through-going rectilinear fractures in the basement rocks. At larger scales, the differential movement of these blocks apparently was propagated upward through the strata and formed a variety of structures, many of which are en echelon. Blocks in the region moved at different times, and they commonly rotated about horizontal axes, as indicated by lateral differences in rates of associated sedimentation and by structural features along the lineaments. Through most of the Phanerozoic, the movements seem to have been mainly along the diagonal set (northeast, northwest) of lineaments, but the cardinal set (north-south, east-west) also influenced the development of Laramide structures and the present landscape in the Rocky Mountain region. The structural stresses, which were released along the two sets of lineaments, may reflect plate movements, and they probably are related to orogenies caused either by plate collisions or by rifting and continental fragmentation.

  9. Hydrology of area 54, Northern Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain coal provinces, Colorado and Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kuhn, Gerhard; Daddow, P.D.; Craig, G.S.; ,

    1983-01-01

    A nationwide need for information characterizing hydrologic conditions in mined and potential mine areas has become paramount with the enactment of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977. This report, one in a series covering the coal provinces nationwide, presents information thematically by describing single hydrologic topics through the use of brief texts and accompanying maps, graphs, or other illustrations. The summation of the topical discussions provides a description of the hydrology of the area. Area 54, in north-central Colorado and south-central Wyoming, is 1 of 20 hydrologic reporting areas of the Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain coal provinces. Part of the Southern Rocky Mountains and Wyoming Basin physiographic provinces, the 8,380-square-mile area is one of contrasting geology, topography, and climate. This results in contrasting hydrologic characteristics. The major streams, the North Platte, Laramie, and Medicine Bow Rivers, and their principal tributaries, all head in granitic mountains and flow into and through sedimentary basins between the mountain ranges. Relief averages 2,000 to 3,000 feet. Precipitation in the mountains may exceed 40 inches annually, much of it during the winter, which produces deep snowpacks. Snowmelt in spring and summer provides most streamflow. Precipitation in the basins averages 10 to 16 inches annually, insufficient for sustained streamflow; thus, streams originating in the basins are ephemeral. Streamflow quality is best in the mountains where dissolved-solids concentrations generally are least. These concentrations increase as streams flow through sedimentary basins. The increases are mainly natural, but some may be due to irrigation in and adjacent to the flood plains. In the North Platte River, dissolved-solids concentrations are usually less than 300 milligrams per liter; in the Laramie and the Medicine Bow Rivers, the concentrations may average 500 to 850 milligrams per liter. However

  10. Monitoring Atmospheric Deposition of Nitrogen in Alpine Environments in Rocky Mountain and Yosemite National Parks, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roop, H. A.; Clow, D. W.; Mills, J.; Fenn, M. E.

    2011-12-01

    Recent increases in atmospheric deposition of nitrogen (N) in the western U.S. have adversely impacted surface water quality and changed the composition of aquatic biota in high-elevation lakes. Existing N deposition data are generally not spatially diverse; representation of remote wilderness areas and high-elevation watersheds is often lacking, making it difficult to assess the importance of variations in N deposition on water quality impacts. This study aims to better understand N deposition in remote environments, particularly in alpine environments, where both the quantity and environmental impact of atmospheric N deposition are poorly understood. Understanding the impacts of N deposition on these environments is important for National Park resource and water-quality managers. Using ion-exchange resin (IER) collectors, seasonal through-fall of nitrogen was measured at 29 sites in the Rocky Mountains and 21 sites in the Sierra Nevada from 2006-2011. The IER collectors, deployed in pairs, represent geographically diverse transects aimed to quantify the spatial distribution of nitrogen deposition. Placed on talus slopes or in areas of exposed bedrock, the IER collectors were installed immediately following snowmelt (June/July) and replaced with new collectors prior to the first snowfall (September). Following spring melt, the collectors deployed over the winter were exchanged with new collectors. These seasonal swaps capture winter/spring and summer/fall deposition. A majority of the sites were paired with seasonal surface-water quality samples, allowing for comparison with nitrate levels in surface waters. In the lab, N compounds are eluted from the resins, then diluted and analyzed on an ion- chromatograph. Preliminary data from 2006, representing 16 sites with uncontaminated samples in Rocky Mountain National Park, suggest higher nitrogen deposition on the east side of the park. Average summer N deposition for an 85-day exposure period at the eastern slope

  11. Linking biophysical models and public preferences for ecosystem service assessments: a case study for the Southern Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Reed, James; Semmens, Darius J.; Sherrouse, Ben C.; Troy, Austin

    2015-01-01

    Through extensive research, ecosystem services have been mapped using both survey-based and biophysical approaches, but comparative mapping of public values and those quantified using models has been lacking. In this paper, we mapped hot and cold spots for perceived and modeled ecosystem services by synthesizing results from a social-values mapping study of residents living near the Pike–San Isabel National Forest (PSI), located in the Southern Rocky Mountains, with corresponding biophysically modeled ecosystem services. Social-value maps for the PSI were developed using the Social Values for Ecosystem Services tool, providing statistically modeled continuous value surfaces for 12 value types, including aesthetic, biodiversity, and life-sustaining values. Biophysically modeled maps of carbon sequestration and storage, scenic viewsheds, sediment regulation, and water yield were generated using the Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services tool. Hotspots for both perceived and modeled services were disproportionately located within the PSI’s wilderness areas. Additionally, we used regression analysis to evaluate spatial relationships between perceived biodiversity and cultural ecosystem services and corresponding biophysical model outputs. Our goal was to determine whether publicly valued locations for aesthetic, biodiversity, and life-sustaining values relate meaningfully to results from corresponding biophysical ecosystem service models. We found weak relationships between perceived and biophysically modeled services, indicating that public perception of ecosystem service provisioning regions is limited. We believe that biophysical and social approaches to ecosystem service mapping can serve as methodological complements that can advance ecosystem services-based resource management, benefitting resource managers by showing potential locations of synergy or conflict between areas supplying ecosystem services and those valued by the public.

  12. Linking biophysical models and public preferences for ecosystem service assessments: a case study for the Southern Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Reed, James; Semmens, Darius J.; Sherrouse, Ben C.; Troy, Austin

    2016-01-01

    Through extensive research, ecosystem services have been mapped using both survey-based and biophysical approaches, but comparative mapping of public values and those quantified using models has been lacking. In this paper, we mapped hot and cold spots for perceived and modeled ecosystem services by synthesizing results from a social-values mapping study of residents living near the Pike–San Isabel National Forest (PSI), located in the Southern Rocky Mountains, with corresponding biophysically modeled ecosystem services. Social-value maps for the PSI were developed using the Social Values for Ecosystem Services tool, providing statistically modeled continuous value surfaces for 12 value types, including aesthetic, biodiversity, and life-sustaining values. Biophysically modeled maps of carbon sequestration and storage, scenic viewsheds, sediment regulation, and water yield were generated using the Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services tool. Hotspots for both perceived and modeled services were disproportionately located within the PSI’s wilderness areas. Additionally, we used regression analysis to evaluate spatial relationships between perceived biodiversity and cultural ecosystem services and corresponding biophysical model outputs. Our goal was to determine whether publicly valued locations for aesthetic, biodiversity, and life-sustaining values relate meaningfully to results from corresponding biophysical ecosystem service models. We found weak relationships between perceived and biophysically modeled services, indicating that public perception of ecosystem service provisioning regions is limited. We believe that biophysical and social approaches to ecosystem service mapping can serve as methodological complements that can advance ecosystem services-based resource management, benefitting resource managers by showing potential locations of synergy or conflict between areas supplying ecosystem services and those valued by the public.

  13. Characterizing recent and projecting future potential patterns of mountain pine beetle outbreaks in the Southern Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Liang, Lu; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Chen, Yanlei; Zhu, Zhi-Liang; Gong, Peng

    2014-01-01

    The recent widespread mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreak in the Southern Rocky Mountains presents an opportunity to investigate the relative influence of anthropogenic, biologic, and physical drivers that have shaped the spatiotemporal patterns of the outbreak. The aim of this study was to quantify the landscape-level drivers that explained the dynamic patterns of MPB mortality, and simulate areas with future potential MPB mortality under projected climate-change scenarios in Grand County, Colorado, USA. The outbreak patterns of MPB were characterized by analysis of a decade-long Landsat time-series stack, aided by automatic attribution of change detected by the Landsat-based Detection of Trends in Disturbance and Recovery algorithm (LandTrendr). The annual area of new MPB mortality was then related to a suite of anthropogenic, biologic, and physical predictor variables under a general linear model (GLM) framework. Data from years 2001–2005 were used to train the model and data from years 2006–2011 were retained for validation. After stepwise removal of non-significant predictors, the remaining predictors in the GLM indicated that neighborhood mortality, winter mean temperature anomaly, and residential housing density were positively associated with MPB mortality, whereas summer precipitation was negatively related. The final model had an average area under the curve (AUC) of a receiver operating characteristic plot value of 0.72 in predicting the annual area of new mortality for the independent validation years, and the mean deviation from the base maps in the MPB mortality areal estimates was around 5%. The extent of MPB mortality will likely expand under two climate-change scenarios (RCP 4.5 and 8.5) in Grand County, which implies that the impacts of MPB outbreaks on vegetation composition and structure, and ecosystem functioning are likely to increase in the future.

  14. Recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks, wildfire severity, and postfire tree regeneration in the US Northern Rockies.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Brian J; Donato, Daniel C; Turner, Monica G

    2014-10-21

    Widespread tree mortality caused by outbreaks of native bark beetles (Circulionidae: Scolytinae) in recent decades has raised concern among scientists and forest managers about whether beetle outbreaks fuel more ecologically severe forest fires and impair postfire resilience. To investigate this question, we collected extensive field data following multiple fires that burned subalpine forests in 2011 throughout the Northern Rocky Mountains across a spectrum of prefire beetle outbreak severity, primarily from mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae). We found that recent (2001-2010) beetle outbreak severity was unrelated to most field measures of subsequent fire severity, which was instead driven primarily by extreme burning conditions (weather) and topography. In the red stage (0-2 y following beetle outbreak), fire severity was largely unaffected by prefire outbreak severity with few effects detected only under extreme burning conditions. In the gray stage (3-10 y following beetle outbreak), fire severity was largely unaffected by prefire outbreak severity under moderate conditions, but several measures related to surface fire severity increased with outbreak severity under extreme conditions. Initial postfire tree regeneration of the primary beetle host tree [lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia)] was not directly affected by prefire outbreak severity but was instead driven by the presence of a canopy seedbank and by fire severity. Recent beetle outbreaks in subalpine forests affected few measures of wildfire severity and did not hinder the ability of lodgepole pine forests to regenerate after fire, suggesting that resilience in subalpine forests is not necessarily impaired by recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks. PMID:25267633

  15. Atmospheric Deposition and Fate of Mercury in High-altitude Watersheds of the Rocky Mountains.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, D. H.; Mast, M. A.; Ingersoll, G. P.; Manthorne, D. J.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Taylor, H. E.; Aiken, G. R.; Schuster, P. F.; Reddy, M. M.

    2003-12-01

    Despite the potential for cold high-altitude ecosystems to act as sinks in the global mercury cycle, atmospheric deposition and fate of mercury have not been measured extensively at mountain sites in the Western United States. At Buffalo Pass in northwestern Colorado (the highest site in the national Mercury Deposition Network at 3234 m elevation), mercury in wet deposition was 9 μ gm-2 in 2000, comparable to many sites in the upper Midwestern United States where fish consumption advisories are widespread because of elevated levels of mercury from atmospheric deposition. Similar levels of mercury deposition were measured about 90 km east of Buffalo Pass at Loch Vale in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) during 2002. Concentrations of total mercury in headwater streams in RMNP averaged 2-4 ngL-1 during spring and summer of 2001-2002. Higher concentrations were observed during snowmelt and rainfall events. Dissolved mercury was generally greater than particulate mercury in these clear mountain streams. Mercury and dissolved organic carbon peaked as soils were flushed during early snowmelt and rainy summer periods. Overall, mercury deposition was greater than mercury export, indicating accumulation in alpine/subalpine ecosystems; however, the mercury exported in streamflow may contribute substantially to mercury loading in downstream lakes and reservoirs where fish consumption advisories have increased. Methyl mercury concentrations measured in the streams in 2002 were generally near or less than detection limits, however, extreme drought conditions limited hydrologic flushing of soils and wetlands that may be sources of methyl mercury. In 2003, surface and ground water from various alpine and subalpine landscapes were sampled to determine sources and transport of total and methyl mercury. The elevated levels of mercury in atmospheric deposition indicate a need for better understanding of mercury cycling and transport in high-altitude ecosystems of Western North

  16. Recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks, wildfire severity, and postfire tree regeneration in the US Northern Rockies

    PubMed Central

    Harvey, Brian J.; Donato, Daniel C.; Turner, Monica G.

    2014-01-01

    Widespread tree mortality caused by outbreaks of native bark beetles (Circulionidae: Scolytinae) in recent decades has raised concern among scientists and forest managers about whether beetle outbreaks fuel more ecologically severe forest fires and impair postfire resilience. To investigate this question, we collected extensive field data following multiple fires that burned subalpine forests in 2011 throughout the Northern Rocky Mountains across a spectrum of prefire beetle outbreak severity, primarily from mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae). We found that recent (2001–2010) beetle outbreak severity was unrelated to most field measures of subsequent fire severity, which was instead driven primarily by extreme burning conditions (weather) and topography. In the red stage (0–2 y following beetle outbreak), fire severity was largely unaffected by prefire outbreak severity with few effects detected only under extreme burning conditions. In the gray stage (3–10 y following beetle outbreak), fire severity was largely unaffected by prefire outbreak severity under moderate conditions, but several measures related to surface fire severity increased with outbreak severity under extreme conditions. Initial postfire tree regeneration of the primary beetle host tree [lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia)] was not directly affected by prefire outbreak severity but was instead driven by the presence of a canopy seedbank and by fire severity. Recent beetle outbreaks in subalpine forests affected few measures of wildfire severity and did not hinder the ability of lodgepole pine forests to regenerate after fire, suggesting that resilience in subalpine forests is not necessarily impaired by recent mountain pine beetle outbreaks. PMID:25267633

  17. Climatic controls on the snowmelt hydrology of the northern Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pederson, G.T.; Gray, S.T.; Ault, T.; Marsh, W.; Fagre, D.B.; Bunn, A.G.; Woodhouse, C.A.; Graumlich, L.J.

    2011-01-01

    The northern Rocky Mountains (NRMs) are a critical headwaters region with the majority of water resources originating from mountain snowpack. Observations showing declines in western U.S. snowpack have implications for water resources and biophysical processes in high-mountain environments. This study investigates oceanic and atmospheric controls underlying changes in timing, variability, and trends documented across the entire hydroclimatic-monitoring system within critical NRM watersheds. Analyses were conducted using records from 25 snow telemetry (SNOTEL) stations, 148 1 April snow course records, stream gauge records from 14 relatively unimpaired rivers, and 37 valley meteorological stations. Over the past four decades, midelevation SNOTEL records show a tendency toward decreased snowpack with peak snow water equivalent (SWE) arriving and melting out earlier. Temperature records show significant seasonal and annual decreases in the number of frost days (days ???0??C) and changes in spring minimum temperatures that correspond with atmospheric circulation changes and surface-albedo feedbacks in March and April. Warmer spring temperatures coupled with increases in mean and variance of spring precipitation correspond strongly to earlier snowmeltout, an increased number of snow-free days, and observed changes in streamflow timing and discharge. The majority of the variability in peak and total annual snowpack and streamflow, however, is explained by season-dependent interannual-to-interdecadal changes in atmospheric circulation associated with Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures. Over recent decades, increased spring precipitation appears to be buffering NRM total annual streamflow from what would otherwise be greater snow-related declines in hydrologic yield. Results have important implications for ecosystems, water resources, and long-lead-forecasting capabilities. ?? 2011 American Meteorological Society.

  18. Trends in snowpack chemistry and comparison to National Atmospheric Deposition Program results for the Rocky Mountains, US, 1993-2004

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ingersoll, G.P.; Mast, M.A.; Campbell, D.H.; Clow, D.W.; Nanus, L.; Turk, J.T.

    2008-01-01

    Seasonal snowpack chemistry data from the Rocky Mountain region of the US was examined to identify long-term trends in concentration and chemical deposition in snow and in snow-water equivalent. For the period 1993-2004, comparisons of trends were made between 54 Rocky Mountain Snowpack sites and 16 National Atmospheric Deposition Program wetfall sites located nearby in the region. The region was divided into three subregions: Northern, Central, and Southern. A non-parametric correlation method known as the Regional Kendall Test was used. This technique collectively computed the slope, direction, and probability of trend for several sites at once in each of the Northern, Central, and Southern Rockies subregions. Seasonal Kendall tests were used to evaluate trends at individual sites. Significant trends occurred during the period in wetfall and snowpack concentrations and deposition, and in precipitation. For the comparison, trends in concentrations of ammonium, nitrate, and sulfate for the two networks were in fair agreement. In several cases, increases in ammonium and nitrate concentrations, and decreases in sulfate concentrations for both wetfall and snowpack were consistent in the three subregions. However, deposition patterns between wetfall and snowpack more often were opposite, particularly for ammonium and nitrate. Decreases in ammonium and nitrate deposition in wetfall in the central and southern rockies subregions mostly were moderately significant (p<0.11) in constrast to highly significant increases in snowpack (p<0.02). These opposite trends likely are explained by different rates of declining precipitation during the recent drought (1999-2004) and increasing concentration. Furthermore, dry deposition was an important factor in total deposition of nitrogen in the region. Sulfate deposition decreased with moderate to high significance in all three subregions in both wetfall and snowpack. Precipitation trends consistently were downward and significant for

  19. The Rocky Mountain population of the western Canada goose: its distribution, habitats, and management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krohn, William B.; Bizeau, Elwood G.

    1980-01-01

    The western Canada goose (Branta canadensis moffitti) was divided into a Rocky Mountain population (RMP) and a Pacific population (PP) on the basis of band recovery patterns examined in this study and recovery data from other investigators. Habitat information obtained from nine cooperating wildlife agencies within the RMP's range provided a base line for evaluating future changes in nesting, molting, and wintering areas. The habitat inventory indicated that none of the seasonal habitats were currently limiting the size of the RMP. The RMP's range is divided into 15 reference areas and these are briefly described. Past studies of Canada geese in the Intermountain Region are reviewed. Topics covered in the discussion of breeding biology are nesting chronology, spring population composition, breeding age, clutch size, nesting success. artificial nesting structures, and gosling survival. Much of the mortality of Canada geese occurs before the birds are fledged. Man-made nesting structures reduce losses during incubation. but research is needed on the relations between brooding sites and gosling survival. Some western Canada geese, mainly prebreeders and unsuccessful nesters, make molt migrations to and from molting areas during and after the brood-rearing season. More than half of these molt-migrants are yearlings too young to nest; there are indications that even some successful nesters leave nesting areas to molt before the fledging of their offspring. Geese 2 years old or older may serve as guides to traditional molting areas for the first-time migrants (i.e., yearlings). Lack of disturbance appears to influence selection of specific molting areas within the nesting range of moffitti, whereas movements of molters out of the Intermountain Region may be related to the evolution of this subspecies. Apparently. molters of both the PP and RMP that leave the Region go to the Northwest Territories of Canada. Although the taxonomic status of moffitti as related to the

  20. Crustal Growth in the Rocky Mountains Based on Seismic Refraction/Wide-Angle Reflection Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snelson, C. M.; Keller, G. R.; Miller, K. C.; Rumpel, H.; Prodehl, C.; Levander, A.

    2002-12-01

    The results from the Deep Probe '95 and CD-ROM '99 refraction wide/angle reflection experiments have lead to varying discussions on the crustal evolution of the Rocky Mountain region. One of the major results from the Deep Probe project is evidence for a high-velocity lowermost crustal (HVLC) layer (7.0 - 7.3 km/s) beneath the Wyoming province. The crust thickens dramatically beneath the province to 50+ km. The HVLC layer is about 20 km thick at the base of the crust and extends >100 km in the north-south direction. In contrast, the CD-ROM velocity model exhibits evidence of a mid-crustal discontinuity at about 20 to 25 km, which corresponds to the "Conrad" discontinuity. The "Conrad" discontinuity is typically associated with a stable cratonic environment and is not commonly seen. The presence of this discontinuity in the CD-ROM velocity model may indicate that portions of the Rocky Mountains were built on stable cratonic crust. In addition, the southern end of the profile, which crosses the Great Plains, shows evidence of a high-velocity lowermost crustal layer (7.0 to 7.4 km/s). This CD-ROM HVLC ranges in thickness from 5-10 km and is most evident under the Great Plains. In contrast to the Deep Probe model, the CD-ROM layer is interpreted to have been created and modified during the Proterozoic and is spatially associated with the widespread magmatism (1.3 - 1.4 Ga) that has been identified in the mid-continent and the Colorado Plateau. Although the process for creating such HVLC layers is probably very similar, the age, extent, geologic cause, and crustal structure of these layers from Deep Probe and CD-ROM are distinctly different. Recent studies have shown that HVLC layers are typically associated with magmatic underplating as seen in the Kenya rift or with tectonic underplates associated with subduction zones such as recently proposed for the southern Baltic shield, the Pacific Northwest, and the Aleutians. These observation from the Deep Probe and CD

  1. Atmospheric deposition of nutrients, pesticides, and mercury in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, 2002

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mast, M. Alisa; Campbell, Donald H.; Ingersoll, George P.; Foreman, William T.; Krabbenhoft, David P.

    2003-01-01

    Nutrients, current-use pesticides, and mercury were measured in atmospheric deposition during summer in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado to improve understanding of the type and magnitude of atmospheric contaminants being deposited in the park. Two deposition sites were established on the east side of the park: one at an elevation of 2,902 meters near Bear Lake for nutrients and pesticides, and one at an elevation of 3,159 meters in the Loch Vale watershed for mercury. Concentrations of nutrients in summer precipitation at Bear Lake ranged from less than 0.007 to 1.29 mg N/L (milligrams of nitrogen per liter) for ammonium and 0.17 to 4.59 mg N/L for nitrate and were similar to those measured at the Loch Vale National Atmospheric Deposition Network station, where nitrogen concentrations in precipitation are among the highest in the Rocky Mountains. Atrazine, dacthal, and carbaryl were the most frequently detected pesticides at Bear Lake, with carbaryl present at the highest concentrations (0.0079 to 0.0952 ?g/L (micrograms per liter), followed by atrazine (less than 0.0070 to 0.0604 ?g/L), and dacthal (0.0030 to 0.0093 ?g/L). Mercury was detected in weekly bulk deposition samples from Loch Vale in concentrations ranging from 2.6 to 36.2 ng/L (nanograms per liter). Concentrations in summer precipitation were combined with snowpack data from a separate study to estimate annual deposition rates of these contaminants in 2002. Annual bulk nitrogen deposition in 2002 was 2.28 kg N/ha (kilograms of nitrogen per hectare) at Bear Lake and 3.35 kg N/ha at Loch Vale. Comparison of wet and bulk deposition indicated that dry deposition may account for as much as 28 percent of annual nitrogen deposition, most of which was deposited during the summer months. Annual deposition rates for three pesticides were estimated as 45.8 mg/ha (milligrams per hectare) of atrazine, 14.2 mg/ha of dacthal, and 54.8 mg/ha of carbaryl. Because of much higher pesticide concentrations in

  2. A Ten Step Protocol and Plan for CCS Site Characterization, Based on an Analysis of the Rocky Mountain Region, USA

    SciTech Connect

    McPherson, Brian; Matthews, Vince

    2013-09-15

    This report expresses a Ten-Step Protocol for CO2 Storage Site Characterization, the final outcome of an extensive Site Characterization analysis of the Rocky Mountain region, USA. These ten steps include: (1) regional assessment and data gathering; (2) identification and analysis of appropriate local sites for characterization; (3) public engagement; (4) geologic and geophysical analysis of local site(s); (5) stratigraphic well drilling and coring; (6) core analysis and interpretation with other data; (7) database assembly and static model development; (8) storage capacity assessment; (9) simulation and uncertainty assessment; (10) risk assessment. While the results detailed here are primarily germane to the Rocky Mountain region, the intent of this protocol is to be portable or generally applicable for CO2 storage site characterization.

  3. Distributional changes and range predictions of downy brome (Bromus tectorum) in Rocky Mountain National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bromberg, J.E.; Kumar, S.; Brown, C.S.; Stohlgren, T.J.

    2011-01-01

    Downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.), an invasive winter annual grass, may be increasing in extent and abundance at high elevations in the western United States. This would pose a great threat to high-elevation plant communities and resources. However, data to track this species in high-elevation environments are limited. To address changes in the distribution and abundance of downy brome and the factors most associated with its occurrence, we used field sampling and statistical methods, and niche modeling. In 2007, we resampled plots from two vegetation surveys in Rocky Mountain National Park for presence and cover of downy brome. One survey was established in 1993 and had been resampled in 1999. The other survey was established in 1996 and had not been resampled until our study. Although not all comparisons between years demonstrated significant changes in downy brome abundance, its mean cover increased nearly fivefold from 1993 (0.7%) to 2007 (3.6%) in one of the two vegetation surveys (P = 0.06). Although the average cover of downy brome within the second survey appeared to be increasing from 1996 to 2007, this slight change from 0.5% to 1.2% was not statistically significant (P = 0.24). Downy brome was present in 50% more plots in 1999 than in 1993 (P = 0.02) in the first survey. In the second survey, downy brome was present in 30% more plots in 2007 than in 1996 (P = 0.08). Maxent, a species-environmental matching model, was generally able to predict occurrences of downy brome, as new locations were in the ranges predicted by earlier generated models. The model found that distance to roads, elevation, and vegetation community influenced the predictions most. The strong response of downy brome to interannual environmental variability makes detecting change challenging, especially with small sample sizes. However, our results suggest that the area in which downy brome occurs is likely increasing in Rocky Mountain National Park through increased frequency and cover

  4. Formation of the rocky mountains, Western United States: a continuum computer model.

    PubMed

    Bird, P

    1988-03-25

    One hypothesis for the information of the Rocky Mountain structures in late Cretaceous through Eocene time is that plate of oceanic lithosphere was underthrust horizontally along the base of the North American lithosphere. The horizontal components of the motion of this plate are known from paleomagnetism, and the edge of the region of flat slab can estimated from reconstructed patterns of volcanism. New techniques of finite-element modeling allow prediction of the thermal and mechanical effects of horizontal subduction on the North American plate. A model that has a realistic temperature-dependent rheology and a simple plane-layered initial condition is used to compute the consequences of horizontal underthrusting in the time interval 75 million to 30 million years before present. Successful prediction of this model include (i) the location, amount, and direction of horizontal shortening that has been inferred from Laramide structures; (ii) massive transport of lower crust from southwest to northeast; (iii) the location and timing of the subsequent extension in metamorphic core complexes and the Rio Grande rift; and (iv) the total area eventually involved in Basin-and-Range style extension. In a broad sense, this model has predicted the belt of Laramide structures, the transport of crust from the coastal region to the continental interior, the subsequent extension in metamorphic core complexes and the Rio Grande rift, and the geographic region of late Tertiary Basin-and-Range extension. Its principal defects are that (i) many events are predicted about 5 million to 10 million years too late and (ii) the wave of crustal thickening does not travel far enough to the east. Reasonable modifications to the oceanic plate kinematics and rheologies that were assumed may correct these defects. The correspondence of model predictions to actual geology is already sufficiently close to show that the hypothesis that horizontal subduction caused the Laramide orogeny is probably

  5. Formation of the rocky mountains, Western United States: a continuum computer model.

    PubMed

    Bird, P

    1988-03-25

    One hypothesis for the information of the Rocky Mountain structures in late Cretaceous through Eocene time is that plate of oceanic lithosphere was underthrust horizontally along the base of the North American lithosphere. The horizontal components of the motion of this plate are known from paleomagnetism, and the edge of the region of flat slab can estimated from reconstructed patterns of volcanism. New techniques of finite-element modeling allow prediction of the thermal and mechanical effects of horizontal subduction on the North American plate. A model that has a realistic temperature-dependent rheology and a simple plane-layered initial condition is used to compute the consequences of horizontal underthrusting in the time interval 75 million to 30 million years before present. Successful prediction of this model include (i) the location, amount, and direction of horizontal shortening that has been inferred from Laramide structures; (ii) massive transport of lower crust from southwest to northeast; (iii) the location and timing of the subsequent extension in metamorphic core complexes and the Rio Grande rift; and (iv) the total area eventually involved in Basin-and-Range style extension. In a broad sense, this model has predicted the belt of Laramide structures, the transport of crust from the coastal region to the continental interior, the subsequent extension in metamorphic core complexes and the Rio Grande rift, and the geographic region of late Tertiary Basin-and-Range extension. Its principal defects are that (i) many events are predicted about 5 million to 10 million years too late and (ii) the wave of crustal thickening does not travel far enough to the east. Reasonable modifications to the oceanic plate kinematics and rheologies that were assumed may correct these defects. The correspondence of model predictions to actual geology is already sufficiently close to show that the hypothesis that horizontal subduction caused the Laramide orogeny is probably

  6. Effect of Mid-summer Drought on Carbon Exchange in Subalpine Rocky Mountain Meadows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sloat, L. L.; Henderson, A.; Enquist, B. J.

    2013-12-01

    Summer climate in the subalpine of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado is characterized by a variable mid-summer drought after snowmelt and before the summer monsoon. Many climate change models predict an increase in the variability, length and severity of this dry period due to earlier snowmelt dates, rising air temperatures, and changes in the timing and amount of the summer monsoon. But how will changes in the midsummer drought effect carbon exchange in this system? We conducted a watering experiment aimed at incrementally decreasing the length of the summer drought in a severe drought year (2012) at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Gothic, Colorado. Plots that were watered in May and June, and plots that were watered in May, June, and July, had a significantly higher cumulative Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) of carbon throughout the growing season than plots that were watered only in May and the un-watered control plots (ANOVA, P=0.0402). This was likely due to higher rates of peak Net Primary Productivity (NPP), and not due to a lengthening of the growing season. Ecosystem-level respiration was not significantly different between treatments. Additionally, we analyzed data from ten years of carbon flux measurements over an elevation gradient that spans from 2475m to 3380m in order to see if there was a relationship between the strength of the midsummer drought and peak rates of carbon intake. All five sites along the gradient showed a positive relationship between the June Palmer Drought Index and peak NEE. The relationship was significant in three of the five sites (p<0.05). A slope test indicated that higher elevation sites had steeper slopes than lower elevation sites (p<0.05), suggesting that higher elevation sites may be more sensitive to changes in the strength of the midsummer drought than lower elevation sites. Additionally we found a significant positive relationship between melt date and peak NEE, indicating that years with later melt dates had

  7. Hydraulic compensation in northern Rocky Mountain conifers: does successional position and life history matter?

    PubMed

    Sala, Anna

    2006-08-01

    As trees grow tall and the resistance of the hydraulic pathway increases, water supply to foliage may decrease forcing stomata to close and CO2 uptake to decline. Several structural (e.g. biomass allocation) and physiological adjustments, however, may partially or fully compensate for such hydraulic constraints and prevent limitations on CO2 uptake and growth. The degree to which trees compensate for hydraulic constraints as they grow tall may depend on the costs and benefits associated with hydraulic compensation according to their ecology and life history. Because later successional Rocky Mountain conifers are more shade tolerant, optimization of CO2 uptake as trees grow tall and shade increases may confer greater benefits than in earlier successional species. If so, higher compensation for hydraulic constraints is expected in later successional species relative to co-occurring earlier successional species. I have examined height-related changes of crown stomatal conductance on a leaf area basis (G(LA)) and leaf to sapwood ratios (A(L):A(S)) for five conifer species in the northern Rocky Mountains. Species were arranged in pairs, each pair consisting of an early and late successional species. For high elevations I used, respectively, whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa); for mid-elevations, western larch (Larix occidentalis) and Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii); for lower elevations, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and Douglas-fir. A(L):A(S) either decreased (subalpine fir, ponderosa pine), remained constant (Douglas-fir, western larch) or increased (whitebark pine) with tree height. As hypothesized, earlier successional species (ponderosa pine, whitebark pine and western larch) exhibited significantly stronger decreases of G(LA) with tree height relative to their later successional pairs (Douglas-fir and subalpine fir), which fully compensated for height-related hydraulic constraints on G(LA). A life history approach that

  8. Spatial and temporal patterns of ozone in the high elevation ecosystems of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liptzin, D.; Helmig, D.

    2015-12-01

    Tropospheric ozone is regulated by the US EPA to protect human health and welfare. Because the precursors to ozone formation largely come from transportation and industrial activity, ozone has typically been thought of as an urban pollution problem. However, there is growing concern about increased ozone concentrations in rural areas. Surprisingly high ozone concentrations have been measured in the high elevation Rocky Mountain ecosystems in the Front Range of Colorado. The annual median ozone mixing ratios over the past decade at three high elevation monitoring stations ranged from 47 to 53 ppbv. The hourly ozone mixing ratio typically exceeds 100 ppbv at some point every year at these sites. The number of days where the ozone mixing ratio exceeded the current 8 hour US EPA National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 75 ppb has ranged from 0 to 25 since 1987 at the monitoring site in Rocky Mountain National Park. A comparison with lower elevation sites suggests that ozone mixing ratios generally increase with elevation. In addition, the diurnal and seasonal variability of ozone decreases with elevation. Along an elevational gradient from the plains to the tundra, the tundra site had the highest median values and the least variability of any site. The seasonal pattern at these high elevation sites is also distinct as the maximum mixing ratios occur in the spring in contrast to the summer maximum typically observed in urban areas. While there have been relatively small changes in concentration in the measured data record going back a few decades, modeling suggests that ozone mixing ratios have almost doubled over the last one hundred years in Colorado. A plethora of studies has shown that elevated ozone damages foliage, with sensitive species showing effect at levels exceeding 35-40 ppbv. Since ozone levels in these high elevation ecosystems are clearly above that, we believe that they have been and will continue to be severely affected by elevated ozone. It is not

  9. Monitoring plan for vegetation responses to elk management in Rocky Mountain National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zeigenfuss, Linda C.; Johnson, Therese L.; Wiebe, Zachary

    2011-01-01

    Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in north-central Colorado supports numerous species of wildlife, including several large ungulate species among which Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) are the most abundant. Elk are native to RMNP but were extirpated from the area by the late 1800s. They were reintroduced to the area in 1913-1914, and the elk herd grew to the point that it was actively managed from 1944 until 1968. In 1969, the active control of elk was discontinued and since then the herd has increased to a high point ranging from 2,800 to 3,500 between 1997 and 2001. In recent years, there has been growing concern over the condition of vegetation in the park and conflicts between elk and humans, both inside and outside the park. In response to these concerns, RMNP implemented an Elk and Vegetation Management Plan (EVMP) in 2009 to guide management actions in the park over a 20-year time period with the goal of reducing the impacts of elk on vegetation and restoring the natural range of variability in the elk population and affected plant and animal communities. The EVMP outlines the desired future condition for three vegetation communities where the majority of elk herbivory impacts are being observed: aspen, montane riparian willow, and upland herbaceous communities. The EVMP incorporates the principle of adaptive management whereby the effectiveness of management actions is assessed and adjusted as needed to successfully achieve objectives. Determination of whether vegetation objectives are being achieved requires monitoring and evaluation of target vegetation communities. The current report describes the design and implementation of a vegetation-monitoring program to help RMNP managers assess the effectiveness of their management actions and determine when and where to alter actions to achieve the EVMP's vegetation objectives. This monitoring plan details the process of selecting variables to be monitored, overall sampling design and structure, site

  10. High concentrations of regional dust from deserts to plains across the central Rocky Mountains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, R. L.; Munson, S. M.; Fernandez, D. P.; Neff, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Regional mineral dust in the American Southwest affects snow-melt rates, biogeochemical cycling, visibility, and public health. We measured total suspended particulates (TSP) across a 500-km-long sampling network of five remote sites in Utah and Colorado, USA, forming a gradient in distance from major dust emitting areas. The two westernmost sites on the Colorado Plateau desert had similar TSP concentrations (2008-2012, daily average=126 μg m-3; max. daily average over a two-week period=700 μg m-3 at Canyonlands National Park, Utah), while the easternmost High Plains site, close to cropped and grazed areas in northeastern Colorado, had an average concentration of 143 μg m-3 in 2011-2012 (max. daily average=656 μg m-3). Such concentrations rank comparably with those of TSP in several African and Asian cities in the paths of frequent dust storms. Dust loadings at the two intervening montane sites decreased from the western slope of the Rocky Mountains (Telluride, daily average=68 μg m-3) to an eastern site (Niwot Ridge, daily average=58 μg m-3). Back-trajectory analyses and satellite retrievals indicated that the three westernmost sites received most dust from large desert-source regions as far as 300 km to their southwest. These sources also sometimes sent dust to the two easternmost sites, which additionally captured dust from sources north and northwest of the central Rocky Mountains as well as locally at the Plains site. The PM10 fraction accounted for <15% of TSP, but most TSP is only slightly larger (typical median size, 15-20 μm) after about 100-800 km transport distances. Correlations between TSP and PM10 values indicate increases in both fractions during regional wind storms, especially related to Pacific frontal systems during late winter to late spring. These measurements and observations indicate that most dust deposition and associated air-quality problems in the interior American West are connected to regional dust sources and not to those in

  11. Capturing season-specific precipitation signals in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA, using earlywood and latewood tree rings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crawford, Christopher J.; Griffin, Daniel; Kipfmueller, Kurt F.

    2015-03-01

    Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii Mirb. Franco) total width, earlywood, and latewood tree ring chronologies were developed from six lower forest border sites in the northern Rocky Mountain region of central Idaho and southwestern Montana, USA, to assess the potential for season-specific moisture reconstructions. These long-lived arid-site trees share strong between-tree and between-site coherence, and subannual tree ring chronologies reliably span the past seven centuries. Mapping spatiotemporal patterns in northern Rocky Mountain precipitation highlighted winter- and summer-dominated precipitation regimes that transition along a west to east gradient. When Douglas-fir tree rings were compared with instrumental climate records, season-specific correlations emerged between earlywood and latewood. Total width, earlywood, and latewood shared the most statistically significant monthly correlations with April-June precipitation, whereas variability in adjusted latewood was tuned to June-August precipitation. Principal component analysis indicated that the leading mode of common variance for earlywood and adjusted latewood explained 65% and 55% variance in the chronologies, respectively. Pearson's correlations between earlywood principal component one and the northern Rocky Mountain precipitation field showed that annual (July-June) and spring (April-June) precipitation exhibited the strongest pattern of significance in central Idaho and southwestern Montana valleys and the Snake River Plain. Summer precipitation (June-August) was correlated with adjusted latewood principal component one and was particularly pronounced along and east of the continental divide in southwestern Montana. These results indicate that Douglas-fir earlywood and adjusted latewood tree rings in the northern Rocky Mountains retain season-specific precipitation signals and may be helpful for studying historical precipitation within the winter-summer transition zone.

  12. 75 FR 62519 - Rocky Mountain Natural Gas LLC; KeySpan Gas East Corporation; ECOP Gas Company, LLC; MGTC, Inc...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-12

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. PR10-130-000; PR10-131-000; PR10-132-000; PR10-133-000; PR10-134-000; PR10-135-000; PR10-136-000 (Not Consolidated)] Rocky Mountain Natural Gas LLC; KeySpan Gas...

  13. State geothermal commercialization programs in ten Rocky Mountain states. Semi-annual progress report, July-December 1979

    SciTech Connect

    Griffith, J.L.

    1980-08-01

    The activities and findings of the ten state teams participating in the Rocky Mountain Basin and Range Regional Hydrothermal Commercialization Program for the period are described. A summary of the state projects, compilation of project accomplishments, summary of findings, and a description of the major conclusions and recommendations are presented. Also included are chapters on the commercialization activities carried out by individual teams in each state: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New-Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. (MHR)

  14. Was Late Cretaceous Magmatism in the Northern Rocky Mountains Really Arc-Related?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farmer, G.

    2011-12-01

    Calc-alkaline, Cretaceous magmatism affected much of the northern Rocky Mountain region in the western U.S. and is generally interpreted as continental arc magmatism despite the fact that it occurred as far east into the continental interior as the Late Cretaceous (75 Ma to 78 Ma) Sliderock Mountain volcanoplutonic complex in south-central Montana. Magmatism may have migrated so far inboard as a response to shallowing of the dip angle of underthrust oceanic lithosphere, but the exact sources, tectonic setting and trigger mechanisms for the Late Cretaceous igneous activity remain unclear. In this study, new trace element and Nd and Sr isotopic data, combined with existing age and major element data (duBray et al., 1998, USGS Prof. Paper 1602), from the most mafic lavas present at the Sliderock Mountain Volcano were used to further define the source regions of the Late Cretaceous magmatism. The most mafic lava flows are high K (~2-3 wt. % K2O), low Ti (< 1 wt. % TiO2), low Ni (< 20 ppm) basaltic andesites. Major element oxide contents for these rocks are only weakly correlated with increasing wt. % SiO2 on conventional Harker diagrams. All of the rocks are characterized by high LILE/HFSE ratios and high Pb contents (17-20 ppm), as expected for arc-related magmatism. The rocks also have high (La/Yb)N (7-20) but show decreasing (Dy/Yb)N with increasing wt.% SiO2, suggesting a cryptic role for amphibole fractionation during evolution of their parental magmas. Initial ɛNd values range from -19 to -29 but do not covary with rock bulk composition and as a result are unlikely to represent the result of interaction with local Archean continental crust. Initial 87Sr/86Sr, in contrast, vary over a restricted range from 0.7045 to 0.7065. The lowest 87Sr/86Sr correspond to samples with the highest Sr/Y (120-190). The low ɛNd values for the basaltic andesites suggest that if these volcanic rocks were ultimately derived from ultramafic mantle sources, melting must have occurred

  15. Secondary contact between Lycaeides idas and L. melissa in the Rocky Mountains: extensive admixture and a patchy hybrid zone.

    PubMed

    Gompert, Zachariah; Lucas, Lauren K; Fordyce, James A; Forister, Matthew L; Nice, Chris C

    2010-08-01

    Studies of hybridization have increased our understanding of the nature of species boundaries, the process of speciation, and the effects of hybridization on the evolution of populations and species. In the present study we use genetic and morphological data to determine the outcome and consequences of secondary contact and hybridization between the butterfly species Lycaeides idas and L. melissa in the Rocky Mountains. Admixture proportions estimated from structure and geographical cline analysis indicate L. idas and L. melissa have hybridized extensively in the Rocky Mountains and that reproductive isolation was insufficient to prevent introgression for much of the genome. Geographical patterns of admixture suggest that hybridization between L. idas and L. melissa has led to the formation of a hybrid zone. The hybrid zone is relatively wide, given estimates of dispersal for Lycaeides butterflies, and does not show strong evidence of cline concordance among characters. We believe the structure of the Lycaeides hybrid zone might be best explained by the patchy distribution of Lycaeides, local extinction and colonization of habitat patches, environmental variation and weak overall selection against hybrids. We found no evidence that hybridization in the Rocky Mountains has resulted in the formation of independent hybrid species, in contrast to the outcome of hybridization between L. idas and L. melissa in the Sierra Nevada. Finally, our results suggest that differences in male morphology between L. idas and L. melissa might contribute to isolation, or perhaps even that selection has favoured the spread of L. melissa male genitalia alleles. PMID:20618903

  16. Emissions implications of future natural gas production and use in the U.S. and in the Rocky Mountain region.

    PubMed

    McLeod, Jeffrey D; Brinkman, Gregory L; Milford, Jana B

    2014-11-18

    Enhanced prospects for natural gas production raise questions about the balance of impacts on air quality, as increased emissions from production activities are considered alongside the reductions expected when natural gas is burned in place of other fossil fuels. This study explores how trends in natural gas production over the coming decades might affect emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) for the United States and its Rocky Mountain region. The MARKAL (MARKet ALlocation) energy system optimization model is used with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's nine-region database to compare scenarios for natural gas supply and demand, constraints on the electricity generation mix, and GHG emissions fees. Through 2050, total energy system GHG emissions show little response to natural gas supply assumptions, due to offsetting changes across sectors. Policy-driven constraints or emissions fees are needed to achieve net reductions. In most scenarios, wind is a less expensive source of new electricity supplies in the Rocky Mountain region than natural gas. U.S. NOx emissions decline in all the scenarios considered. Increased VOC emissions from natural gas production offset part of the anticipated reductions from the transportation sector, especially in the Rocky Mountain region. PMID:25329514

  17. Emissions implications of future natural gas production and use in the U.S. and in the Rocky Mountain region.

    PubMed

    McLeod, Jeffrey D; Brinkman, Gregory L; Milford, Jana B

    2014-11-18

    Enhanced prospects for natural gas production raise questions about the balance of impacts on air quality, as increased emissions from production activities are considered alongside the reductions expected when natural gas is burned in place of other fossil fuels. This study explores how trends in natural gas production over the coming decades might affect emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) for the United States and its Rocky Mountain region. The MARKAL (MARKet ALlocation) energy system optimization model is used with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's nine-region database to compare scenarios for natural gas supply and demand, constraints on the electricity generation mix, and GHG emissions fees. Through 2050, total energy system GHG emissions show little response to natural gas supply assumptions, due to offsetting changes across sectors. Policy-driven constraints or emissions fees are needed to achieve net reductions. In most scenarios, wind is a less expensive source of new electricity supplies in the Rocky Mountain region than natural gas. U.S. NOx emissions decline in all the scenarios considered. Increased VOC emissions from natural gas production offset part of the anticipated reductions from the transportation sector, especially in the Rocky Mountain region.

  18. The influence of Precambrian rock compositions and fabrics on the development of Rocky Mountain foreland folds

    SciTech Connect

    Chase, R.B.; Schmidt, C.J. . Dept. of Geology); Genovese, P.W. . Dept. of Geophysical Sciences)

    1992-01-01

    The distribution of Laramide strain in the Precambrian basement rocks of four small Rocky Mountain foreland folds was controlled by lithologies and orientations of pre-existing foliation in the faulted forelimbs. Features of brittle deformation include faults, sets of parallel, conjugate, or anastomosing fractures, zones of penetrative grain cracking and intergrain slip without grain size reduction, and local zones of cataclasis or incipient mylonitization. In the London Hills anticline, Montana, foliation was nearly parallel to bedding in cover rocks prior to folding. The foliation in the forelimb was rotated and deformed by layer-parallel slip between a forelimb thrust and a hinge-controlling fault. In the Sheephead Mountain anticline, Wyoming, the forelimb fault cut foliation at a high angle. Penetrative brittle deformation occurred along a wide zone of fractures parallel to a forelimb thrust at the basement-cover contact. In the Gnat Hollow anticline, Colorado, foliation dipped about 20[degree] more steeply than the forelimb thrust. Brittle deformation was confined mainly to the fault zone. In the Romero Hills anticline, New Mexico, foliation in the basement was parallel to thrusts that cut both basement and cover rocks. Slip on foliation surfaces near the thrusts was pervasive and simple shear on foliation was distributed in both the forelimb and backlimb. Pre-existing foliation surfaces were most active where they paralleled forelimb faults and least active where foliation was at a high angle to forelimb faults or was not rotated into the forelimb orientation. If the angle between faults and foliation is 10[degree] [+-] or more, pre-existing foliation appears to have exerted little influence on Laramide strain patterns.

  19. Geologic and geomorphic controls of coal development in some Tertiary Rocky Mountain basins, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Flores, R.M.

    1993-01-01

    Previous investigations have not well defined the controls on the development of minable coals in fluvial environments. This study was undertaken to provide a clearer understanding of these controls, particularly in of the lower Tertiary coal-bearing deposits of the Raton and Powder River basins in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. In this region, large amounts of coals accumulated in swamps formed in the flow-through fluvial systems that infilled these intermontane basins. Extrabasinal and intrabasinal tectonism partly controlled the stratigraphic and facies distributions of minable coal deposits. The regional accumulation of coals was favored by the rapid basin subsidence coupled with minimal uplift of the source area. During these events, coals developed in swamps associated with anastomosed and meandering fluvial systems and alluvial fans. The extensive and high rate of sediment input from these fluvial systems promoted the formation of ombrotrophic, raised swamps, which produced low ash and anomalously thick coals. The petrology and palynology of these coals, and the paleobotany of the associated sediments, suggest that ombrotrophic, raised swamps were common in the Powder River Basin, where the climate during the early Tertiary was paratropical. The paleoecology of these swamps is identical to that of the modern ombrotrophic, raised swamps of the Baram and Mahakam Rivers of Borneo. ?? 1993.

  20. Hydrology of Area 61, Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Coal Provinces, Colorado and New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abbott, P.O.; Geldon, Arthur L.; Cain, Doug; Hall, Alan P.; Edelmann, Patrick

    1983-01-01

    Area 61 is located on the Colorado-New Mexico boundary in Huerfano and Las Animas Counties, Colorado, and Colfax County, New Mexico, and includes the Raton Mesa coal region. The 5 ,900-square-mile area is an asymmetrical structural trough bounded by the Rocky Mountains on the west and the Great Plains on the east. The area is drained by the Huerfano, Apishapa, Purgatoire, and Canadian Rivers (and their tributaries), all tributary to the Arkansas River. The principal coal-bearing formations are the Vermejo Formation of Late Cretaceous age and the Raton Formation of Late Cretaceous and Paleocene age. Much of the coal in the area is of coking quality, important to the metallurgical industry. Topographic relief in the area is greater than 8,700 feet, and this influences the climate which in turn affects the runoff pattern of area streams. Summer thunderstorms often result in flash floods. Virtually all geologic units in the region yield water. Depth to ground water ranges from land surface to 400 feet. Surface and ground water in the area contain mostly bicarbonate and sulfate ions; locally in the ground water, chloride ions predominate. Potential hydrologic problems associated with surface coal mining in the area are water-quality degradation, water-table decline, and increased erosion and sedimentation.

  1. Effect of storm trajectories on snowfall chemistry in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ingersoll, G.P.; Tonnessen, K.A.; Campbell, D.H.; Glass, B.R.; Torizzo, A.O.

    2001-01-01

    Snowfall samples from snowstorms lasting 1 to 4 days were collected near the Bear Lake snow telemetry (SnoTel) site in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (ROMO), during the 1998-99 snowfall season to determine if storms moving in from different directions affect the chemistry of precipitation in the park. Storm pathways to Bear Lake during snowfall events were estimated using the HYSPLIT4 backward-trajectory model developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Deposition of acidic ions of nitrate and sulfate in snowfall during the study varied substantially (two- to threefold) depending on storm trajectory because air masses traversing the park originated from different surrounding areas, including some having large sources of emissions of nitrate and sulfate. Concentrations of nitrate and sulfate in samples were lowest when storms reached ROMO from north and east of the park and were elevated when air masses traveled from the west where a number of power plants are located. Concentrations were highest in storms reaching ROMO from the south, a region with urban areas including Metropolitan Denver.

  2. Response of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) to wind-power development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walter, W. David; Leslie, David M.; Jenks, J.A.

    2006-01-01

    Wind-power development is occurring throughout North America, but its effects on mammals are largely unexplored. Our objective was to determine response (i.e., home-range, diet quality) of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) to wind-power development in southwestern Oklahoma. Ten elk were radiocollared in an area of wind-power development on 31 March 2003 and were relocated bi-weekly through March 2005. Wind-power construction was initiated on 1 June 2003 and was completed by December 2003 with 45 active turbines. The largest composite home range sizes (>80 km2) occurred April-June and September, regardless of the status of wind-power facility development. The smallest home range sizes (<50 km2) typically occurred in October-February when elk aggregated to forage on winter wheat. No elk left the study site during the study and elk freely crossed the gravel roads used to access the wind-power facility. Carbon and nitrogen isotopes and percent nitrogen in feces suggested that wind-power development did not affect nutrition of elk during construction. Although disturbance and loss of some grassland habitat was apparent, elk were not adversely affected by wind-power development as determined by home range and dietary quality.

  3. Foods and nutritional components of diets of black bear in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baldwin, R.A.; Bender, L.C.

    2009-01-01

    We used scat analysis to determine diets and relative nutritional values of diets for black bears (Ursus americanus Pallas, 1780) in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, from 2003 to 2006, and compared foods consumed and nutritional components to identify important sources of fecal gross energy (GE), crude fat (CF), and fecal nitrogen (FN) in annual and seasonal diets. Patterns of use of food classes followed typical seasonal patterns for bears, although use of animal matter was among the highest reported (>49% annually). Use of animal matter increased after spring, although crude protein levels in bear diets were always >25%. GE was typically lowest for grasses and other herbaceous plants and highest for ants and ungulates; FN was strongly positively related to most animal sources, but negatively correlated with vegetative matter; and CF showed the strongest positive relationship with ungulates and berries, with the latter likely influenced by the presence of seeds. Compared with historic data (1984-1991), contemporary diets included substantially greater prevalence of anthropogenic foods, which likely contributed to increases in size, condition, and productivity of the contemporary bear population. Management strategies are needed to increase quantity and quality of natural foods while minimizing dependence on anthropogenic sources.

  4. Modeling the convective transport of pollutants from eastern Colorado, USA into Rocky Mountain National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pina, A.; Schumacher, R. S.; Denning, S.

    2015-12-01

    Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) is a Class I Airshed designated under the Clean Air Act. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition in the Park has been a known problem since weekly measurements of wet deposition of inorganic N began in the 1980s by the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP). The addition of N from urban and agriculture emissions along the Colorado Front Range to montane ecosystems degrades air quality/visibility, water quality, and soil pH levels. Based on NADP data during summers 1994-2014, wet N deposition at Beaver Meadows in RMNP exhibited a bimodal gamma distribution. In this study, we identified meteorological transport mechanisms for 3 high wet-N deposition events (all events were within the secondary peak of the gamma distribution) using the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) and the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The NARR was used to identify synoptic-scale influences on the transport; the WRF model was used to analyze the convective transport of pollutants from a concentrated animal feeding operation near Greeley, Colorado, USA. The WRF simulation included a passive tracer from the feeding operation and a convection-permitting horizontal spacing of 4/3 km. The three cases suggest (a) synoptic-scale moisture and flow patterns are important for priming summer transport events and (b) convection plays a vital role in the transport of Front Range pollutants into RMNP.

  5. Development of an expert system for assessing trumpeter swan breeding habitat in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sojda, Richard S.; Cornely, John E.; Howe, Adele E.

    2002-01-01

    A decision support system for the management of the Rocky Mountain Population of Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinators) is being developed. As part of this, three expert systems are also in development: one for assessing the quality of Trumpeter Swan breeding habitat; one for making water level recommendations in montane, palustrine wetlands; and one for assessing the contribution a particular site can make towards meeting objectives from as flyway perspective. The focus of this paper is the development of the breeding habitat expert system, which currently consists of 157 rules. Out purpose is to provide decision support for issues that appear to be beyond the capability of a single persons to conceptualize and solve. We propose that by involving multiple experts in the development and use of the systems, management will be significantly improved. The knowledge base for the expert system has been developed using standard knowledge engineering techniques with a small team of ecological experts. Knowledge was then coded using production rules organized in decision trees using a commercial expert system development shell. The final system has been deployed on the world wide web.

  6. Phylogeography and introgressive hybridization: chipmunks (genus Tamias) in the northern Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Good, Jeffrey M; Demboski, John R; Nagorsen, David W; Sullivan, Jack

    2003-08-01

    If phylogeographic studies are to be broadly used for assessing population-level processes relevant to speciation and systematics, the ability to identify and incorporate instances of hybridization into the analytical framework is essential. Here, we examine the evolutionary history of two chipmunk species, Tamias ruficaudus and Tamias amoenus, in the northern Rocky Mountains by integrating multivariate morphometrics of bacular (os penis) variation, phylogenetic estimation, and nested clade analysis with regional biogeography. Our results indicate multiple examples of mitochondrial DNA introgression layered within the evolutionary history of these nonsister species. Three of these events are most consistent with recent and/or ongoing asymmetric introgression of mitochondrial DNA across morphologically defined secondary contact zones. In addition, we find preliminary evidence where a fourth instance of nonconcordant characters may represent complete fixation of introgressed mitochondrial DNA via a more ancient hybridization event, although alternative explanations of convergence or incomplete sorting of ancestral polymorphisms cannot be dismissed with these data. The demonstration of hybridization among chipmunks with strongly differentiated bacular morphology contradicts long-standing assumptions that variation within this character is diagnostic of complete reproductive isolation within Tamias. Our results illustrate the utility of phylogeographic analyses for detecting instances of reticulate evolution and for incorporating this and other information in the inference of the evolutionary history of species. PMID:14503631

  7. Revision of the Empis subgenus Enoplempis Bigot, east of the Rocky Mountains (Diptera: Empididae).

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Bradley J; Brooks, Scott E; Cumming, Jeffrey M

    2013-01-01

    The Empis subgenus Enoplempis Bigot, east of the Rocky Mountains of North America is revised. A total of 19 species are recorded from this region including seven new species: E. (En.) amytis Walker, E. (En.) appalachicola Sinclair sp. nov., E. (En.) arthritica Melander, E. (En.) ctenonema Melander, E. (En.) enodis Melander, E. (En.) gladiator Melander, E. (En.) gulosa Coquillett, E. (En.) loripedis Coquillett, E. (En.) montywoodi Brooks sp. nov., E. (En.) nodipoplitea Steyskal, E. (En.) nuda Loew, E. (En.) pectinata Sinclair sp. nov., E. (En.) penicillata Brooks sp. nov., E. (En.) prodigiosa Cumming sp. nov., E. (En.) snoddyi Steyskal, E. (En.) stenoptera Loew, E. (En.) tridentata Coquillett, E. (En.) vockerothi Cumming sp. nov., E. (En.) volsella Sinclair sp. nov. The following new synonymies are designated: E. (En.) longipes Loew, E. (En.) longeoblita Steyskal, E. (En.) deterra Walley = E. (En.) amytis; E. (En.) cacuminifer Melander = E. (En.) gulosa. Lectotypes are designated for the following species: E. (En.) arthritica, E. (En.) cacuminifer, E. (En.) ctenonema, E. (En.) enodis, E. (En.) gladiator, E. (En.) loripedis, E. (En.) stenoptera and E. (En.) tridentata. A key to eastern species is presented and distributions illustrated. The form of nuptial gift presentation displayed within this group, including the use of balloons (with or without prey) and unwrapped prey are indicated for species when known. PMID:25112640

  8. Polyploid and hybrid evolution in roses east of the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Joly, Simon; Starr, Julian R; Lewis, Walter H; Bruneau, Anne

    2006-03-01

    This study investigates the impact of hybridization and polyploidy in the evolution of eastern North American roses. We explore these processes in the Rosa carolina complex (section Cinnamomeae), which consists of five diploid and three tetraploid species. To clarify the status and origins of polyploids, a haplotype network (statistical parsimony) of the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) nuclear gene was estimated for polyploids of the complex and for diploids of section Cinnamomeae in North America. A genealogical approach helped to decipher the evolutionary history of polyploids from noise created by hybridization, incomplete lineage sorting, and allelic segregation. At the diploid level, species west of the Rocky Mountains are distinct from eastern species. In the east, two groups of diploids were found: one consists of R. blanda and R. woodsii and the other of R. foliolosa, R. nitida, and R. palustris. Only eastern diploids are involved in the origins of the polyploids. Rosa arkansana is derived from the blanda-woodsii group, R. virginiana originated from the foliolosa-nitida-palustris group, and R. carolina is derived from a hybrid between the two diploid groups. The distinct origins of these polyploid taxa support the hypothesis that the three polyploids are separate species. PMID:21646201

  9. Distribution limits of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: a case study in the Rocky Mountains, USA.

    PubMed

    Hossack, Blake R; Muths, Erin; Anderson, Chauncey W; Kirshtein, Julie D; Corn, Paul Stephen

    2009-10-01

    Knowledge of the environmental constraints on a pathogen is critical to predicting its dynamics and effects on populations. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), an aquatic fungus that has been linked with widespread amphibian declines, is ubiquitous in the Rocky Mountains. As part of assessing the distribution limits of Bd in our study area, we sampled the water column and sediments for Bd zoospores in 30 high-elevation water bodies that lacked amphibians. All water bodies were in areas where Bd has been documented from neighboring, lower-elevation areas. We targeted areas lacking amphibians because existence of Bd independent of amphibians would have both ecologic and management implications. We did not detect Bd, which supports the hypothesis that it does not live independently of amphibians. However, assuming a detection sensitivity of 59.5% (based on sampling of water where amphibians tested positive for Bd), we only had 95% confidence of detecting Bd if it was in > or =16% of our sites. Further investigation into potential abiotic reservoirs is needed, but our results provide a strategic step in determining the distributional and environmental limitations of Bd in our study region. PMID:19901397

  10. Observations and methodology of atmospheric ammonia within the Colorado Rocky Mountain pine forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hrdina, Amy; Moravek, Alexander; Murphy, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

    Concentrations of trace gases (HCl, HNO3, HONO, NH3, SO2) and particle phase constituents from fine particulate matter (PM2.5) were continuously measured using an online ambient ion monitor ion chromatograph (AIM-IC) within the canopy at the Rocky Mountain Research Station (Manitou Experimental Forest) in Woodland Park, Colorado, from July 31 - August 12 2015. A consistent diurnal pattern of ammonia mixing ratios was observed, ranging from 0.1 - 2.6 ppb. Analysis of PM2.5ammonium was below the 130 ng m-3 detection limit of the instrument, which was corroborated by parallel particle concentration data also gathered at the site showing extremely low overall particle concentrations in the order of 103. As a result, variability in gas phase ammonia can be attributed to surface-atmosphere exchange and/or transport rather than gas particle partitioning. Complimentary analysis of ammonium found within the pine needles and the soil was also performed on site using established extraction methods and analysis by ion chromatography. Emissions potentials calculated from observed ammonium levels were generally consistent in the pine needles showing stomatal emission potentials within the range of 28 - 60, whereas the soil data varied widely, spanning 5 - 2100. The measurements are used to quantify compensation points of ammonia representative of the canopy and ground at the site to better predict the biosphere-atmosphere exchange of ammonia within the forest.

  11. Bison grazing ecology at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Germaine, Stephen S.; Zeigenfuss, Linda C.; Schoenecker, Kathryn A.

    2013-01-01

    The Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) National Wildlife Refuge reintroduced bison to a small pasture in 2007. Refuge managers needed information on the effects of bison grazing on vegetation communities in the bison pasture as well as information on how bison might affect other management priorities at RMA. In particular, RMA managers were interested in bison grazing effects on vegetation productivity, amount of vegetation utilization by bison, and habitat selection by bison to inform RMA herd managers and for potential expansion of bison range on the refuge. In 2007, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) designed a study to investigate bison grazing effects through measurement of vegetation in the 600-hectare enclosure where the bison are currently pastured. This research was a collaborative effort between USGS and RMA refuge staff and had active field components in 2007 and 2010. We found that the effects and intensity of bison grazing on vegetation in the RMA bison pasture is linked to prairie dog presence. Where both species were present, they were removing a significant amount of biomass compared to areas where only bison were present. Also, prairie dogs appeared to enhance the greater production of native forbs, but we were not able to identify the mechanism for this increased production. We were not able, however, to generate an accurate vegetation map for the bison pasture, and this limited our ability to achieve the level of statistical precision necessary to identify grazing impacts and habitat selection of bison.

  12. Models for the adaptive harvest management of Rocky Mountain sandhill cranes: problems and potential

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kendall, W.L.; Drewien, R.C.

    2001-01-01

    The migratory Rocky Mountain Population (RMP) of the greater sandhill crane (Grus canadensis tabida) breeds primarily in river valleys, marshes, and meadows of western Montana and Wyoming, southeastern Idaho, northern Utah, and northwestern Colorado. The RMP winters primarily in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, with smaller concentrations in the southwestern parts of that state, southeastern Arizona, and the northern highlands of Mexico. The San Luis Valley of Colorado is used as a stopover in both the spring and fall migrations. The RMP has been hunted on a permit basis since 1981, and currently these cranes are harvested in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, and in Mexico. There are several sources of historic information on the dynamics of this population. Age ratios have been estimated from field observations in the San Luis Valley during fall migration since 1972. Cranes were banded, mostly on summer areas, from 1969-89, and re-sighted throughout the annual cycle. Aerial surveys and coordinated ground counts have been conducted either during spring migration in the San Luis Valley or in fall prior to migration since 1984 and 1987, respectively. A harvest survey has been conducted since 1981. Current monitoring programs include the fall assessment of age ratios, the fall pre-migration coordinated count, and the harvest survey. We discuss current attempts to use these information sources to build recruitment, survival, and harvest models for use in adaptive harvest management.

  13. Health status of mule deer and white-tailed deer herds on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal

    SciTech Connect

    Creekmore, T.E.; Franson, J.C.; Sileo, L.; Griess, J.M.; Roy, R.R.; Baker, D.L.

    1994-12-31

    The Rocky Mountain Arsenal is a fenced, 6,900-ha Superfund site under remediation by the US Army and the Shell Oil Company. A variety of environmental contaminants including organochlorine pesticides, metals, and nerve-gas-production by-products are in the soil or in the water on the site. The authors evaluated the health of 18 radio-collared deer (13 mule deer [Odocoileus hemionus] and 5 white-tailed deer [O. virginianus]) collected by gunshot. Prior to collection, more than 4,000 locations of the 18 deer were plotted during a period of more than 2 years. Blood samples from the euthanized animals were collected for serologic, hematologic, and contaminant evaluations. Necropsies were preformed and tissues collected for histopathologic examinations and environmental contaminants analyses. Results indicate that the physical conditions of the mule deer were fair/good and of the white-tailed deer were good. Antibody prevalence against epizootic hemorrhagic disease serotype 2 was 85% and bovine virus diarrhea 56%. Two mule deer had severe testicular atrophy, and one of these animals also had antler deformities. Three mule deer had alopecia with dermatitis and hyperkeratosis. Results of heavy metal, and organochlorine pesticide analyses from blood and tissue samples and other analyses will be presented.

  14. Morphological and physiological determinants of local adaptation to climate in Rocky Mountain butterflies.

    PubMed

    MacLean, Heidi J; Higgins, Jessica K; Buckley, Lauren B; Kingsolver, Joel G

    2016-01-01

    Flight is a central determinant of fitness in butterflies and other insects, but it is restricted to a limited range of body temperatures. To achieve these body temperatures, butterflies use a combination of morphological, behavioural and physiological mechanisms. Here, we used common garden (without direct solar radiation) and reciprocal transplant (full solar radiation) experiments in the field to determine the thermal sensitivity of flight initiation for two species of Colias butterflies along an elevation gradient in the southwestern Rocky Mountains. The mean body temperature for flight initiation in the field was lower (24-26°C) than indicated by previous studies (28-30°C) in these species. There were small but significant differences in thermal sensitivity of flight initiation between species; high-elevation Colias meadii initiated flight at a lower mean body temperature than lower-elevation Colias eriphyle. Morphological differences (in wing melanin and thoracic setae) drive body temperature differences between species and contributed strongly to differences in the time and probability of flight and air temperatures at flight initiation. Our results suggest that differences both in thermal sensitivity (15% contribution) and in morphology (85% contribution) contribute to the differences in flight initiation between the two species in the field. Understanding these differences, which influence flight performance and fitness, aids in forecasting responses to climate change.

  15. From both sides now: librarians' experiences at the Rocky Mountain Evidence-Based Health Care Workshop

    PubMed Central

    Traditi, Lisa K.; Le Ber, Jeanne Marie; Beattie, Michelle; Meadows, Susan E.

    2004-01-01

    The Colorado Health Outcomes (COHO) Department of the School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC) coordinates the Rocky Mountain Evidence-Based Health Care (EBHC) Workshop, which has been held annually since 1999. The goals of the workshop include helping participants—physicians, pharmacists, health care policy makers, journalists and librarians—learn and apply skills for critically appraising medical research literature and for effective use of evidence-based information resources. Participants are encouraged to share ideas and to plan local services and instruction for those working in clinical settings. Each year, librarians from UCHSC Denison Memorial Library participate as faculty by teaching searching skills (PubMed, Cochrane Library, ACP Journal Club, etc.), providing support to small groups, and staffing two computer labs. In 2002, Denison Library received a National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) MidContinental Region Impact Award to fund the attendance of three health sciences librarians from the MidContinental Region, an academic education librarian, a clinical medical librarian, and a department librarian. In this paper, the participating librarians share the lessons they learned about how health care practitioners approach evidence-based practice. The participating librarians also share how they incorporated these lessons into their support of evidence-based practice related to teaching about evidence-based resources, assisting health care practitioners with developing answerable questions, enhancing the clinician-librarian partnership, and assisting practitioners in selecting evidence-based resources for quick answers to clinical questions. PMID:14762465

  16. Altered igneous rocks around Rocky Mountain manto deposits: the Gilman (Colorado) example

    SciTech Connect

    O'Neill, T.F.; Merchant, J.S.; Beaty, D.W.; Whitney, G.

    1985-01-01

    The Pando Porphyry at Gilman, Colorado forms an easterly-dipping sill above a major manto sulfide ore deposit hosted in the Leadville Dolomite. The sill is regionally altered to a propylitic assemblage (chl-epid-carb). Above the ore bodies the base of the sill is regionally altered to a phyllic assemblage (2M mica-qtz-py-kaol). The phyllic zone is divisible using birefringence of 2M mica into three subzones, which are mineralogically identical and gradational into one another. The phyllic zone is surrounded by a kaolinite-rich argillic zone with local sparse smectite. Spatially, the phyllic alteration is closely confined to the area of the ore bodies. Moreover, the thickness of phyllically altered porphyry is directly correlated with the intensity of mineralization. The distribution of alteration in the Pando sill (age = 70 Ma) requires that the manto mineralization process was at least predominantly: 1) hydrothermal; 2) Tertiary in age; and 3) had up-dip hydrothermal flux along the base of the sill. The sequence propyllitic-argillic-phyllic-ore is present at several other large Rocky Mountain manto deposits and argues for an epigenetic origin involving high-T, low-pH fluids.

  17. Terrestrial eco-risk -- Exposure assessment and risk characterization at Rocky Mountain Arsenal

    SciTech Connect

    Tate, D.J.; Cothern, K.A.; Jones, M.L.; Applehans, F. |; Armstrong, J.P.

    1994-12-31

    Terrestrial eco-risk was assessed at Rocky Mountain Arsenal using data from about 9,700 soil samples and 1,400 biota samples from 19 taxa. These databases reflect considerable spatial variability in historical uses of the 27-square mile site, in concentration of the 14 contaminants of concern (COCs) in soil, and in the distribution of soil borings and surficial soil samples, as well as spatial variability in tissue concentrations of samples that were collected from locations that were biased toward areas associated with high COC concentrations or thorough to be uncontaminated. This variability plus the considerable uncertainty in associating biota tissue concentrations with exposure soil concentrations resulted in extensive discussion and the development of an innovative and effective protocol for using interpolated soil concentrations to estimate tissue concentrations that were compared to toxicity reference values for tissue and dose concentrations. The broad outlines of the Endangerment Assessment Technical Subcommittee members` uncharted journey through literature surveys, parameter quantification, statistical nuances, exposure area soil concentration estimation, and development of a proportionality constant (e.g., a site-specific biomagnification factor) to link soil and tissue concentrations will be described and linked to a more detailed afternoon poster presentation.

  18. Analysis of nitrogen saturation potential in Rocky Mountain tundra and forest: implications for aquatic systems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baron, Jill S.; Ojima, Dennis S.; Holland, Elisabeth A.; Parton, William J.

    1994-01-01

    We employed grass and forest versions of the CENTURY model under a range of N deposition values (0.02–1.60 g N m−2 y−1) to explore the possibility that high observed lake and stream N was due to terrestrial N saturation of alpine tundra and subalpine forest in Loch Vale Watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Model results suggest that N is limiting to subalpine forest productivity, but that excess leachate from alpine tundra is sufficient to account for the current observed stream N. Tundra leachate, combined with N leached from exposed rock surfaces, produce high N loads in aquatic ecosystems above treeline in the Colorado Front Range. A combination of terrestrial leaching, large N inputs from snowmelt, high watershed gradients, rapid hydrologic flushing and lake turnover times, and possibly other nutrient limitations of aquatic organisms constrain high elevation lakes and streams from assimilating even small increases in atmospheric N. CENTURY model simulations further suggest that, while increased N deposition will worsen the situation, nitrogen saturation is an ongoing phenomenon.

  19. Distribution limits of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: a case study in the Rocky Mountains, USA.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hossack, B.R.; Muths, E.; Anderson, C.W.; Kirshtein, J.D.; Corn, P.S.

    2009-01-01

    Knowledge of the environmental constraints on a pathogen is critical to predicting its dynamics and effects on populations. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), an aquatic fungus that has been linked with widespread amphibian declines, is ubiquitous in the Rocky Mountains. As part of assessing the distribution limits of Bd in our study area, we sampled the water column and sediments for Bd zoospores in 30 high-elevation water bodies that lacked amphibians. All water bodies were in areas where Bd has been documented from neighboring, lower-elevation areas. We targeted areas lacking amphibians because existence of Bd independent of amphibians would have both ecologic and management implications. We did not detect Bd, which supports the hypothesis that it does not live independently of amphibians. However, assuming a detection sensitivity of 59.5% (based on sampling of water where amphibians tested positive for Bd), we only had 95% confidence of detecting Bd if it was in > or =16% of our sites. Further investigation into potential abiotic reservoirs is needed, but our results provide a strategic step in determining the distributional and environmental limitations of Bd in our study region.

  20. Effects of supplemental feeding on gastrointestinal parasite infection in Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus elaphus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hines, Alicia M.; Ezenwa, Vanessa O.; Cross, Paul C.; Rogerson, Jared D.

    2007-01-01

    The effects of management practices on the spread and impact of parasites and infectious diseases in wildlife and domestic animals are of increasing concern worldwide, particularly in cases where management of wild species can influence disease spill-over into domestic animals. In the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, USA, winter supplemental feeding of Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) may enhance parasite and disease transmission by aggregating elk on feedgrounds. In this study, we tested the effect of supplemental feeding on gastrointestinal parasite infection in elk by comparing fecal egg/oocyst counts of fed and unfed elk. We collected fecal samples from fed and unfed elk at feedground and control sites from January to April 2006, and screened all samples for parasites. Six different parasite types were identified, and 48.7% of samples were infected with at least one parasite. Gastrointenstinal (GI) nematodes (Nematoda: Strongylida), Trichuris spp., and coccidia were the most common parasites observed. For all three of these parasites, fecal egg/oocyst counts increased from January to April. Supplementally fed elk had significantly higher GI nematode egg counts than unfed elk in January and February, but significantly lower counts in April. These patterns suggest that supplemental feeding may both increase exposure and decrease susceptibility of elk to GI nematodes, resulting in differences in temporal patterns of egg shedding between fed and unfed elk.

  1. Bayesian time series analysis of segments of the Rocky Mountain trumpeter swan population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wright, Christopher K.; Sojda, Richard S.; Goodman, Daniel

    2002-01-01

    A Bayesian time series analysis technique, the dynamic linear model, was used to analyze counts of Trumpeter Swans (Cygnus buccinator) summering in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming from 1931 to 2000. For the Yellowstone National Park segment of white birds (sub-adults and adults combined) the estimated probability of a positive growth rate is 0.01. The estimated probability of achieving the Subcommittee on Rocky Mountain Trumpeter Swans 2002 population goal of 40 white birds for the Yellowstone segment is less than 0.01. Outside of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming white birds are estimated to have a 0.79 probability of a positive growth rate with a 0.05 probability of achieving the 2002 objective of 120 white birds. In the Centennial Valley in southwest Montana, results indicate a probability of 0.87 that the white bird population is growing at a positive rate with considerable uncertainty. The estimated probability of achieving the 2002 Centennial Valley objective of 160 white birds is 0.14 but under an alternative model falls to 0.04. The estimated probability that the Targhee National Forest segment of white birds has a positive growth rate is 0.03. In Idaho outside of the Targhee National Forest, white birds are estimated to have a 0.97 probability of a positive growth rate with a 0.18 probability of attaining the 2002 goal of 150 white birds.

  2. Modeling chloride movement in the alluvial aquifer at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Konikow, Leonard F.

    1977-01-01

    A solute-transport model that can be used to predict the movement of dissolved chemicals in flowing ground water was applied to a problem of ground-water contamination at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, near Denver, Colo. The model couples a finite-difference solution to the ground-water flow equation with the method-of-characteristics solution to the solute-transport equation. From 1943 to 1956 liquid industrial wastes containing high chloride concentrations were disposed into unlined ponds at the Arsenal. Wastes seeped out of the unlined disposal ponds and spread for many square miles in the underlying shallow alluvial aquifer. Since 1956 disposal has been into an asphalt-lined reservoir, which contributed to a decline in ground-water contamination by 1972. The simulation model quantitatively integrated the effects of the major factors that controlled changes in chloride concentrations and accurately reproduced the 30-year history of chloride ground-water contamination. Analysis of the simulation results indicates that the geologic framework of the area markedly restricted the transport and dispersion of dissolved chemicals in the alluvium. Dilution, from irrigation recharge and seepage from unlined canals, was an important factor in reducing the level of chloride concentrations downgradient from the Arsenal. Similarly, recharge of uncontaminated water from the unlined ponds since 1956 has helped to dilute and flush the contaminated ground water.

  3. Evaluation of Arctopsyche grandis (Hydropsychidae) as a Biological Monitoring Tool in Rocky Mountain Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, W. D.

    2005-05-01

    Trace metal loading has been shown to cause marked disturbance in benthic invertebrate communities of Rocky Mountain streams. Metal concentrations in invertebrate tissues are commonly measured in biological monitoring studies as an indicator of metals contamination in the stream. Comparisons of metal body burdens across sampling sites and occasions carry the assumption that burdens reflect metal bioavailability in the field. Laboratory experiments were conducted with indigenous, larval, net-spinning caddisflies (Arctopsyche grandis) to evaluate this important assumption. Caddisfly larvae were exposed to a range of zinc (50 to 1000 ppb) and copper (10 to 360 ppb) concentrations for 96 hours. Water hardness (50, 100 ppm) and dissolved organic carbon (3, 6 ppm) concentrations were systematically varied in order to estimate differences in metal burdens due to changes in aqueous chemistry. Whole individual larvae were analyzed for trace metal concentrations. Results suggest that larval A. grandis are capable of regulating internal zinc concentrations. Surprisingly, maximum zinc burdens were observed where hardness and DOC were highest. Conversely, copper accumulation was reduced by 30 percent where DOC (3 ppm) was added to the exposure medium. Results will be discussed with respect to their significance for future biomonitoring efforts.

  4. Morphological and physiological determinants of local adaptation to climate in Rocky Mountain butterflies

    PubMed Central

    MacLean, Heidi J.; Higgins, Jessica K.; Buckley, Lauren B.; Kingsolver, Joel G.

    2016-01-01

    Flight is a central determinant of fitness in butterflies and other insects, but it is restricted to a limited range of body temperatures. To achieve these body temperatures, butterflies use a combination of morphological, behavioural and physiological mechanisms. Here, we used common garden (without direct solar radiation) and reciprocal transplant (full solar radiation) experiments in the field to determine the thermal sensitivity of flight initiation for two species of Colias butterflies along an elevation gradient in the southwestern Rocky Mountains. The mean body temperature for flight initiation in the field was lower (24–26°C) than indicated by previous studies (28–30°C) in these species. There were small but significant differences in thermal sensitivity of flight initiation between species; high-elevation Colias meadii initiated flight at a lower mean body temperature than lower-elevation Colias eriphyle. Morphological differences (in wing melanin and thoracic setae) drive body temperature differences between species and contributed strongly to differences in the time and probability of flight and air temperatures at flight initiation. Our results suggest that differences both in thermal sensitivity (15% contribution) and in morphology (85% contribution) contribute to the differences in flight initiation between the two species in the field. Understanding these differences, which influence flight performance and fitness, aids in forecasting responses to climate change. PMID:27668080

  5. Summer deposition of sulfate and reactive nitrogen to two alpine valleys in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasiuta, Vivian; Lafrenière, Melissa J.; Norman, Ann-Lise; Hastings, Meredith G.

    2015-01-01

    Summer deposition of sulfate and reactive nitrogen (mainly nitrate, and ammonium) to two alpine valleys in the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains was investigated to constrain their major sources and evaluate physiographic influences on deposition. The effects of elevation, aspect, and air mass trajectory were evaluated using stable isotope composition (δ15N-NO3-, δ18O-NO3-, and δ34S-SO42-) and major ion concentrations for bulk precipitation. Deposition in the two valleys was related to synoptic scale weather conditions and the route the air mass followed, the location of major emission sources relative to the study site, and atmospheric residence time. Distinct differences in deposition at a relatively small scale between two opposing alpine valleys was mainly related to the orientation of the two valleys relative to the physiography of the Western Canadian Cordillera and the dominant pathways of air mass transport. Sulfate was found to be dominantly from distant sources, while NO3- was strongly enhanced by emissions from local to regional combustion. Local to regional pollutants were preferentially transported to the NNW facing Robertson Valley during NW-upslope synoptic conditions while precipitation in the SE facing Haig Valley was from relatively clean air with minimal influence from local and regional pollutants particularly at the highest elevation site.

  6. A hybrid modeling approach for estimating reactive nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malm, William C.; Rodriguez, Marco A.; Schichtel, Bret A.; Gebhart, Kristi A.; Thompson, Tammy M.; Barna, Michael G.; Benedict, Katherine B.; Carrico, Christian M.; Collett, Jeffrey L.

    2016-02-01

    Changes in ecosystem function at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) are occurring because of nitrogen deposition associated with emissions of nitrogen from sources in Colorado as well as other areas of the North American continent and beyond. Nitrogen species are in both reduced and oxidized forms. A year-long monitoring program was initiated to better understand their origins as well as the complex chemistry occurring during transport from source to receptor. Specifically, the goals of the study were to characterize the atmospheric concentrations of nitrogen species in gaseous, particulate, and aqueous phases in RMNP and to identify the emission sources of these various species. The apportionment strategy was designed to focus on differentiating between sources within and outside the state of Colorado and then further differentiate between sources along the Front Range of Colorado and the rest of Colorado. It was also desirous to identify the relative contributions to atmospheric nitrogen species from mobile sources, agricultural activities, and large and small point sources within the state of Colorado. The Particle Source Apportionment Technology (PSAT) module available in the chemical transport model, the Comprehensive Air quality Model with extensions (CAMx), is used to develop first-principle estimates of the contributions from different areas of North America. The CAMx_PSAT results are combined with measured species concentrations in a receptor modeling approach to develop final estimates of source apportionment of the various species' concentrations and deposition.

  7. Current and historical deposition of PBDEs, pesticides, PCBs, and PAHs to Rocky Mountain National Park.

    PubMed

    Usenko, Sascha; Landers, Dixon H; Appleby, Peter G; Simonich, Staci L

    2007-11-01

    An analytical method was developed for the trace analysis of 98 semivolatile organic compounds (SOCs) in remote, high-elevation lake sediment. Sediment cores from Lone Pine Lake (west of the Continental Divide) and Mills Lake (east of the Continental Divide) in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, were dated using 210Pb and 137Cs and analyzed for polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), organochlorine pesticides, phosphorothioate pesticides, thiocarbamate pesticides, amide herbicides, triazine herbicides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) using this method. SOC deposition profiles were reconstructed, and deposition half-lives and doubling times were calculated, for U.S. historic-use pesticides (HUPs) and current-use pesticides (CUPs) as well as PBDEs, PCBs, and PAHs. Sediment records indicate that the deposition of CUPs has increased in recent years, while the deposition of HUPs has decreased since U.S. restriction, but has not been eliminated. This is likely due to the revolatilization of HUPs from regional soils, atmospheric transport, and deposition. Differences in the magnitude of SOC sediment fluxes, flux profiles, time trends within those profiles, and isomeric ratios suggest that SOC deposition in high-elevation ecosystems is dependent on regional upslope wind directions and site location with respect to regional sources and topographic barriers. PMID:18044494

  8. Morphological and physiological determinants of local adaptation to climate in Rocky Mountain butterflies

    PubMed Central

    MacLean, Heidi J.; Higgins, Jessica K.; Buckley, Lauren B.; Kingsolver, Joel G.

    2016-01-01

    Flight is a central determinant of fitness in butterflies and other insects, but it is restricted to a limited range of body temperatures. To achieve these body temperatures, butterflies use a combination of morphological, behavioural and physiological mechanisms. Here, we used common garden (without direct solar radiation) and reciprocal transplant (full solar radiation) experiments in the field to determine the thermal sensitivity of flight initiation for two species of Colias butterflies along an elevation gradient in the southwestern Rocky Mountains. The mean body temperature for flight initiation in the field was lower (24–26°C) than indicated by previous studies (28–30°C) in these species. There were small but significant differences in thermal sensitivity of flight initiation between species; high-elevation Colias meadii initiated flight at a lower mean body temperature than lower-elevation Colias eriphyle. Morphological differences (in wing melanin and thoracic setae) drive body temperature differences between species and contributed strongly to differences in the time and probability of flight and air temperatures at flight initiation. Our results suggest that differences both in thermal sensitivity (15% contribution) and in morphology (85% contribution) contribute to the differences in flight initiation between the two species in the field. Understanding these differences, which influence flight performance and fitness, aids in forecasting responses to climate change.

  9. The Trans-Rocky Mountain Fault System - A Fundamental Precambrian Strike-Slip System

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sims, P.K.

    2009-01-01

    Recognition of a major Precambrian continental-scale, two-stage conjugate strike-slip fault system - here designated as the Trans-Rocky Mountain fault system - provides new insights into the architecture of the North American continent. The fault system consists chiefly of steep linear to curvilinear, en echelon, braided and branching ductile-brittle shears and faults, and local coeval en echelon folds of northwest strike, that cut indiscriminately across both Proterozoic and Archean cratonic elements. The fault system formed during late stages of two distinct tectonic episodes: Neoarchean and Paleoproterozoic orogenies at about 2.70 and 1.70 billion years (Ga). In the Archean Superior province, the fault system formed (about 2.70-2.65 Ga) during a late stage of the main deformation that involved oblique shortening (dextral transpression) across the region and progressed from crystal-plastic to ductile-brittle deformation. In Paleoproterozoic terranes, the fault system formed about 1.70 Ga, shortly following amalgamation of Paleoproterozoic and Archean terranes and the main Paleoproterozoic plastic-fabric-producing events in the protocontinent, chiefly during sinistral transpression. The postulated driving force for the fault system is subcontinental mantle deformation, the bottom-driven deformation of previous investigators. This model, based on seismic anisotropy, invokes mechanical coupling and subsequent shear between the lithosphere and the asthenosphere such that a major driving force for plate motion is deep-mantle flow.

  10. Distribution, occupancy, and habitat correlates of American martens (Martes americana) in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baldwin, R.A.; Bender, L.C.

    2008-01-01

    A clear understanding of habitat associations of martens (Martes americana) is necessary to effectively manage and monitor populations. However, this information was lacking for martens in most of their southern range, particularly during the summer season. We studied the distribution and habitat correlates of martens from 2004 to 2006 in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) across 3 spatial scales: site-specific, home-range, and landscape. We used remote-sensored cameras from early August through late October to inventory occurrence of martens and modeled occurrence as a function of habitat and landscape variables using binary response (BR) and binomial count (BC) logistic regression, and occupancy modeling (OM). We also assessed which was the most appropriate modeling technique for martens in RMNP. Of the 3 modeling techniques, OM appeared to be most appropriate given the explanatory power of derived models and its incorporation of detection probabilities, although the results from BR and BC provided corroborating evidence of important habitat correlates. Location of sites in the western portion of the park, riparian mixed-conifer stands, and mixed-conifer with aspen patches were most frequently positively correlated with occurrence of martens, whereas more xeric and open sites were avoided. Additionally, OM yielded unbiased occupancy values ranging from 91% to 100% and 20% to 30% for the western and eastern portions of RMNP, respectively. ?? 2008 American Society of Mammalogists.

  11. The role of colloids in the transport of contaminants at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Denver, CO

    SciTech Connect

    Honeyman, B.D.; Mackay, D.M.

    1993-12-31

    A forced-gradient, pilot-study of ground contaminant transport in an existing plume was conducted at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in November 1991. Plume contaminants included halogenated VOCs, aromatic hydrocarbons, organchlorine pesticides and other more polar organic compounds. The pilot system consisted of an injection well screened over the entire saturated zone, an extraction well located 30 feet away and granulated activated carbon canisters for the treatment of extracted water. Treated water was spiked with bromide prior to reinjection. A series of observation wells was established between the injection and extraction wells. Organic analysis of extracted colloidal material (10K daltons - 0.1{mu}m) showed the colloids to be with substantional amounts of a number of the target analytes including atrazine (100{mu}g/g colloids), dde (3200{mu}g/g) and DDT (400{mu}g/g). In addition, colloidal material was found to be mobile, although slightly retarded (R{sub f} = 1.5 - 2.0) relativeomide tracer.

  12. Coal in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains Region -- Clean, compliant, and available

    SciTech Connect

    Stricker, G.D.; Ellis, M.S.; Flores, R.M.; Bader, L.R.

    1998-12-31

    The Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains region produced over 340 million short tons of coal in 1997, approximately 30 percent of the nation`s total coal production. Coals from this region are shipped to 26 states in the western, midwest, southern, and eastern US and production is projected to increase to 415 million short tons by 2015; the projected increase will be utilized primarily for production of electric power. The coals are economically attractive because they can be produced by surface mining, and do not require costly beneficiation to be compliant with emission standards. The coals are compliant because their chemical composition was influenced by tectonic settings of the coal basins and provenance of the sediments entering the basins. Tectonics during the Paleocene also influenced rates of precipitation and depositional systems. These factors, in concert, controlled the amount, distribution, and levels of sulfur, ash, and trace elements of environmental concern in the region`s coals. The emphasis of this paper is on the chemistry of these thick, high-quality coals and the geologic controls that resulted in their accumulation.

  13. Revision of the Empis subgenus Enoplempis Bigot, east of the Rocky Mountains (Diptera: Empididae).

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Bradley J; Brooks, Scott E; Cumming, Jeffrey M

    2013-11-15

    The Empis subgenus Enoplempis Bigot, east of the Rocky Mountains of North America is revised. A total of 19 species are recorded from this region including seven new species: E. (En.) amytis Walker, E. (En.) appalachicola Sinclair sp. nov., E. (En.) arthritica Melander, E. (En.) ctenonema Melander, E. (En.) enodis Melander, E. (En.) gladiator Melander, E. (En.) gulosa Coquillett, E. (En.) loripedis Coquillett, E. (En.) montywoodi Brooks sp. nov., E. (En.) nodipoplitea Steyskal, E. (En.) nuda Loew, E. (En.) pectinata Sinclair sp. nov., E. (En.) penicillata Brooks sp. nov., E. (En.) prodigiosa Cumming sp. nov., E. (En.) snoddyi Steyskal, E. (En.) stenoptera Loew, E. (En.) tridentata Coquillett, E. (En.) vockerothi Cumming sp. nov., E. (En.) volsella Sinclair sp. nov. The following new synonymies are designated: E. (En.) longipes Loew, E. (En.) longeoblita Steyskal, E. (En.) deterra Walley = E. (En.) amytis; E. (En.) cacuminifer Melander = E. (En.) gulosa. Lectotypes are designated for the following species: E. (En.) arthritica, E. (En.) cacuminifer, E. (En.) ctenonema, E. (En.) enodis, E. (En.) gladiator, E. (En.) loripedis, E. (En.) stenoptera and E. (En.) tridentata. A key to eastern species is presented and distributions illustrated. The form of nuptial gift presentation displayed within this group, including the use of balloons (with or without prey) and unwrapped prey are indicated for species when known.

  14. Bighorn sheep response to road-related disturbances in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Keller, B.J.; Bender, L.C.

    2007-01-01

    Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) use of Sheep Lakes mineral site, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA, has decreased since 1996. Officials were concerned that human disturbance may have been contributing to this decline in use. We evaluated effects of vehicular traffic and other road-related disturbance on bighorn use of Sheep Lakes in the summers of 2002 and 2003. We found that the time and number of attempts required by bighorn to reach Sheep Lakes was positively related to the number of vehicles and people present at Sheep Lakes. Further, the number of bighorn individuals and groups attempting to visit Sheep Lakes were negatively affected by disturbance associated with the site. The number of vehicles recorded the hour before bighorn tried to access Sheep Lakes best predicted an animal's failure to cross Fall River Road and reach Sheep Lakes. We conclude that human and road-related disturbance at Sheep Lakes negatively affected bighorn use of the mineral site. Because Sheep Lakes may be important for bighorn sheep, especially for lamb production and survival, the negative influence of disturbance may compromise health and productivity of the Mummy Range bighorn sheep.

  15. Factors influencing successful eradication of nonnative brook trout from four small Rocky Mountain streams using electrofishing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shepard, Bradley B.; Nelson, Lee M.; Taper, Mark L.; Zale, Alexander V.

    2014-01-01

    We successfully eradicated nonnative Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis by electrofishing from 2.4- to 3.0-km treatment reaches of four Rocky Mountain streams in Montana to conserve sympatric populations of native Westslope Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi. At least 6, and as many as 14, removal treatments of two to four electrofishing passes per treatment were required to successfully eradicate Brook Trout from these treatment reaches. We increased success by modifying our treatment efforts during this study from single annual treatments to several treatments a year to take advantage of autumn spawning and winter aggregating behavior. Eradication by electrofishing cost US \\$3,500 to \\$5,500 per kilometer where no riparian vegetation or woody debris clearing was necessary, increasing to \\$8,000 to \\$9,000 per kilometer where clearing was needed. Treatment costs without stream clearing were similar to costs of eradication using piscicides. Eradication by electrofishing may be preferable where native fish occur in sympatry with nonnative fish in smaller streams (base flow wetted widths

  16. Composite geochemical database for coalbed methane produced water quality in the Rocky Mountain region.

    PubMed

    Dahm, Katharine G; Guerra, Katie L; Xu, Pei; Drewes, Jörg E

    2011-09-15

    Coalbed methane (CBM) or coalbed natural gas (CBNG) is an unconventional natural gas resource with large reserves in the United States (US) and worldwide. Production is limited by challenges in the management of large volumes of produced water. Due to salinity of CBM produced water, it is commonly reinjected into the subsurface for disposal. Utilization of this nontraditional water source is hindered by limited knowledge of water quality. A composite geochemical database was created with 3255 CBM wellhead entries, covering four basins in the Rocky Mountain region, and resulting in information on 64 parameters and constituents. Database water composition is dominated by sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride type waters with total dissolved solids concentrations of 150 to 39,260 mg/L. Constituents commonly exceeding standards for drinking, livestock, and irrigation water applications were total dissolved solids (TDS), sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), temperature, iron, and fluoride. Chemical trends in the basins are linked to the type of coal deposits, the rank of the coal deposits, and the proximity of the well to fresh water recharge. These water composition trends based on basin geology, hydrogeology, and methane generation pathway are relevant to predicting water quality compositions for beneficial use applications in CBM-producing basins worldwide. PMID:21790201

  17. Permian tectonism in Rocky Mountain foreland and its importance in Exploration for Minnelusa and Lyons sandstones

    SciTech Connect

    Moore, W.R.

    1985-05-01

    Permian sandstones are important producers of oil in the Powder River and Denver basins of the Rocky Mountain foreland region. In the Powder River basin, Wolfcampian Minnelusa Sandstone produces oil from structural and stratigraphic traps on both sides of the basin axis, whereas in Denver basin, the Leonardian Lyons Sandstone produces oil mainly from structural traps on the west flank of the basin. Two fields, North Fork-Cellars Ranch in the Powder River basin, and Black Hollow in the Denver basin, are examples of Permian growth of structural features. At North Fork-Cellars Ranch, a period of Permian structural growth and resultant differential sedimentation is documented by structure and isopach maps of the Minnelusa and overlying Goose Egg Formation. Structural growth began at the end of Minnelusa deposition and resulted in deposition of a much thicker Goose Egg section on the west flank of the field. At Black Hollow, mapping indicates structural growth was initiated before deposition of the Lyons Sandstone and continued throughout Leonardian time. In both fields growth abruptly ceased in the Late Permian. Both North Fork-Cellars Ranch and Black Hollow are located on structural highs, or arches, which trend east-west across the Powder River and Denver basins. These arches were present during the pre-Laramide migration of Paleozoic-sourced hydrocarbons into the basins and acted as pathways for migration. Exploration for Permian reservoirs in the two basins should be concentrated on the arches, as the early formed traps were present when migration began.

  18. Assessment of sediments in lakes at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal using the sediment quality triad

    SciTech Connect

    Pearson, M.S.; Clements, W.H.

    1995-12-31

    The authors used the sediment quality triad to assess toxicity of sediments from three lakes located at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (Superfund site), Denver, CO. The primary contaminants of concern are aldrin, endrin, dieldrin, DDT, DDE, As, and Hg. Preliminary results indicated lower macroinvertebrate density at stations in Lower Derby Lake compared to stations in Ladora and Mary Lakes. Mean diversity, as measured by the Shannon-Weaver Index, at Lower Derby was < 1.0, while Lakes Mary and Ladora were 2.0 and 2.2 respectively. Invertebrate communities were dominated by Chironomidae (Diptera) in all three lakes (> 80%). Chironomus tentans laboratory toxicity tests showed that mortality was highly variable among lakes and stations, and ranged from 0 to 93%. Lake sediment had the greatest toxic effects, as chironomids exposed to six of 10 stations exhibited > 70% mortality. In Lower Derby Lake four of 12 stations had > 50% mortality while no site at Lake Mary showed > 40% mortality. Results of acute toxicity tests with pore water generally agreed with the trends of the sediment toxicity tests. Results of toxicity tests and benthic sampling may have been influenced by differences in sediment characteristics among stations.

  19. Waterfalls on the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortega, Jose A.; Wohl, Ellen; Livers, Bridget

    2013-09-01

    We examined 30 waterfalls on the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, USA, to evaluate whether drainage area or bedrock properties as reflected in joint characteristics correlate more strongly with the location and characteristics of individual waterfalls. Longitudinal profiles tend to be more concave for larger drainages, to have a smaller proportion of total elevation loss in waterfalls, and to have vertical drops rather than angled or ramp waterfalls: we interpret these trends to indicate greater overall incisional capability for larger catchments. Shape of individual waterfalls and height of drop correlate more strongly with bedrock properties: waterfalls in bedrock lacking prominent vertical joints perpendicular to flow are more likely to have a single drop rather than multiple drops, and taller waterfalls correlate with more widely spaced horizontal joints. Waterfalls also noticeably correspond to resistant bedrock outcrops that form steep segments along hillslopes adjacent to the channel. We interpret these results to indicate that the location and characteristics of waterfalls along headwater streams in the study area reflect primarily a limited ability to incise through more resistant segments of the underlying bedrock.

  20. Morphological and physiological determinants of local adaptation to climate in Rocky Mountain butterflies.

    PubMed

    MacLean, Heidi J; Higgins, Jessica K; Buckley, Lauren B; Kingsolver, Joel G

    2016-01-01

    Flight is a central determinant of fitness in butterflies and other insects, but it is restricted to a limited range of body temperatures. To achieve these body temperatures, butterflies use a combination of morphological, behavioural and physiological mechanisms. Here, we used common garden (without direct solar radiation) and reciprocal transplant (full solar radiation) experiments in the field to determine the thermal sensitivity of flight initiation for two species of Colias butterflies along an elevation gradient in the southwestern Rocky Mountains. The mean body temperature for flight initiation in the field was lower (24-26°C) than indicated by previous studies (28-30°C) in these species. There were small but significant differences in thermal sensitivity of flight initiation between species; high-elevation Colias meadii initiated flight at a lower mean body temperature than lower-elevation Colias eriphyle. Morphological differences (in wing melanin and thoracic setae) drive body temperature differences between species and contributed strongly to differences in the time and probability of flight and air temperatures at flight initiation. Our results suggest that differences both in thermal sensitivity (15% contribution) and in morphology (85% contribution) contribute to the differences in flight initiation between the two species in the field. Understanding these differences, which influence flight performance and fitness, aids in forecasting responses to climate change. PMID:27668080

  1. Hydrology of Area 61, Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Coal Provinces, Colorado and New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Abbott, P.O.; Geldon, Arthur L.; Cain, Doug; Hall, Alan P.; Edelmann, Patrick

    1983-01-01

    Area 61 is located on the Colorado-New Mexico boundary in Huerfano and Las Animas Counties, Colorado, and Colfax County, New Mexico, and includes the Raton Mesa coal region. The 5 ,900-square-mile area is an asymmetrical structural trough bounded by the Rocky Mountains on the west and the Great Plains on the east. The area is drained by the Huerfano, Apishapa, Purgatoire, and Canadian Rivers (and their tributaries), all tributary to the Arkansas River. The principal coal-bearing formations are the Vermejo Formation of Late Cretaceous age and the Raton Formation of Late Cretaceous and Paleocene age. Much of the coal in the area is of coking quality, important to the metallurgical industry. Topographic relief in the area is greater than 8,700 feet, and this influences the climate which in turn affects the runoff pattern of area streams. Summer thunderstorms often result in flash floods. Virtually all geologic units in the region yield water. Depth to ground water ranges from land surface to 400 feet. Surface and ground water in the area contain mostly bicarbonate and sulfate ions; locally in the ground water, chloride ions predominate. Potential hydrologic problems associated with surface coal mining in the area are water-quality degradation, water-table decline, and increased erosion and sedimentation. (USGS)

  2. Determining Spatial and Temporal Variation in Sources of Nitrogen Deposition in the Rocky Mountains using Nitrogen Isotopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanus, L.; Campbell, D. H.; Ingersoll, G.; Lehmann, C.; Kendall, C.; Elliott, E. M.; Bohlke, J. K.

    2009-12-01

    Variations in nitrogen (N) deposition sources to high-elevation ecosystems in the Rocky Mountains were evaluated using spatially and temporally distributed N isotope data for water years 1995-2006. This unique dataset links N in wet deposition and snowpack to source emissions, and enhances understanding of the impacts of anthropogenic activities and environmental policies that affect N cycling in the Rocky Mountains. At 50 U.S. Geological Survey-Rocky Mountain Snowpack(USGS-RMS) sites, d15N(NO3) ranged from -3.3 permil to +6.5 permil, with a mean value of +1.4 permil for 2006. At 15 National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network(NADP/NTN) wet-deposition sites in the Rocky Mountains, d15N(NO3) values ranged from -7.6 permil to +5.5 permil with a mean value of +0.7 permil during the cool season. The wet deposition values generally had lower d15N(NO3) values than snowpack, possibly due to the influence of dry deposition in the snowpack samples. Spatial patterns in d15N(NO3) are similar for NADP/NTN wet-only deposition and USGS-RMS winter snowpack for water year 2006, with higher d15N(NO3) values and increased NO3 concentrations in the Southern Rockies, where there are larger anthropogenic N emission sources compared to the Northern Rockies. Temporal trends in annual snowpack d15N(NO3) from USGS-RMS for 1995-2006 indicate that source signatures changed over time. Regional-Kendall statistical tests for d15N(NO3) indicate a highly significant positive temporal trend in the Southern Rockies (p = 0.006, median d15N(NO3) = +2.3 permil), a moderately significant positive trend in the Central Rockies (p = 0.08, median d15N(NO3) = -1.1 permil), and no trend in Northern Rockies (p = 1, median d15N(NO3) = -4.0 permil). Quarterly, volume-weighted mean d15N(NO3) values of precipitation at NADP/NTN sites show a strong seasonal pattern due to variation in the proportion of N originating from source regions at different times of the year due to seasonal changes in

  3. Intraplate mountain building in response to continent continent collision—the Ancestral Rocky Mountains (North America) and inferences drawn from the Tien Shan (Central Asia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickerson, Patricia Wood

    2003-04-01

    The intraplate Ancestral Rocky Mountains of western North America extend from British Columbia, Canada, to Chihuahua, Mexico, and formed during Early Carboniferous through Early Permian time in response to continent-continent collision of Laurentia with Gondwana—the conjoined masses of Africa and South America, including Yucatán and Florida. Uplifts and flanking basins also formed within the Laurentian Midcontinent. On the Gondwanan continent, well inboard from the marginal fold belts, a counterpart structural array developed during the same period. Intraplate deformation began when full collisional plate coupling had been achieved along the continental margin; the intervening ocean had been closed and subduction had ceased—that is, the distinction between upper versus lower plates became moot. Ancestral Rockies deformation was not accompanied by volcanism. Basement shear zones that formed during Mesoproterozoic rifting of Laurentia were reactivated and exerted significant control on the locations, orientations, and modes of displacement on late Paleozoic faults. Ancestral Rocky Mountain uplifts extend as far south as Chihuahua and west Texas (28° to 33°N, 102° to 109°W) and include the Florida-Moyotes, Placer de Guadalupe-Carrizalillo, Ojinaga-Tascotal and Hueco Mountain blocks, as well as the Diablo and Central Basin Platforms. All are cored with Laurentian Proterozoic crystalline basement rocks and host correlative Paleozoic stratigraphic successions. Pre-late Paleozoic deformational, thermal, and metamorphic histories are similar as well. Southern Ancestral Rocky Mountain structures terminate along a line that trends approximately N 40°E (present coordinates), a common orientation for Mesoproterozoic extensional structures throughout southern to central North America. Continuing Tien Shan intraplate deformation (Central Asia) has created an analogous array of uplifts and basins in response to the collision of India with Eurasia, beginning in late

  4. Particulate carbonate matter in snow from selected sites in the south-central Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clow, D.W.; Ingersoll, G.P.

    1994-01-01

    Trends in snow acidity reflect the balance between strong acid inputs and reactions with neutralizing materials. Carbonate dust can be an important contributor of buffering capacity to snow however, its concentration in snow is difficult to quantify because it dissolves rapidly in snowmelt. In snow with neutral or acidic pH, most calcite would dissolve during sample melting if snow samples were processed using standard techniques. Here a method is described for separating particulate carbonate matter from snow. Snow samples were melted in solutions close to saturation with calcite, decreasing the dissolution rate by a factor of 100-200 compared with natural melting of snow. Particulate matter larger than 0.45 ??m in diameter was then filtered from solution and analysed for carbonate content. Particulate carbonate matter concentrations are reported for 25 sites in the south-central Rocky Mountains. Results are compared with Ca2+ and H+ concentrations and regional trends are evaluated. In Colorado, mean particulate carbonate in snow was 43 ??g kg-1 at sampling sites in the southern mountains and only 4 ??g kg-1 at sites in the northern mountains. The higher calcite concentrations in the south probably are related to the proximity of sampling sites to major outcrops of limestone. Particulate carbonate at sampling sites in Utah and Wyoming ranged from 3-35 ??g kg-1. The levels of particulate calcite measured in snow samples are sufficient to neutralize an average of 0.4 ??eq H+ kg-1 snow. Strong acid anion concentrations in samples from east of Craig, Colorado, were 30-50% higher than in samples from the Colorado Front Range, but H+ concentrations were 400-600% higher east of Craig. Relatively low Ca2+ concentrations in the samples from east of Craig indicate that the difference in snow acidity was due mostly to lower concentrations of neutralizing materials.Trends in snow acidity reflect the balance between strong acid inputs and reactions with neutralizing materials

  5. Assessment of Climate Change and Freshwater Ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains, USA and Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauer, F. Richard; Baron, Jill S.; Campbell, Donald H.; Fausch, Kurt D.; Hostetler, Steve W.; Leavesley, George H.; Leavitt, Peter R.; McKnight, Diane M.; Stanford, Jack A.

    1997-06-01

    The Rocky Mountains in the USA and Canada encompass the interior cordillera of western North America, from the southern Yukon to northern New Mexico. Annual weather patterns are cold in winter and mild in summer. Precipitation has high seasonal and interannual variation and may differ by an order of magnitude between geographically close locales, depending on slope, aspect and local climatic and orographic conditions. The region's hydrology is characterized by the accumulation of winter snow, spring snowmelt and autumnal baseflows. During the 2-3-month spring runoff period, rivers frequently discharge > 70% of their annual water budget and have instantaneous discharges 10-100 times mean low flow.Complex weather patterns characterized by high spatial and temporal variability make predictions of future conditions tenuous. However, general patterns are identifiable; northern and western portions of the region are dominated by maritime weather patterns from the North Pacific, central areas and eastern slopes are dominated by continental air masses and southern portions receive seasonally variable atmospheric circulation from the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico. Significant interannual variations occur in these general patterns, possibly related to ENSO (El Niño-Southern Oscillation) forcing.Changes in precipitation and temperature regimes or patterns have significant potential effects on the distribution and abundance of plants and animals. For example, elevation of the timber-line is principally a function of temperature. Palaeolimnological investigations have shown significant shifts in phyto- and zoo-plankton populations as alpine lakes shift between being above or below the timber-line. Likewise, streamside vegetation has a significant effect on stream ecosystem structure and function. Changes in stream temperature regimes result in significant changes in community composition as a consequence of bioenergetic factors. Stenothermic species could be extirpated as

  6. Assessment of climate change and freshwater ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains, USA and Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hauer, F. Richard; Baron, J.S.; Campbell, D.H.; Fausch, K.D.; Hostetler, S.W.; Leavesley, G.H.; Leavitt, P.R.; McKnight, Diane M.; Stanford, J.A.

    1997-01-01

    The Rocky Mountains in the USA and Canada encompass the interior cordillera of western North America, from the southern Yukon to northern New Mexico. Annual weather patterns are cold in winter and mild in summer. Precipitation has high seasonal and interannual variation and may differ by an order of magnitude between geographically close locales, depending on slope, aspect and local climatic and orographic conditions. The region's hydrology is characterized by the accumulation of winter snow, spring snowmelt and autumnal baseflows. During the 2-3-month 'spring runoff' period, rivers frequently discharge >70% of their annual water budget and have instantaneous discharges 10-100 times mean low flow. Complex weather patterns characterized by high spatial and temporal variability make predictions of future conditions tenuous. However, general patterns are identifiable; northern and western portions of the region are dominated by maritime weather patterns from the North Pacific, central areas and eastern slopes are dominated by continental air masses and southern portions receive seasonally variable atmospheric circulation from the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico. Significant interannual variations occur in these general patterns, possibly related to ENSO (El Nin??o-Southern Oscillation) forcing. Changes in precipitation and temperature regimes or patterns have significant potential effects on the distribution and abundance of plants and animals. For example, elevation of the timber-line is principally a function of temperature. Palaeolimnological investigations have shown significant shifts in phyto- and zoo-plankton populations as alpine lakes shift between being above or below the timber-line. Likewise, streamside vegetation has a significant effect on stream ecosystem structure and function. Changes in stream temperature regimes result in significant changes in community composition as a consequence of bioenergetic factors. Stenothermic species could be extirpated as

  7. Mycorrhizal and Dark-Septate Fungi in Plant Roots above 4270 Meters Elevation in the Andes and Rocky Mountains

    SciTech Connect

    Schmidt, Steven K.; Sobieniak-Wiseman, L. Cheyanne; Kageyama, Stacy A.; Halloy, Stephen; Schadt, Christopher Warren

    2008-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and dark-septate endophytic (DSE) fungi were quantified in plant roots from high-elevation sites in the Cordillera Vilcanota of the Andes (Per ) and the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains (U.S.A.). At the highest sites in the Andes (5391 m) AM fungi were absent in the two species of plants sampled (both Compositae) but roots of both were heavily colonized by DSE fungi. At slightly lower elevations (5240 5250 m) AM fungi were present in roots while DSE fungi were rare in plants outside of the composite family. At the highest sites sampled in Colorado (4300 m) AM fungi were present, but at very low levels and all plants sampled contained DSE fungi. Hyphae of coarse AM fungi decreased significantly in plant roots at higher altitude in Colorado, but no other structures showed significant decreases with altitude. These new findings indicate that the altitudinal distribution of mycorrhizal fungi observed for European mountains do not necessarily apply to higher and drier mountains that cover much of the Earth (e.g. the Himalaya, Hindu Kush, Andes, and Rockies) where plant growth is more limited by nutrients and water than in European mountains. This paper describes the highest altitudinal records for both AM and DSE fungi, surpassing previous reported altitudinal maxima by about 1500 meters.

  8. Holocene vegetation and fire regimes in subalpine and mixed conifer forests, southern Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, R. Scott; Allen, C.D.; Toney, J.L.; Jass, R.B.; Bair, A.N.

    2008-01-01

    Our understanding of the present forest structure of western North America hinges on our ability to determine antecedent forest conditions. Sedimentary records from lakes and bogs in the southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado and New Mexico provide information on the relationships between climate and vegetation change, and fire history since deglaciation. We present a new pollen record from Hunters Lake (Colorado) as an example of a high-elevation vegetation history from the southern Rockies. We then present a series of six sedimentary records from ???2600 to 3500-m elevation, including sites presently at the alpine?subalpine boundary, within the Picea engelmannii?Abies lasiocarpa forest and within the mixed conifer forest, to determine the history of fire in high-elevation forests there. High Artemisia and low but increasing percentages of Picea and Pinus suggest vegetation prior to 13 500 calendar years before present (cal yr BP) was tundra or steppe, with open spruce woodland to ???11 900 cal yr BP. Subalpine forest (Picea engelmannii, Abies lasiocarpa) existed around the lake for the remainder of the Holocene. At lower elevations, Pinus ponderosa and/or contorta expanded 11 900 to 10 200 cal yr BP; mixed conifer forest expanded ???8600 to 4700 cal yr BP; and Pinus edulis expanded after ???4700 cal yr BP. Sediments from lake sites near the alpine?subalpine transition contained five times less charcoal than those entirely within subalpine forests, and 40 times less than bog sites within mixed conifer forest. Higher fire episode frequencies occurred between ???12 000 and 9000 cal yr BP (associated with the initiation or expansion of south-west monsoon and abundant lightning, and significant biomass during vegetation turnover) and at ???2000?1000 cal yr BP (related to periodic droughts during the long-term trend towards wetter conditions and greater biomass). Fire episode frequencies for subalpine?alpine transition and subalpine sites were on average 5 to 10 fire

  9. Seismic tomography of the Colorado Rocky Mountains upper mantle from CREST: Lithosphere-asthenosphere interactions and mantle support of topography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacCarthy, J. K.; Aster, R. C.; Dueker, K.; Hansen, S.; Schmandt, B.; Karlstrom, K.

    2014-09-01

    The CREST experiment (Colorado Rocky Mountains Experiment and Seismic Transects) integrated the EarthScope USArray Transportable Array with portable and permanent stations to provide detailed seismic imaging of crust and mantle properties beneath the highest topography region of the Rocky Mountains. Inverting approximately 14,600 P- and 3600 S-wave arrival times recorded at 160 stations for upper mantle Vp and Vs structure, we find that large Vp perturbations relative to AK135 of 7% and Vs variations of 8% take place over very short (approaching tens of kilometers) lateral distances. Highest heterogeneity is observed in the upper 300 km of the mantle, but well resolved low velocity features extend to the top of the transition zone in portions of these images. The previously noted low velocity upper mantle Aspen Anomaly is resolved into multiple features. The lowest Vp and Vs velocities in the region are found beneath the San Juan Mountains, which is clearly distinguished from other low velocity features of the northern Rio Grande Rift, Taos/Latir region, Aspen region, and below the Never Summer Mountains. We suggest that the San Juan anomaly, and a similar feature below the Taos/Latir region of northern New Mexico, are related to delamination and remnant heat (and melt) beneath these sites of extraordinarily voluminous middle-Cenozoic volcanism. We interpret a northeast-southwest grain in velocity structure that parallels the Colorado Mineral belt to depths near 150 km as being reflective of control by uppermost mantle Proterozoic accretionary lithospheric architecture. Further to the north and west, the Wyoming province and northern Colorado Plateau show high velocity features indicative of thick (∼150 km) preserved Archean and Proterozoic lithosphere, respectively. Overall, we interpret the highly heterogeneous uppermost mantle velocity structure beneath the southern Rocky Mountains as reflecting interfingered chemical Proterozoic lithosphere that has been, is

  10. Ecology of porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) and Colorado tick fever virus in Rocky Mountain National Park, 1975-1977.

    PubMed

    McLean, R G; Carey, A B; Kirk, L J; Francy, D B

    1993-01-01

    The involvement of porcupines, Erethizon dorsatum (L.), in the ecology of Colorado tick fever (CTF) virus in Rocky Mountain National Park was investigated from 1975 to 1977. Porcupine dens and feeding activity were found mostly on rocky knolls or on south-facing slopes within open stands of the montane coniferous forest, and 20 adult porcupines were trapped or captured by hand at those locations. An average of 24.6 +/- 5.4 adult Dermacentor andersoni Stiles ticks were found per animal (annual range, 17.5-31.4 ticks). The minimum CTF virus infection rate of the ticks removed from porcupines varied from 129 to 257, whereas for questing adult D. andersoni ticks from the same geographic area was 205 in 1976. No virus was isolated from the 20 animals, but 85% had neutralizing antibody against CTF virus. Porcupines utilize the same habitats described for the CTF ecosystem in Rocky Mountain National Park and appear to be an important host for adult D. andersoni.

  11. Paleoclimate from fossil plants and application to the early Cenozoic Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wing, S. L.

    2011-12-01

    analysis of early Cenozoic floras from the Rocky Mountain region. Paleocene climates across the region were warm with warm winters. Mean annual temperature estimates vary from 10-18 °C depending on the time and place, and ground-freezing climates occurred only north of 40-45 °N. Plants and sedimentary environments suggest low altitude deposition, though floras are not as homogeneous as once thought, suggesting barriers existed. Eocene climates were warmer, with mean annual temperature estimates of 14-25 °C, and ground-freezing climates occurring only north of the Canadian border. Paleobotanical evidence for substantial paleoelevations in basinal areas is weak, but volcanic terrains to the west preserve floras that suggest higher paleoelevations, even in the early and middle Eocene. The terms "frost-free" and "tropical" have sometimes been used to describe Eocene climate and vegetation of the northern U.S. Rocky Mountains, but are probably not justified, with the possible exception of the the warmest early Eocene hyperthermal events at low paleoelevation.

  12. FRACTURED RESERVOIR E&P IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN BASINS: A 3-D RTM MODELING APPROACH

    SciTech Connect

    P. Ortoleva; J. Comer; A. Park; D. Payne; W. Sibo; K. Tuncay

    2001-11-26

    Key natural gas reserves in Rocky Mountain and other U.S. basins are in reservoirs with economic producibility due to natural fractures. In this project, we evaluate a unique technology for predicting fractured reservoir location and characteristics ahead of drilling based on a 3-D basin/field simulator, Basin RTM. Recommendations are made for making Basin RTM a key element of a practical E&P strategy. A myriad of reaction, transport, and mechanical (RTM) processes underlie the creation, cementation and preservation of fractured reservoirs. These processes are often so strongly coupled that they cannot be understood individually. Furthermore, sedimentary nonuniformity, overall tectonics and basement heat flux histories make a basin a fundamentally 3-D object. Basin RTM is the only 3-D, comprehensive, fully coupled RTM basin simulator available for the exploration of fractured reservoirs. Results of Basin RTM simulations are presented, that demonstrate its capabilities and limitations. Furthermore, it is shown how Basin RTM is a basis for a revolutionary automated methodology for simultaneously using a range of remote and other basin datasets to locate reservoirs and to assess risk. Characteristics predicted by our model include reserves and composition, matrix and fracture permeability, reservoir rock strength, porosity, in situ stress and the statistics of fracture aperture, length and orientation. Our model integrates its input data (overall sedimentation, tectonic and basement heat flux histories) via the laws of physics and chemistry that describe the RTM processes to predict reservoir location and characteristics. Basin RTM uses 3-D, finite element solutions of the equations of rock mechanics, organic and inorganic diagenesis and multi-phase hydrology to make its predictions. As our model predicts reservoir characteristics, it can be used to optimize production approaches (e.g., assess the stability of horizontal wells or vulnerability of fractures to

  13. Phenological and ecological consequences of changes in winter snowpack in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Inouye, D. W.; McKinney, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    The date the snowpack disappears in spring is an important seasonal event at high altitudes because it determines the beginning of the growing season, which in turn influences the phenology of plant growth and flowering, and thus the availability of these resources for animal consumers. At our study site at 2,900m in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, snowmelt now averages two weeks earlier than in 1975. Earlier snowmelt results from a combination of lower snowfall (38 cm less since 1975), dust storms (increasing in frequency, which reduces the snowpack albedo), and warmer spring temperatures (April minimum temperature has increased 3.1°C since 1973; 2012 April mean temperature was 3.4°C above the 38-year mean). There is also a trend of increasing annual precipitation falling as rain instead of snow. We have monitored flowering phenology and abundance for about 100 species of plants in permanent plots since 1973, and use this record to look at how the change in timing of snowmelt has affected flowering. There is significant variation among years in flowering phenology (e.g., about six weeks difference between 2011 and 2012), with a mid-season decline in flowering abundance becoming apparent as the growing season starts earlier. The date of the last hard frost has not been changing in concert with the earlier growing season, with the consequence that many species now have flower buds developed that are then damaged or killed by frost. In 2012, snowmelt date was 23 April, and frost events on 27 May (-11.7°C) and 11 June (-5.6°C) did significant damage to vegetation of some species and to flower buds of many species. For example, flower abundance of the aspen sunflower Helianthella quinquenervis was 0.002% of 2011's flowering. In the absence of seed production, the demography of some plant species is likely being affected. Some animal species are also being affected by the changes in length and temperature of winter. New

  14. Primitive and contaminated basalts from the Southern Rocky Mountains, U.S.A

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doe, B.R.; Lipman, P.W.; Hedge, C.E.; Kurasawa, H.

    1969-01-01

    Basalts in the Southern Rocky Mountains province have been analyzed to determine if any of them are primitive. Alkali plagioclase xenocrysts armored with calcic plagioclase seem to be the best petrographic indicator of contamination. The next best indicator of contamination is quartz xenocrysts armored with clinopyroxene. On the rocks and the region studied, K2O apparently is the only major element with promise of separating primitive basalt from contaminated basalt inasmuch as it constitutes more than 1 % in all the obviously contaminated basalts. K2O: lead (> 4 ppm) and thorium (> 2 ppm) contents and Rb/Sr (> 0.035) are the most indicative of the trace elements studied. Using these criteria, three basalt samples are primitive (although one contains 1.7% K2O) and are similar in traceelement contents to Hawaiian and Eastern Honshu, Japan, primitive basalts. Contamination causes lead isotope ratios, 206Pb/204Pb and 208Pb/204Pb, to become less radiogenic, but it has little or no effect on 87Sr/86Sr. We interpret the effect on lead isotopes to be due to assimilation either of lower crustal granitic rocks, which contain 5-10 times as much lead as basalt and which have been low in U/Pb and Th/Pb since Precambrian times, or of upper crustal Precambrian or Paleozoic rocks, which have lost much of their radiogenic lead because of heating prior to assimilation. The lack of definite effects on strontium isotopes may be due to the lesser strontium contents of granitic crustal rocks relative to basaltic rocks coupled with lack of a large radiogenic enrichment in the crustal rocks. Lead isotope ratios were found to be less radiogenic in plagioclase separates from an obviously contaminated basalt than in the primitive basalts. The feldspar separate that is rich in sodic plagioclase xenocrysts was found to be similar to the whole-rock composition for 206Pb/204Pb and 208Pb/204Pb whereas a more dense fraction probably enriched in more calcic plagioclase phenocrysts is more similar

  15. Why replication is important in landscape genetics: American black bear in the Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Short, Bull R.A.; Cushman, S.A.; MacE, R.; Chilton, T.; Kendall, K.C.; Landguth, E.L.; Schwartz, M.K.; McKelvey, K.; Allendorf, F.W.; Luikart, G.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated how landscape features influence gene flow of black bears by testing the relative support for 36 alternative landscape resistance hypotheses, including isolation by distance (IBD) in each of 12 study areas in the north central U.S. Rocky Mountains. The study areas all contained the same basic elements, but differed in extent of forest fragmentation, altitude, variation in elevation and road coverage. In all but one of the study areas, isolation by landscape resistance was more supported than IBD suggesting gene flow is likely influenced by elevation, forest cover, and roads. However, the landscape features influencing gene flow varied among study areas. Using subsets of loci usually gave models with the very similar landscape features influencing gene flow as with all loci, suggesting the landscape features influencing gene flow were correctly identified. To test if the cause of the variability of supported landscape features in study areas resulted from landscape differences among study areas, we conducted a limiting factor analysis. We found that features were supported in landscape models only when the features were highly variable. This is perhaps not surprising but suggests an important cautionary note - that if landscape features are not found to influence gene flow, researchers should not automatically conclude that the features are unimportant to the species' movement and gene flow. Failure to investigate multiple study areas that have a range of variability in landscape features could cause misleading inferences about which landscape features generally limit gene flow. This could lead to potentially erroneous identification of corridors and barriers if models are transferred between areas with different landscape characteristics. ?? 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. Evaluation of SNODAS snow depth and snow water equivalent estimates for the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clow, David W.; Nanus, Leora; Verdin, Kristine L.; Schmidt, Jeffrey

    2012-01-01

    The National Weather Service's Snow Data Assimilation (SNODAS) program provides daily, gridded estimates of snow depth, snow water equivalent (SWE), and related snow parameters at a 1-km2 resolution for the conterminous USA. In this study, SNODAS snow depth and SWE estimates were compared with independent, ground-based snow survey data in the Colorado Rocky Mountains to assess SNODAS accuracy at the 1-km2 scale. Accuracy also was evaluated at the basin scale by comparing SNODAS model output to snowmelt runoff in 31 headwater basins with US Geological Survey stream gauges. Results from the snow surveys indicated that SNODAS performed well in forested areas, explaining 72% of the variance in snow depths and 77% of the variance in SWE. However, SNODAS showed poor agreement with measurements in alpine areas, explaining 16% of the variance in snow depth and 30% of the variance in SWE. At the basin scale, snowmelt runoff was moderately correlated (R2 = 0.52) with SNODAS model estimates. A simple method for adjusting SNODAS SWE estimates in alpine areas was developed that uses relations between prevailing wind direction, terrain, and vegetation to account for wind redistribution of snow in alpine terrain. The adjustments substantially improved agreement between measurements and SNODAS estimates, with the R2 of measured SWE values against SNODAS SWE estimates increasing from 0.42 to 0.63 and the root mean square error decreasing from 12 to 6 cm. Results from this study indicate that SNODAS can provide reliable data for input to moderate-scale to large-scale hydrologic models, which are essential for creating accurate runoff forecasts. Refinement of SNODAS SWE estimates for alpine areas to account for wind redistribution of snow could further improve model performance. Published 2011. This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  17. Mercury transport in a high-elevation watershed in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mast, M.A.; Campbell, D.H.; Krabbenhoft, D.P.; Taylor, H.E.

    2005-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) was measured in stream water and precipitation in the Loch Vale watershed in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, during 2001-2002 to investigate processes controlling Hg transport in high-elevation ecosystems. Total Hg concentrations in precipitation ranged from 2.6 to 36.2 ng/L and showed a strong seasonal pattern with concentrations that were 3 to 4 times higher during summer months. Annual bulk deposition of Hg was 8.3 to 12.4 ?? g/m 2 and was similar to deposition rates in the Midwestern and Northeastern U.S. Total Hg concentrations in streams ranged from 0.8 to 13.5 ng/L and were highest in mid-May on the rising limb of the snowmelt hydrograph. Stream-water Hg was positively correlated with dissolved organic carbon suggesting organically complexed Hg was flushed into streams from near-surface soil horizons during the early stages of snowmelt. Methylmercury (MeHg) in stream water peaked at 0.048 ng/L just prior to peak snowmelt but was at or below detection (< 0.040 ng/L) for the remainder of the snowmelt season. Annual export of total Hg in Loch Vale streams ranged from 1.2 to 2.3 ?? g/m2, which was less than 20% of wet deposition, indicating the terrestrial environment is a net sink of atmospheric Hg. Concentrations of MeHg in stream water and corresponding watershed fluxes were low, indicating low methylation rates or high demethylation rates or both. ?? Springer 2005.

  18. Seasonal changes in an alpine soil bacterial community in the colorado rocky mountains.

    PubMed

    Lipson, David A; Schmidt, Steven K

    2004-05-01

    The period when the snowpack melts in late spring is a dynamic time for alpine ecosystems. The large winter microbial community begins to turn over rapidly, releasing nutrients to plants. Past studies have shown that the soil microbial community in alpine dry meadows of the Colorado Rocky Mountains changes in biomass, function, broad-level structure, and fungal diversity between winter and early summer. However, little specific information exists on the diversity of the alpine bacterial community or how it changes during this ecologically important period. We constructed clone libraries of 16S ribosomal DNA from alpine soil collected in winter, spring, and summer. We also cultivated bacteria from the alpine soil and measured the seasonal abundance of selected cultured isolates in hybridization experiments. The uncultured bacterial communities changed between seasons in diversity and abundance within taxa. The Acidobacterium division was most abundant in the spring. The winter community had the highest proportion of Actinobacteria and members of the Cytophaga/Flexibacter/Bacteroides (CFB) division. The summer community had the highest proportion of the Verrucomicrobium division and of beta-PROTEOBACTERIA: As a whole, alpha-Proteobacteria were equally abundant in all seasons, although seasonal changes may have occurred within this group. A number of sequences from currently uncultivated divisions were found, including two novel candidate divisions. The cultured isolates belonged to the alpha-, beta-, and gamma-Proteobacteria, the Actinobacteria, and the CFB groups. The only uncultured sequences that were closely related to the isolates were from winter and spring libraries. Hybridization experiments showed that actinobacterial and beta-proteobacterial isolates were most abundant during winter, while the alpha- and gamma-proteobacterial isolates tested did not vary significantly. While the cultures and clone libraries produced generally distinct groups of organisms

  19. Methane flux in subalpine wetland and unsaturated soils in the southern Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wickland, K.P.; Striegl, R.G.; Schmidt, S.K.; Mast, M.A.

    1999-01-01

    Methane exchange between the atmosphere and subalpine wetland and unsaturated soils was evaluated over a 15-month period during 1995-1996. Four vegetation community types along a moisture gradient (wetland, moist-grassy, moist-mossy, and dry) were included in a 100 m sampling transect situated at 3200 m elevation in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Methane fluxes and soil temperature were measured during snow-free and snow-covered periods, and soil moisture content was measured during snow-free periods. The range of mean measured fluxes through all seasons (a positive value represents CH4 efflux to the atmosphere) were: 0.3 to 29.2 mmol CH4 m-2 d-1 wetland area; 0.1 to 1.8 mmol CH4 m-2 d-1, moist-grassy area; -0.04 to 0.7 mmol CH4 m-2 d-1, moist-mossy area; and -0.6 to 0 mmol CH4 m-2 d-1, dry area. Methane efflux was significantly correlated with soil temperature (5 cm) at the continuously saturated wetland area during snow-free periods. Consumption of atmospheric methane was significantly correlated with moisture content in the upper 5 cm of soil at the dry area. A model based on the wetland flux-temperature relationship estimated an annual methane emission of 2.53 mol CH4 m-2 from the wetland. Estimates of annual methane flux based on field measurements at the other sites were 0.12 mol CH4 m-2, moist-grassy area; 0.03 mol CH4 m-2, moist-mossy area; and -0.04 mol CH4 m-2, dry area. Methane fluxes during snow-covered periods were responsible for 25, 73, 23, and 43% of the annual fluxes at the wetland, moist-grassy, moist-mossy, and dry sites, respectively.

  20. Why replication is important in landscape genetics: American black bear in the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Bull, R A Short; Cushman, S A; Mace, R; Chilton, T; Kendall, K C; Landguth, E L; Schwartz, M K; McKelvey, K; Allendorf, Fred W; Luikart, G

    2011-03-01

    We investigated how landscape features influence gene flow of black bears by testing the relative support for 36 alternative landscape resistance hypotheses, including isolation by distance (IBD) in each of 12 study areas in the north central U.S. Rocky Mountains. The study areas all contained the same basic elements, but differed in extent of forest fragmentation, altitude, variation in elevation and road coverage. In all but one of the study areas, isolation by landscape resistance was more supported than IBD suggesting gene flow is likely influenced by elevation, forest cover, and roads. However, the landscape features influencing gene flow varied among study areas. Using subsets of loci usually gave models with the very similar landscape features influencing gene flow as with all loci, suggesting the landscape features influencing gene flow were correctly identified. To test if the cause of the variability of supported landscape features in study areas resulted from landscape differences among study areas, we conducted a limiting factor analysis. We found that features were supported in landscape models only when the features were highly variable. This is perhaps not surprising but suggests an important cautionary note - that if landscape features are not found to influence gene flow, researchers should not automatically conclude that the features are unimportant to the species' movement and gene flow. Failure to investigate multiple study areas that have a range of variability in landscape features could cause misleading inferences about which landscape features generally limit gene flow. This could lead to potentially erroneous identification of corridors and barriers if models are transferred between areas with different landscape characteristics. PMID:21261764

  1. Seasonal Changes in an Alpine Soil Bacterial Community in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    PubMed Central

    Lipson, David A.; Schmidt, Steven K.

    2004-01-01

    The period when the snowpack melts in late spring is a dynamic time for alpine ecosystems. The large winter microbial community begins to turn over rapidly, releasing nutrients to plants. Past studies have shown that the soil microbial community in alpine dry meadows of the Colorado Rocky Mountains changes in biomass, function, broad-level structure, and fungal diversity between winter and early summer. However, little specific information exists on the diversity of the alpine bacterial community or how it changes during this ecologically important period. We constructed clone libraries of 16S ribosomal DNA from alpine soil collected in winter, spring, and summer. We also cultivated bacteria from the alpine soil and measured the seasonal abundance of selected cultured isolates in hybridization experiments. The uncultured bacterial communities changed between seasons in diversity and abundance within taxa. The Acidobacterium division was most abundant in the spring. The winter community had the highest proportion of Actinobacteria and members of the Cytophaga/Flexibacter/Bacteroides (CFB) division. The summer community had the highest proportion of the Verrucomicrobium division and of β-Proteobacteria. As a whole, α-Proteobacteria were equally abundant in all seasons, although seasonal changes may have occurred within this group. A number of sequences from currently uncultivated divisions were found, including two novel candidate divisions. The cultured isolates belonged to the α-, β-, and γ-Proteobacteria, the Actinobacteria, and the CFB groups. The only uncultured sequences that were closely related to the isolates were from winter and spring libraries. Hybridization experiments showed that actinobacterial and β-proteobacterial isolates were most abundant during winter, while the α- and γ-proteobacterial isolates tested did not vary significantly. While the cultures and clone libraries produced generally distinct groups of organisms, the two approaches

  2. Biotic drivers of anastomosing channel pattern in headwater streams of the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wohl, E. E.

    2010-12-01

    Most of the headwater rivers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA occur as single channels in steep, narrow valleys. Where variations in bedrock erodibility create segments of wider, lower gradient valleys, however, anastomosing channels can occur if one of two biotic drivers is present. Where a disturbance such as a forest fire or windstorm allows pioneer woody species to colonize valley bottoms, beavers can establish colonies. Beavers build dams that enhance overbank flooding and raise the local water table, limiting the return of conifers and promoting aspen-willow (Populus-Salix) forests that provide food for the beavers. Beavers facilitate the formation of multiple channels by digging small canal-like features across the floodplain and by damming the main channel and promoting channel avulsion. In old-growth conifer forests, channel-spanning logjams can enhance overbank flows that facilitate the development of multiple (sub)parallel channels that extend for 50-300 m downstream. Enhanced overbank flows and multiple channels increase the retention of instream wood, creating a self-enhancing feedback of more jams. At least two thresholds must be crossed for anastomosing driven by logjams to develop; a valley morphology threshold and a wood load threshold. Anastomosing channels are present where stream gradient < 4% and the ratio of (channel width/valley-bottom width) < 0.2; only single channels flow through old-growth forests in valley segments that are steeper and narrower. The average wood piece diameter in old-growth anastomosing channel segments > 20 cm, whereas average piece diameter in forests that have not been disturbed in a century is 10-20 cm; channels in these younger forests do not exhibit anastomosing planforms. Wood load in old-growth anastomosing channels averages 200 m3/ha; old-growth and younger forest single channels average < 100 m3/ha.

  3. Landscape-scale factors affecting feral horse habitat use during summer within the rocky mountain foothills.

    PubMed

    Girard, Tisa L; Bork, Edward W; Nielsen, Scott E; Neilsen, Scott E; Alexander, Mike J

    2013-02-01

    Public lands occupied by feral horses in North America are frequently managed for multiple uses with land use conflict occurring among feral horses, livestock, wildlife, and native grassland conservation. The factors affecting habitat use by horses is critical to understand where conflict may be greatest. We related horse presence and abundance to landscape attributes in a GIS to examine habitat preferences using 98 field plots sampled within a portion of the Rocky Mountain Forest Reserve of SW Alberta, Canada. Horse abundance was greatest in grassland and cut block habitats, and lowest in conifer and mixedwood forest. Resource selection probability functions and count models of faecal abundance indicated that horses preferred areas closer to water, with reduced topographic ruggedness, situated farther from forests, and located farther away from primary roads and trails frequented by recreationalists, but closer to small linear features (i.e. cut lines) that may be used as beneficial travel corridors. Horse presence and abundance were closely related to cattle presence during summer, suggesting that both herbivores utilise the same habitats. Estimates of forage biomass removal (44 %) by mid-July were near maximum acceptable levels. In contrast to horse-cattle associations, horses were negatively associated with wild ungulate abundance, although the mechanism behind this remains unclear and warrants further investigation. Our results indicate that feral horses in SW Alberta exhibit complex habitat selection patterns during spring and summer, including overlap in use with livestock. This finding highlights the need to assess and manage herbivore populations consistent with rangeland carrying capacity and the maintenance of range health.

  4. Health evaluation of amphibians in and near Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado, USA)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Green, D.E.; Muths, E.

    2005-01-01

    We conducted a health survey of amphibians in and adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) to document current disease presence inside RMNP and identify disease outside RMNP with the potential to spread to the Park's amphibians. Amphibians from five sites within RMNP and seven sites within 60 km of Park boundaries were collected and examined. Necropsies (n - 238), virus isolation, bacterial and fungal cultures, and histological examinations were carried out on amphibian egg masses (outside RMNP/within RMNP: 26/22), larvae (30/42), imagos (recently metamorphosed individuals) (0/3) and adults (61/67) of five species. Marked infections by a pathogenic chytrid fungus (chyridiomycosis), Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, were detected in three species (Bufo boreas, Pseudacris maculata and Rana sylvatica) from three of five sites within RMNP and in one of three species (P. maculata) from three sites outside RMNP. Of the fully metamorphosed individuals tested (B. boreas, P. maculata and R. sylvatica), chytridiomycosis was found in 60 % (n = 3), 46 % (n = 37) and 54 % (n = 7), respectively. Chytridiomycosis was the principal lethal pathogenic infectious disease detected in three amphibian species within or adjacent to RMNP. Higher fungi were isolated from the cloaca and skin of all five amphibian species. Watermolds (Oomycetes) were isolated from amphibian eggs or skin of all five species. No evidence of Ranavirus was found in cultures and histological examinations of 176 and 142 amphibians, respectively. Fifteen genera of bacteria were identified in larval and just metamorphosed amphibians, and a potentially pathogenic lungworm, Rhabdias sp, was identified in 61.1 % (n = 11) of B. woodhousii outside RMNP, but in only 2 (15.4 %) R. sylvatica within the Park.

  5. Dispersion by chemical reaction of Rocky Mountain Arsenal Basin F waste soils

    SciTech Connect

    Payne, J.R.; Marion, G.M.

    1997-02-01

    Many military installations have soil contamination problems that range from heavy metals to petroleum products. Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) Basin F contains high concentrations of salts, heavy metals, ammonia, urea, and organics. The Dispersion by Chemical Reaction (DCR) process leads to a reduction in the mobility of the organic and inorganic constituents by first removing volatile constituents via steam stripping and volatilization, then trapping the nonvolatile contaminants in a nonmobile phase (microencapsulation), and finally compacting the treated material into large soil bodies (macroencapsulation). This report summarizes the results of the DCR testing of soil-amended Basin F sludge from RMA. The primary focus of this study is on pesticide leachability. The DCR process used to treat the Basin F waste soil produced a dry, homogeneous, soil-like material with desirable physical properties that on compaction achieved the following remediation goals: reduction of all leachable volatiles to nondetectable levels, confinement of all metals to below RCRA TCLP levels, and a decrease in pesticide leachability to levels approaching RCRA standards. For example, endrin TCLP concentration was reduced from 74 microgram/L to 20-28 microgram/L (regulatory limit = 20 ug/L). In several cases, reductions in pesticide leachability could be attributed to simple dilution with the calcium oxide (CaO) reagent. However in other cases, microencapsulation and/or macroencapsulation also played a role in reducing pesticide leachability. Additional work is necessary to optimize the amounts of lime-milk, hydrophobic CaO, and benign oil used in the processing of RMA Basin F waste soils. Ideally, the optimum design should achieve the regulatory and client goals, while minimizing materials handling, energy, and reagent inputs.

  6. Structure and Propagation of Fronts East of the Rocky Mountains and Their Relationship to Precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Jonathan Edward

    1992-01-01

    The role of frontogenetic processes in generating and distributing precipitation east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States is examined using data collected during the Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment (GALE). A set of mid-tropospheric, frontogenetic, precipitation -producing features are discussed. A recurrent, non-classical, synoptic scale structure characterized these cases. Based on observations from four cases, a conceptual model is proposed for these structures; the cold frontogenesis aloft (CFA) model. In one case study, the secondary circulation about an upper-level front, in a region of conditional symmetric instability (CSI), produced a rainband of moderate intensity. The potential influence of upper-level frontogenesis processes on the evolution of the CSI is explored through Lagrangian, adiabatic changes in the equivalent potential vorticity. The interactions between a surface cold front and an upper-level front that resulted in the production of a deep, precipitating frontal structure is examined. An increase in the vigor of the frontal convection is attributed to favorable vertical superposition of the surface cold front and the upper-level front. Mid-level latent heat release was likely responsible for the diabatic steepening of the dynamic tropopause. This steepening contributed to the subsequent rapid development of a surface cyclone on the East Coast. The mesoscale structure and distribution of precipitation along a surface cold front is investigated. The precipitation cores in a narrow cold-frontal rainband (NCFR) showed some differences, as well as similarities, to previously observed NCFRs. A correspondence between precipitation intensity and the slope of the frontal surface was observed for a wide cold-frontal rainband (WCFR) associated with this cold front. The nature of this correspondence is investigated and some possible mechanisms for changing the slope of the frontal topography are examined.

  7. Estimation of successful breeding pairs for wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, M.S.; Ausband, D.E.; Sime, C.A.; Bangs, E.E.; Gude, J.A.; Jimenez, M.D.; Mack, C.M.; Meier, T.J.; Nadeau, M.S.; Smith, D.W.

    2008-01-01

    Under the Endangered Species Act, documenting recovery and federally mandated population levels of wolves (Canis lupus) in the Northern Rocky Mountains (NRM) requires monitoring wolf packs that successfully recruit young. United States Fish and Wildlife Service regulations define successful breeding pairs as packs estimated to contain an adult male and female, accompanied by ???2 pups on 31 December of a given year. Monitoring successful breeding pairs will become more difficult following proposed delisting of NRM wolves; alternatives to historically intensive methods, appropriate to the different ecological and regulatory context following delisting, are required. Because pack size is easier to monitor than pack composition, we estimated probability a pack would contain a successful breeding pair based on its size for wolf populations inhabiting 6 areas in the NRM. We also evaluated the extent to which differences in demography of wolves and levels of human-caused mortality among the areas influenced the probability of packs of different sizes would contain successful breeding pairs. Probability curves differed among analysis areas, depending primarily on levels of human-caused mortality, secondarily on annual population growth rate, and little on annual population density. Probabilities that packs contained successful breeding pairs were more uniformly distributed across pack sizes in areas with low levels of human mortality and stable populations. Large packs in areas with high levels of human-caused mortality and high annual growth rates had relatively high probabilities of containing breeding pairs whereas those for small packs were relatively low. Our approach can be used by managers to estimate number of successful breeding pairs in a population where number of packs and their sizes are known. Following delisting of NRM wolves, human-caused mortality is likely to increase, resulting in more small packs with low probabilities of containing breeding pairs

  8. Landscape-Scale Factors Affecting Feral Horse Habitat Use During Summer Within The Rocky Mountain Foothills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girard, Tisa L.; Bork, Edward W.; Neilsen, Scott E.; Alexander, Mike J.

    2013-02-01

    Public lands occupied by feral horses in North America are frequently managed for multiple uses with land use conflict occurring among feral horses, livestock, wildlife, and native grassland conservation. The factors affecting habitat use by horses is critical to understand where conflict may be greatest. We related horse presence and abundance to landscape attributes in a GIS to examine habitat preferences using 98 field plots sampled within a portion of the Rocky Mountain Forest Reserve of SW Alberta, Canada. Horse abundance was greatest in grassland and cut block habitats, and lowest in conifer and mixedwood forest. Resource selection probability functions and count models of faecal abundance indicated that horses preferred areas closer to water, with reduced topographic ruggedness, situated farther from forests, and located farther away from primary roads and trails frequented by recreationalists, but closer to small linear features (i.e. cut lines) that may be used as beneficial travel corridors. Horse presence and abundance were closely related to cattle presence during summer, suggesting that both herbivores utilise the same habitats. Estimates of forage biomass removal (44 %) by mid-July were near maximum acceptable levels. In contrast to horse-cattle associations, horses were negatively associated with wild ungulate abundance, although the mechanism behind this remains unclear and warrants further investigation. Our results indicate that feral horses in SW Alberta exhibit complex habitat selection patterns during spring and summer, including overlap in use with livestock. This finding highlights the need to assess and manage herbivore populations consistent with rangeland carrying capacity and the maintenance of range health.

  9. Increased flight altitudes among migrating golden eagles suggest turbine avoidance at a Rocky Mountain wind installation.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Naira N; Bradley, James E; Otter, Ken A

    2014-01-01

    Potential wind-energy development in the eastern Rocky Mountain foothills of British Columbia, Canada, raises concerns due to its overlap with a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) migration corridor. The Dokie 1 Wind Energy Project is the first development in this area and stands as a model for other projects in the area because of regional consistency in topographic orientation and weather patterns. We visually tracked golden eagles over three fall migration seasons (2009-2011), one pre- and two post-construction, to document eagle flight behaviour in relation to a ridge-top wind energy development. We estimated three-dimensional positions of eagles in space as they migrated through our study site. Flight tracks were then incorporated into GIS to ascertain flight altitudes for eagles that flew over the ridge-top area (or turbine string). Individual flight paths were designated to a category of collision-risk based on flight altitude (e.g. flights within rotor-swept height; ≤150 m above ground) and wind speed (winds sufficient for the spinning of turbines; >6.8 km/h at ground level). Eagles were less likely to fly over the ridge-top area within rotor-swept height (risk zone) as wind speed increased, but were more likely to make such crosses under headwinds and tailwinds compared to western crosswinds. Most importantly, we observed a smaller proportion of flights within the risk zone at wind speeds sufficient for the spinning of turbines (higher-risk flights) during post-construction compared to pre-construction, suggesting that eagles showed detection and avoidance of turbines during migration.

  10. Carbon gas exchange at a southern Rocky Mountain wetland, 1996-1998

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wickland, K.P.; Striegl, R.G.; Mast, M.A.; Clow, D.W.

    2001-01-01

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) exchange between the atmosphere and a subalpine wetland located in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, at 3200 m elevation were measured during 1996-1998. Respiration, net CO2 flux, and CH4 flux were measured using the closed chamber method during snow-free periods and using gas diffusion calculations during snow-covered periods. The ranges of measured flux were 1.2-526 mmol CO2 m-2 d-1 (respiration), -1056-100 mmol CO2 m-2 d-1 (net CO2 exchange), and 0.1-36.8 mmol CH4 m-2 d-1 (a positive value represents efflux to the atmosphere). Respiration and CH4 emission were significantly correlated with 5 cm soil temperature. Annual respiration and CH4 emission were modeled by applying the flux-temperature relationships to a continuous soil temperature record during 1996-1998. Gross photosynthesis was modeled using a hyperbolic equation relating gross photosynthesis, photon flux density, and soil temperature. Modeled annual flux estimates indicate that the wetland was a net source of carbon gas to the atmosphere each of the three years: 8.9 mol C m-2 yr-1 in 1996, 9.5 mol C m-2 yr-1 in 1997, and 9.6 mol C m-2 yr-1 in 1998. This contrasts with the long-term carbon accumulation of ???0.7 mol m-2 yr-1 determined from 14C analyses of a peat core collected from the wetland.

  11. Nitrate and Anion Behavior in Alpine Tundra Soil in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, A.; Janke, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    Anthropogenic nitrogen deposition can potentially alter soil biogeochemistry in alpine tundra ecosystems by soil acidification, resulting in accelerated nutrient leaching as well as reduced microbial and plant diversity. Several field studies have simulated various atmospheric nitrogen loading rates and observed changes in above ground biomass, species diversity, and soil buffering capacity. Few studies to date have examined the biogeochemical behavior and transport of nitrogen in alpine tundra soil. The objective of this study is to evaluate nitrate transport in soil and the chemical behavior of associated leached ionic species. To accomplish this, a soil leaching study was conducted using both composite soil columns and intact soil cores collected in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO, USA (3,658 m). Soil columns were leached in a temperature controlled environmental chamber with DI water adjusted for pH and ionic strength. Leachates were collected using a fraction collector and analyzed using IC and ICP-MS. Analysis of collected leachates for intact soil cores indicated a complex mixture of inorganic and organic anions moving in the soil wetting front, with elevated NO3- concentration > 15 mg/L. Nitrate concentration decreased rapidly after initial column breakthrough. Leaching of individual soil horizons indicated high NO3- concentrations > 15 mg/L in collected pore volumes for both the organic and subsurface horizons. Elevated concentrations of both inorganic (SO42-, F-) and organic anions (acetate, oxalate) were found in these horizons. Fluctuation of approximately 1-1.5 pH units for the intact soil column leachates and the anion elution order suggests possible complex anion exchange processes in the soil wetting front between various soil solid phases.

  12. Increased Flight Altitudes among Migrating Golden Eagles Suggest Turbine Avoidance at a Rocky Mountain Wind Installation

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Naira N.; Bradley, James E.; Otter, Ken A.

    2014-01-01

    Potential wind-energy development in the eastern Rocky Mountain foothills of British Columbia, Canada, raises concerns due to its overlap with a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) migration corridor. The Dokie 1 Wind Energy Project is the first development in this area and stands as a model for other projects in the area because of regional consistency in topographic orientation and weather patterns. We visually tracked golden eagles over three fall migration seasons (2009–2011), one pre- and two post-construction, to document eagle flight behaviour in relation to a ridge-top wind energy development. We estimated three-dimensional positions of eagles in space as they migrated through our study site. Flight tracks were then incorporated into GIS to ascertain flight altitudes for eagles that flew over the ridge-top area (or turbine string). Individual flight paths were designated to a category of collision-risk based on flight altitude (e.g. flights within rotor-swept height; ≤150 m above ground) and wind speed (winds sufficient for the spinning of turbines; >6.8 km/h at ground level). Eagles were less likely to fly over the ridge-top area within rotor-swept height (risk zone) as wind speed increased, but were more likely to make such crosses under headwinds and tailwinds compared to western crosswinds. Most importantly, we observed a smaller proportion of flights within the risk zone at wind speeds sufficient for the spinning of turbines (higher-risk flights) during post-construction compared to pre-construction, suggesting that eagles showed detection and avoidance of turbines during migration. PMID:24671199

  13. Background atmospheric sulfate deposition at a remote alpine site in the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wasiuta, Vivian; Norman, Ann-Lise; Lafrenière, Melissa J.; Hastings, Meredith G.

    2015-11-01

    We report observations of stable isotope ratios and ion concentrations from seasonal snowpack and summer bulk precipitation from remote alpine sites in the Southern Canadian Rocky Mountains. Spatial deposition patterns for sulfur (S) and δ34S-SO42- values indicate dominantly distant sources with little impact from local to regional pollution. Comparable S loads and total snowpack δ34S-SO42- values for glacier snowpack indicates S emissions were well mixed prior to dry deposition or incorporation into snowfall. A uniform S load and similar δ34S-SO42- values in a detailed study of summer bulk precipitation implies well-mixed distant emissions. We interpret the deposited 0.9 kg S ha-1yr-1 as atmospheric background deposition in midlatitude Western Canada. This study will improve calculations for sites impacted by point source emissions and provide a baseline for attributing changes associated with climate change, industrialization, and urban growth. Field evidence from this study supports theoretical and laboratory research on the relative importance of oxidation pathways on atmospheric δ34S-SO42- values for long-range transported sulfate. δ34S-SO42- of the dominant S source in summer bulk precipitation (~ +2‰) versus snowpack (≥ +9‰) cannot be explained by seasonal emission sources, temperature effects on fractionation, or Rayleigh distillation. The study supports a seasonal difference in the relative importance of the different SO2 to SO42- oxidation pathways with homogeneous oxidation by OH and heterogeneous oxidation by H2O2 most important in summer, and O2 catalyzed by transition metal ions in a radical chain reaction pathway more significant in winter.

  14. Water quality changes as a result of coalbed methane development in a Rocky mountain watershed

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, X.; Melesse, A.M.; McClain, M.E.; Yang, W.

    2007-12-15

    Coalbed methane (CBM) development raises serious environmental concerns. In response, concerted efforts have been made to collect chemistry, salinity, and sodicity data on CBM produced water. However, little information on changes of stream water quality resulting from directly and/or indirectly received CBM produced water is available in the literature. The objective of this study was to examine changes in stream water quality, particularly sodicity and salinity, due to CBM development in the Powder River watershed, which is located in the Rocky Mountain Region and traverses the states of Wyoming and Montana. To this end, a retrospective analysis of water quality trends and patterns was conducted using data collected from as early as 1946 up to and including 2002 at four U.S. Geological Survey gauging stations along the Powder River. Trend analysis was conducted using linear regression and Seasonal Kendall tests, whereas, Tukey's test for multiple comparisons was used to detect changes in the spatial pattern. The results indicated that the CBM development adversely affected the water quality in the Powder River. First, the development elevated the stream sodicity, as indicated by a significant increase trend of the sodium adsorption ratio. Second, the development tended to shrink the water quality differences among the three downstream stations but to widen the differences between these stations and the farthest upstream station. In contrast, the development had only a minor influence on stream salinity. Hence, the CBM development is likely an important factor that can be managed to lower the stream sodicity. The management may need to take into account that the effects of the CBMdevelopment were different from one location to another along the Powder River.

  15. Flood moderation: Declining peak flows along some Rocky Mountain rivers and the underlying mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rood, Stewart B.; Foster, Stephen G.; Hillman, Evan J.; Luek, Andreas; Zanewich, Karen P.

    2016-05-01

    It has been proposed that global warming will amplify the water cycle and intensify river floods. We tested this hypothesis by investigating historic trends in magnitudes, durations and timing of the annual peak flows of rivers that drain the Rocky Mountains around the North American hydrographic apex, the source for rivers flowing to the Pacific, Arctic (including Hudson Bay) and Atlantic Oceans. We sought century-long records and to reduce influences from land-use we assessed drainages from parks and protected areas. Of 30 rivers and reaches that were free-flowing or slightly regulated, seven displayed declining peak flows (7 p < 0.1, 4 p < 0.05), and one showed increase (p < 0.05); three of five moderately regulated rivers displayed decline (p < 0.05). Substantial floods, exceeding the 1-in-5 year recurrence (Q5), were more common in the early versus latter halves of the records for some Arctic drainages and were more common during the Pacific Decadal Oscillation negative phase for all regions. The timing of peak flows was relatively unchanged and Q5 flood durations declined for a few rivers. These results indicate flood moderation rather than flood intensification, particularly for Arctic Ocean drainages. This could reflect regional hydrological consequences from climate change including: (1) declining overall annual river flows; (2) winter warming that would increase the rain versus snow proportion, thus reducing snow accumulation and melt; and (3) spring warming that advances snow melt, lengthening the melt interval before peak flows. These changes would shift the seasonality of river flows and reduce annual peaks. We might expect continuing moderation of peak flows but there will probably still be occasional major floods from exceptional rain events such as occurred in northern Montana in 1964 and in southern Alberta in 2013.

  16. Increased flight altitudes among migrating golden eagles suggest turbine avoidance at a Rocky Mountain wind installation.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Naira N; Bradley, James E; Otter, Ken A

    2014-01-01

    Potential wind-energy development in the eastern Rocky Mountain foothills of British Columbia, Canada, raises concerns due to its overlap with a golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) migration corridor. The Dokie 1 Wind Energy Project is the first development in this area and stands as a model for other projects in the area because of regional consistency in topographic orientation and weather patterns. We visually tracked golden eagles over three fall migration seasons (2009-2011), one pre- and two post-construction, to document eagle flight behaviour in relation to a ridge-top wind energy development. We estimated three-dimensional positions of eagles in space as they migrated through our study site. Flight tracks were then incorporated into GIS to ascertain flight altitudes for eagles that flew over the ridge-top area (or turbine string). Individual flight paths were designated to a category of collision-risk based on flight altitude (e.g. flights within rotor-swept height; ≤150 m above ground) and wind speed (winds sufficient for the spinning of turbines; >6.8 km/h at ground level). Eagles were less likely to fly over the ridge-top area within rotor-swept height (risk zone) as wind speed increased, but were more likely to make such crosses under headwinds and tailwinds compared to western crosswinds. Most importantly, we observed a smaller proportion of flights within the risk zone at wind speeds sufficient for the spinning of turbines (higher-risk flights) during post-construction compared to pre-construction, suggesting that eagles showed detection and avoidance of turbines during migration. PMID:24671199

  17. Rates and environmental controls of aeolian dust accumulation, Athabasca River Valley, Canadian Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugenholtz, Chris H.; Wolfe, Stephen A.

    2010-09-01

    Despite an abundance of sedimentary archives of mineral dust (i.e. loess) accumulations from cold, humid environments, the absence of contemporary process investigations limits paleoenvironmental interpretations in these settings. Dust accumulations measured at Jasper Lake, a seasonally-filled reach of the glacially-fed Athabasca River in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, are some of the highest contemporary rates recorded to date. High deposition rates, including a maximum of 27,632 kg ha -1 month -1, occur during river low-flow periods, but even the lowest deposition rates, occurring during bankfull periods, exceed other contemporary rates of deposition. High rates of dust deposition may be attributed to geomorphic and climatic controls affecting sediment supply, availability and transport, and biologic factors affecting accumulation. Localized confinement of the Jasper River by tributary river alluvial fans has caused channel expansion upstream, and formation of the shallow depositional basin known as Jasper Lake. This localized sedimentary basin, coupled with large seasonal water level fluctuations and suitably high wind speeds, favors seasonal dust production. In addition, a dense source-proximal coniferous forest stand encourages high dust accumulation, via increased aerodynamic roughness and airflow deceleration. The forest stand also appears to act as an efficient dust filter, with the interception and storage of dust by the forest canopy playing a significant role with regards to secondary fallout and sediment accumulation. Overall, these results provide new insights on the environmental controls of dust entrainment and accumulation in cold, humid settings, and help clarify controls on the formation of Holocene river-sourced loess deposits.

  18. Geochemical characterization of Rocky Mountain, Northern Great Plains, and Interior Province coals

    SciTech Connect

    Affolter, R.H.; Hatch, J.R.

    1984-04-01

    Statistical summaries of proximate and ultimate analyses, heat of combustion, and content of 36 major, minor, and trace elements were calculated for 37 Eocene, 470 Paleocene, and 419 Cretaceous coal samples from 31 coal fields or areas in the Rocky Mountain and Northern Great Plains coal provinces and for 503 Pennsylvanian coal samples from 14 areas in the Interior coal province. These analyses show that coal within an age group have similar ranges in composition, and that each group has its own distinctive compositional characteristics. Most variability in element content can be related to changes in rank and differences in ash and total sulfur contents. Mean contents of Ca, Mg, Na, Ba, and Sr are related to rank and decrease as apparent coal rank increases from lignite A to high-volatile B bituminous coal. Mean contents of Si, Al, K, Ti, Ga, Li, Sc, Th, V, Y, and Yb increase as the mean ash content increases (correlation coefficients 0.6), suggesting that these elements are present as aluminosilicates, stable oxides, or phosphate mineral phases. Mean contents of Fe, As, Cd, Co, Cu, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, and Zn show high correlation with total sulfur. Contents of these elements are low in Paleocene (0.6% sulfur) and Cretaceous (0.7% sulfur) coals, higher in Eocene (1.8% sulfur) coals, and generally highest in Pennsylvanian (3.9% sulfur) coals. The mean contents of B, Be, Cr, F, Hg, Mn, Nb, Se, U and Zr show no direct relationships to changes in rank or ash and total sulfur contents. Decrease in element content with increased rank probably is related to loss of functional groups that act as cation-exchange sites on organic matter. Ash and sulfur contents are dependent on pH-controlled levels of bacterial activity in ancestral peat swamps.

  19. Land-Cover Change Within the Peatlands Along the Rocky Mountain Front, Montana: 1937-2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klene, A. E.; Milbrath, J. T.; Shelly, J. S.

    2013-12-01

    While peatlands are globally abundant, the fens of the Rocky Mountain Front (RMF), are the eastern-most, rich, peatlands in Montana, and are unique wetland habitats in this region of semi-arid continental climate. The peatlands provide critical riparian connectivity between the mountains and the plains and are habitat for grizzly bears, wolves, and within just the 450 ha Pine Butte Fen at least 93 species of vascular plants, including seven of Montana's Plant Species of Concern. Aerial photographs of the nine peatlands along the RMF in Montana were analyzed in a GIS. The boundary of each wetland was hand-digitized and the area within was classified into land-cover types: total area, open fen, open water, woody vegetation, and non-wetland/agriculture. Changes in wetland extent and land-cover categories were evaluated from the earliest available imagery in 1937 to the last available imagery in 2009. Images prior to 1995 were orthorectified, and all georectified. Climate change, wildlife, and agriculture were examined as potential drivers of land-cover change at these sites. Results indicate little change in overall peatland area between 1937 and 2009 despite increasing air temperatures in the region. Approximately 16% of these peatlands is 'open fen' and that proportion remained stable over the last seventy years. Area of open water quadrupled and the number of ponds which could be delineated tripled over the study period, reflecting a recovering beaver population. The non-wetland/agricultural area halved over the course of the study, primarily due to declines in agriculture within the three largest remaining peatlands: Pine Butte Fen, McDonald Swamp, and the Blackleaf Creek wetland complex. Most of the first two fens were purchased outright by the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and they hold a conservation easement on the third (as well as two other fens), all of which have been been put in place since the late 1970s. One fen is owned by the State of Montana and another

  20. Predictive Modeling and Mapping of Fish Distributions in Small Streams of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Foothills

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCleary, R. J.; Hassan, M. A.

    2006-12-01

    reach-scale maps indicate specific reaches where interactions between these two species are likely to occur. With regional calibration, this automated modeling and mapping procedure could apply in headwater catchments throughout the Rocky Mountain Foothills and other areas where sporadic waterfalls or other natural migration barriers are not an important feature limiting fish distribution.

  1. Hydrology of Area 62, Northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Coal Provinces, New Mexico and Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roybal, F.E.; Wells, J.G.; Gold, R.L.; Flager, J.V.

    1984-01-01

    This report summarizes available hydrologic data for Area 62 and will aid leasing decisions, and the preparation and appraisal of environmental impact studies and mine-permit applications. Area 62 is located at the southern end of the Rocky Mountain Coal Province in parts of New Mexico and Arizona and includes approximately 9,500 square miles. Surface mining alters, at least temporarily, the environment; if the areas are unreclaimed, there can be long-term environmental consequences. The land-ownership pattern in Area 62 is complicated. The checkerboard pattern created by several types of ownership makes effective management of these lands difficult. The climate generally is semiarid with average annual precipitation ranging from 10 to 20 inches. Pinons, junipers, and grasslands cover most of the area, and much of it is used for grazing by livestock. Soils vary with landscape, differing from flood plains and hillslopes to mountain slopes. The major structural features of this area were largely developed during middle Tertiary time. The main structural features are the southern San Juan Basin and the Mogollon slope. Coal-bearing rocks are present in four Cretaceous rock units of the Mesaverde Group: the Gallup Sandstone, the Dileo Coal Member, and the Gibson Coal Member of the Crevasse Canyon Formation, and the Cleary Coal Member of the Menefee Formation. Area 62 is drained by Black Creek, the Puerco River, the Zuni River, Carrizo Wash-Largo Creek, and the Rio San Jose. Only at the headwaters of the Zuni River is the flow perennial. The streamflow-gaging station network consists of 25 stations operated for a variety of needs. Streamflow changes throughout the year with variation related directly to rainfall and snowmelt. Base flow in Area 62 is zero indicating no significant ground-water discharge. Mountainous areas contribute the highest mean annual runoff of 1.0 inch. Very few water-quality data are available for the surface-water stations. Of the nine surface

  2. Evaluating regional patterns in nitrate sources to watersheds in National Parks of the Rocky Mountains using nitrate isotopes.

    PubMed

    Nanus, Leora; Williams, Mark W; Campbell, Donald H; Elliott, Emily M; Kendall, Carol

    2008-09-01

    In the Rocky Mountains, there is uncertainty about the source areas and emission types that contribute to nitrate (NO3) deposition, which can adversely affect sensitive aquatic habitats of high-elevation watersheds. Regional patterns in NO3 deposition sources were evaluated using NO3 isotopes in five National Parks, including 37 lakes and 7 precipitation sites. Results indicate that lake NO3 ranged from detection limit to 38 microeq/L, delta18O (NO3) ranged from -5.7 to +21.3% per thousand, and delta15N (NO3) ranged from -6.6 to +4.6 per thousand. delta18O (NO3) in precipitation ranged from +71 to +78% per thousand. delta15N (NO3) in precipitation and lakes overlap; however, delta15N (NO3) in precipitation is more depleted than delta15N (NO3) in lakes, ranging from -5.5 to -2.0 per thousand. delta15N (NO3) values are significantly related (p < 0.05) to wet deposition of inorganic N, sulfate, and acidity, suggesting that spatial variability of delta15N (NO3) over the Rocky Mountains may be related to source areas of these solutes. Regional patterns show that NO3 and delta15N (NO3) are more enriched in lakes and precipitation from the southern Rockies and at higher elevations compared to the northern Rockies. The correspondence of high NO3 and enriched delta15N (NO3) in precipitation with high NO3 and enriched delta15N (NO3) in lakes, suggests that deposition of inorganic N in wetfall may affect the amount of NO3 in lakes through a combination of direct and indirect processes such as enhanced nitrification.

  3. Evaluating regional patterns in nitrate sources to watersheds in National Parks of the Rocky Mountains using nitrate isotopes.

    PubMed

    Nanus, Leora; Williams, Mark W; Campbell, Donald H; Elliott, Emily M; Kendall, Carol

    2008-09-01

    In the Rocky Mountains, there is uncertainty about the source areas and emission types that contribute to nitrate (NO3) deposition, which can adversely affect sensitive aquatic habitats of high-elevation watersheds. Regional patterns in NO3 deposition sources were evaluated using NO3 isotopes in five National Parks, including 37 lakes and 7 precipitation sites. Results indicate that lake NO3 ranged from detection limit to 38 microeq/L, delta18O (NO3) ranged from -5.7 to +21.3% per thousand, and delta15N (NO3) ranged from -6.6 to +4.6 per thousand. delta18O (NO3) in precipitation ranged from +71 to +78% per thousand. delta15N (NO3) in precipitation and lakes overlap; however, delta15N (NO3) in precipitation is more depleted than delta15N (NO3) in lakes, ranging from -5.5 to -2.0 per thousand. delta15N (NO3) values are significantly related (p < 0.05) to wet deposition of inorganic N, sulfate, and acidity, suggesting that spatial variability of delta15N (NO3) over the Rocky Mountains may be related to source areas of these solutes. Regional patterns show that NO3 and delta15N (NO3) are more enriched in lakes and precipitation from the southern Rockies and at higher elevations compared to the northern Rockies. The correspondence of high NO3 and enriched delta15N (NO3) in precipitation with high NO3 and enriched delta15N (NO3) in lakes, suggests that deposition of inorganic N in wetfall may affect the amount of NO3 in lakes through a combination of direct and indirect processes such as enhanced nitrification. PMID:18800519

  4. Evaluating regional patterns in nitrate sources to watersheds in national parks of the rocky mountains using nitrate isotopes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nanus, L.; Williams, M.W.; Campbell, D.H.; Elliott, E.M.; Kendall, C.

    2008-01-01

    In the Rocky Mountains, there is uncertainty about the source areas and emission types that contribute to nitrate (NO3) deposition, which can adversely affect sensitive aquatic habitats of high-elevation watersheds. Regional patterns in NO3 deposition sources were evaluated using NO3 isotopes in five National Parks, including 37 lakes and 7 precipitation sites. Results indicate that lake NO3 ranged from detection limit to 38 ??eq/L, ??18O (NO3) ranged from -5.7 to +21.3???, and ??15N (NO3) ranged from -6.6 to +4.6???. ??18O (NO3) in precipitation ranged from +71 to +78???. ??15N (NO 3) in precipitation and lakes overlap; however, ??15N (NO3) in precipitation is more depleted than ??15N (NO3) in lakes, ranging from -5.5 to -2.0???. ??15N (NO3) values are significantly related (p < 0.05) to wet deposition of inorganic N, sulfate, and acidity, suggesting that spatial variability of ??15N (NO3) over the Rocky Mountains may be related to source areas of these solutes. Regional patterns show that NO3 and ??15N (NO3) are more enriched in lakes and precipitation from the southern Rockies and at higher elevations compared to the northern Rockies. The correspondence of high NO 3 and enriched ??15N (NO3) in precipitation with high NO3 and enriched ??15N (NO3) in lakes, suggests that deposition of inorganic N in wetfall may affect the amount of NO3 in lakes through a combination of direct and indirect processes such as enhanced nitrification. ?? 2008 American Chemical Society.

  5. Survey of glaciers in the northern Rocky Mountains of Montana and Wyoming; Size response to climatic fluctuations 1950-1996

    SciTech Connect

    Chatelain, E.E.

    1997-09-01

    An aerial survey of Northern Rocky Mountain glaciers in Montana and Wyoming was conducted in late summer of 1996. The Flathead, Swan, Mission, and Beartooth Mountains of Montana were covered, as well as the Teton and Wind River Ranges of Wyoming. Present extent of glaciers in this study were compared to limits on recent USGS 15 and 7.5 topographic maps, and also from selected personal photos. Large cirque and hanging glaciers of the Flathead and Wind River Ranges did not display significant decrease in size or change in terminus position. Cirque glaciers in the Swan, Mission, Beartooth and Teton Ranges were markedly smaller in size; with separation of the ice body, growth of the terminus lake, or cover of the ice terminus with rockfalls. A study of annual snowfall, snowdepths, precipitation, and mean temperatures for selected stations in the Northern Rocky Mountains indicates no extreme variations in temperature or precipitation between 1950-1996, but several years of low snowfall and warmer temperatures in the 1980`s appear to have been sufficient to diminish many of the smaller cirque glaciers, many to the point of extinction. The disappearance of small cirque glaciers may indicate a greater sensitivity to overall climatic warming than the more dramatic fluctuations of larger glaciers in the same region.

  6. Effects of urban development on stream ecosystems alongthe Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado and Wyoming

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sprague, Lori A.; Zuellig, Robert E.; Dupree, Jean A.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a study from 2002 through 2003 through its National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program to determine the effects of urbanization on the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of stream ecosystems along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The objectives of the study were to (1) examine physical, chemical, and biological responses at sites ranging from minimally to highly developed; (2) determine the major physical, chemical, and landscape variables affecting aquatic communities at these sites; and (3) evaluate the relevance of the results to the management of water resources in the South Platte River Basin.

  7. Technology assessment of field portable instrumentation for use at Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Final report, May 1987-March 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Jenkins, R.A.; Maskarinec, M.P.; Griest, W.H.; Dyer, F.F.; Moody, R.L.

    1988-07-01

    An assessment was made of commercially available field instrumentation for analysis of samples at Rocky Mountain Arsenal. The analytes considered were metals, volatile organics, and semivolatile organics. Colorimetric tests for metals are recommended for screening, with positives being confirmed by microwave digestion followed by portable atomic absorption. A portable mercury monitor is recommended for this analysis. Portable X-ray fluorescence is recommended for higher levels of inorganics. For volatile organics, purge and trap and heated headspace followed by portable gas chromatography are recommended. For semivolatiles in soil, SOXTEC extraction and gas or thin-layer chromatography are recommended. For semivolatiles in water, solvent extraction using a MIXXOR is recommended.

  8. The architecture of the porphyry-metal system as a prospecting stratagem in the Southern Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Neuerburg, George J.

    1978-01-01

    A model of the porphyry-metal system characteristic of the consanguineous Cretaceous and Tertiary igneous rocks and associated ores of the southern Rocky Mountains is constructed from the bits and pieces exposed in the Colorado mineral belt and the San Juan volcanic field. Hydrothermally altered rocks in a part of the areas of mineralized rock associated with the Platoro caldera are matched against the model, to locate and to characterize latent mineral deposits for optimal prospecting and exploration. The latent deposits are two stockwork molybdenite deposits (porphyry-molybdenum) and one or two copper-gold-silver chimney deposits.

  9. Developmental geology of coalbed methane from shallow to deep in Rocky Mountain basins and in Cook Inlet-Matanuska Basin, Alaska, USA and Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, R.C.; Flores, R.M.

    1998-01-01

    The Rocky Mountain basins of western North America contain vast deposits of coal of Cretaceous through early Tertiary age. Coalbed methane is produced in Rocky Mountain basins at depths ranging from 45 m (150 ft) to 1981 m (6500 ft) from coal of lignite to low-volatile bituminous rank. Although some production has been established in almost all Rocky Mountain basins, commercial production occurs in only a few. despite more than two decades of exploration for coalbed methane in the Rocky Mountain region, it is still difficult to predict production characteristics of coalbed methane wells prior to drilling. Commonly cited problems include low permeabilities, high water production, and coals that are significantly undersaturated with respect to methane. Sources of coalbed gases can be early biogenic, formed during the early stages of coalification, thermogenic, formed during the main stages of coalification, or late stage biogenic, formed as a result of the reintroduction of methane-gnerating bacteria by groundwater after uplift and erosion. Examples of all three types of coalbed gases, and combinations of more than one type, can be found in the Rocky Mountain region. Coals in the Rocky Mountain region achieved their present ranks largely as a result of burial beneath sediments that accumulated during the Laramide orogeny (Late Cretaceous through the end of the eocene) or shortly after. Thermal events since the end of the orogeny have also locally elevated coal ranks. Coal beds in the upper part of high-volatile A bituminous rank or greater commonly occur within much more extensive basin-centered gas deposits which cover large areas of the deeper parts of most Rocky Mountain basins. Within these basin-centered deposits all lithologies, including coals, sandstones, and shales, are gas saturated, and very little water is produced. The interbedded coals and carbonaceous shales are probably the source of much of this gas. Basin-centered gas deposits become overpressured

  10. COMPARATIVE APPLICATION OF PERIPHYTON, MACROINVERTEBRATE AND FISH INDICES OF BIOTIC INTEGRITY TO SOUTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAIN STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We compared three assessments using macroinvertebrate, periphyton, and fish assemblages in streams sampled by the Regional Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (REMAP) in Colorado's Southern Rockies Ecoregion. We contrasted analyses using metrics for each group selecte...

  11. MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS OF MACROINVERTEBRATE ASSEMBLAGES TO DETERMINE IMPACTS ON ROCKY MOUNTAIN STREAM ECOSYSTEMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Using reduncancy (RDA) and canonical correlation analysis (CCA) we assessed relationships between chemical and physical characteristics and periphyton at 105 stream sites sampled by REMAP in the mineral belt of the southern Rockies ecoregion in Colorado. We contrasted results ob...

  12. Alpine Microbial Community Responses to Climate Change and Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborne, B. B.; Baron, J.; Wallenstein, M. D.; Richer, E.

    2010-12-01

    Remote alpine ecosystems of the western US exhibit vulnerability to anthropogenic drivers of change. Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition and a changing climate introduce nutrients, alter hydrological processes, and expose soils to modified temperature regimes. We cannot yet predict the interacting effects and far-reaching biogeochemical consequences of this influence. Importantly, long-term data reveal headwater nitrate (NO3-) concentration trends increasing >50% from the 1990s to 2006 along the Colorado Front Range in conjunction with warm summer temperatures. Such a change in nutrient cycling raises concern for eutrophication in nutrient-poor alpine lakes. Increasing stream NO3- suggests terrestrial microbes may be responding to changes in important controls of community development and activity: temperature and ammonium (NH4+) availability. Nitrifying bacteria and archaea strongly influence alpine soil NO3- concentrations. Little is understood about alpine microbes. Our research characterizes nitrifier abundance and activity in alpine substrates by exposing them to experimental NH4+ and temperature treatments. Soil substrates fall along a gradient of succession commonly represented in alpine catchments due to deglaciation. These include well-developed meadow soils, unvegetated talus substrate, and newly-exposed glacial sediments. All three substrate types were collected from the Loch Vale watershed in Rocky Mountain National Park, a long-term research site in the Colorado Front Range known to receive elevated levels of atmospheric N deposition. All soils have been evaluated for initial %C, %N, microbial biomass, NO3-, NH4+, and DOC concentrations, and nitrifier abundance. After temperature and NH4+ treatments, samples will be evaluated for changes in biomass and nitrifier abundance as well as net and gross nitrification. Linking the influence of relative soil temperature and NH4+ concentrations on alpine substrates, at a range of successional stages, will

  13. Mercury and Selenium in a Mining-Affected Watershed of the Rocky Mountain Northwest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Langner, H.

    2011-12-01

    mercury in the food web of a large river system in the Rocky Mountain Northwest.

  14. Wilderness experience in Rocky Mountain National Park 2002; report to respondents

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schuster, Elke; Johnson, S. Shea; Taylor, Jonathan G.

    2003-01-01

    A substantial amount of backcountry (about 250,000 acres) in Rocky Mountain National Park [RMNP of the Park] may be designated as wilderness areas in the coming years. Currently, over 3 million visitors drives through the park on Trail Ridge Road, camp in designated campgrounds, day hike, etc. each year. Many of those visitors also report using the backcountry-wilderness areas that are not easily accessible by roads or trails. Use of the backcountry is growing at RMNP and is accompanied by changing visitor expectations and preferences for wilderness management. For these reasons it is of great importance for the Park to periodically assess what types of environments and conditions wilderness users seek to facilitate a quality experience. To assist in this effort, the Political Analysis and Science Assistance [PSAS] program / Fort Collins Center / U.S. Geological Survey, in close collaboration with personnel and volunteers from RMNP, as well as the Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism [NRRT] Department at Colorado State University, launched a research effort in the summer of 2002 to investigate visitorsa?? wilderness experiences in the Park. Specifically, the purpose of this research was: (1) To determine what constitutes a wilderness experience; (2) To identify important places, visual features, and sounds essential to a quality wilderness experience and; (3) To determine what aspects may detract from wilderness experience. Thus, answers to these questions should provide insight for Park managers about visitorsa?? expectation for wilderness recreation and the conditions they seek for quality wilderness experiences. Ultimately, this information can be used to support wilderness management decisions within RMNP. The social science technique of Visitor Employed Photography [VEP] was used to obtain information from visitors about wilderness experiences. Visitors were selected at random from Park-designated wilderness trails, in proportion to their use, and asked to

  15. Land use change and nitrogen enrichment of a Rocky Mountain watershed.

    PubMed

    Kaushal, Sujay S; Lewis, William M; McCutchan, James H

    2006-02-01

    Headwater ecosystems may have a limited threshold for retaining and removing nutrients delivered by certain types of land use. Nitrogen enrichment was studied in a Rocky Mountain watershed undergoing rapid expansion of population and residential development. Study sites were located along a 30-km transect from the headwaters of the Blue River to Lake Dillon, a major source of drinking water for Denver, Colorado. Ground water in residential areas with septic systems showed high concentrations of nitrate-N (4.96 +/- 1.22 mg/L, mean +/- SE), and approximately 40% of wells contained nitrate with delta15N values in the range of wastewater. Concentrations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) in tributaries with residential development peaked during spring snowmelt as concentrations of DIN declined to below detection limits in undeveloped tributaries. Annual export of dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) was considerably lower in residential streams, suggesting a change in forms of N with development. The seasonal delta15N of algae in residential streams was intermediate between baseline values from undeveloped streams and stream algae grown on wastewater. Between 19% and 23% of the annual N export from developed tributaries was derived from septic systems, as estimated from the delta15N of algae. This range was similar to the amount of N export above background determined independently from mass-balance estimates. From a watershed perspective, total loading of N to the Blue River catchment from septic and municipal wastewater (2 kg x ha(-1) x yr(-1)) is currently less than the amount from background atmospheric sources (3 kg x ha(-1) x yr(-1)). Nonetheless, nitrate-N concentrations exceeded limits for safe drinking water in some groundwater wells (10 mg/L), residential streams showed elevated seasonal patterns of nitrate-N concentration and ratios of DIN to total dissolved phosphorus, and seasonal minimum concentrations of nitrate-N in Lake Dillon have increased

  16. Aspen Ecology in Rocky Mountain National Park: Age Distribution, Genetics, and the Effects of Elk Herbivory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zeigenfuss, Linda C.; Binkley, Dan; Tuskan, Gerald A.; Romme, William H.; Yin, Tongming; DiFazio, Stephen; Singer, Francis J.

    2008-01-01

    Lack of recruitment and canopy replacement of aspen (Populus tremuloides) stands that grow on the edges of grasslands on the low-elevation elk (Cervus elaphus) winter range of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in Colorado have been a cause of concern for more than 70 years. We used a combination of traditional dendrochronology and genetic techniques as well as measuring the characteristics of regenerating and nonregenerating stands on the elk winter range to determine when and under what conditions and estimated elk densities these stands established and through what mechanisms they may regenerate. The period from 1975 to 1995 at low elevation on the east side had 80-95 percent fewer aspen stems than would be expected based on the trend from 1855 through 1965. The age structure of aspen in the park indicates that the interacting effects of fires, elk population changes, and livestock grazing had more-or-less consistent effects on aspen from 1855 to 1965. The lack of a significant change in aspen numbers in recent decades in the higher elevation and west side parts of the park supports the idea that the extensive effects of elk browsing have been more important in reducing aspen numbers than other factors. The genetic variation of aspen populations in RMNP is high at the molecular level. We expected to find that most patches of aspen in the park were composed of a single clone of genetically identical trees, but in fact just 7 percent of measured aspen patches consisted of a single clone. A large frequency of polyploid (triploid and tetraploid) genotypes were found on the low elevation, east-side elk winter range. Nonregenerating aspen stands on the winter range had greater annual offtake, shorter saplings, and lower density of mid-height (1.5-2.5 m) saplings than regenerating stands. Overwinter elk browsing, however, did not appear to inhibit the leader length of aspen saplings. The winter range aspen stands of RMNP appear to be highly resilient in the face of

  17. Molecular Characterization of Cryoconite Organic Matter from the Athabasca Glacier, Canadian Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Y.; Simpson, M. J.; Eyles, N.; Simpson, A.; Baer, A. J.

    2009-05-01

    Cryoconite is a dark-colored, dust-like material found on the surfaces of glaciers. Cryoconite holes, which are produced by accelerated ice melt due to more solar radiation absorption by cryoconite than bare ice, act as habitats for microbial life and biologically mediated chemical reactions on otherwise relatively inert glacier surfaces. Cryoconite holes may behave as bacterial shelters during "Snowball Earth" events postulated for the Neoproterozoic Earth. In this study organic matter (OM) biomarkers and a host of one- and two-dimensional NMR techniques were used to characterize cryoconite organic matter (COM) collected from the Athabasca Glacier in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Solvent extracts contain large quantities of fatty acids, n-alkanols, n- alkanes, wax esters and sterols. A large contribution of C23 and C25 relative to C29 and C31 n-alkanes ([C23/(C23+C29)] = 0.51) suggests that allochthonous COM is derived mainly from lower order plants such as mosses and lichens. This is confirmed by the absence of lignin-derived phenols, a biomarker of terrestrial vascular plants, after copper (II) oxidation in extracts and NMR analyses of COM. Solution-state 1H NMR reveals prominent peptide/protein structures which are characteristic of microbial inputs, while solid-state 13C CP/MAS NMR analysis shows a very high alkyl/O-alkyl ratio (2.16), suggesting that COM is unique compared to organic matter found in nearby soils which have alkyl/O-alkyl ratio of ~0.39. Our NMR results suggest that COM is dominated by microbial-derived compounds, which is also confirmed by phospholipid fatty acid results (6,950µg/gOC) which show significant microbial contributions to COM primarily from bacteria and minor microeukaryotes. Both biomarker and NMR data suggest that COM likely supports active microbial communities on the Athabasca Glacier. Given that such material is incorporated within the glacier in the accumulation zone or flushed by meltwaters into subglacial environments

  18. Looking for the Edge of the Rocky Mountains During the Late Eocene: A Stable Isotope Map from Mammalian Tooth Enamel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fricke, H.

    2006-12-01

    The question of how high the Rocky Mountain plateau of western North America was during the early Cenozoic remains an enduring one, despite years of study. Recently, stable isotope data from the central part of this plateau, in particular low oxygen isotope ratios, have been used to argue that the plateau may have been high since the early Eocene, and that it remained so until more recent times. Interpretations of such data, however, are complicated by uncertainties regarding the source of air masses and their rainout histories among other factors. In this study, an attempt was made to overcome some of these uncertainties by collecting stable isotope data from a wide geographic range, particularly from the eastern margin of the plateau rather than the center. By doing so, it was hoped that a steep isotopic gradient, such as that associated with the margins of the present day Rocky Mountain, might be recognized, thus supporting the hypothesis that such a plateau existed during the early Eocene. Isotope data were obtained from the tooth enamel of several mammalian taxa that were collected from 10 Chadronian-aged sites in Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska which span a modern latitudinal range of ~5 degrees longitude (103 to 108), ~5 degrees latitude (38 to 43), and an elevational range of ~1800 meters. Average oxygen isotope ratios for 8 of these sites are indistinguishable, while 2 located on the flanks of the Laramie Mountains have lower ratios. Oxygen isotope variability, however, does increase from east to west. These results can be compared to oxygen isotope data from modern rivers in the Rocky Mountain region, and do not seem to be consistent with the existence in this area of steep elevational gradient along the eastern margin of a mountainous plateau. Nevertheless, locally low oxygen isotope ratios are consistent with locally modest relief, while increased isotopic variability to the west may indicate that the eastern edge of the plateau was located further west

  19. Spatially explicit power analyses for occupancy-based monitoring of wolverine in the U.S. Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Martha M; Ivan, Jacob S; Schwartz, Michael K

    2014-02-01

    Conservation scientists and resource managers often have to design monitoring programs for species that are rare or patchily distributed across large landscapes. Such programs are frequently expensive and seldom can be conducted by one entity. It is essential that a prospective power analysis be undertaken to ensure stated monitoring goals are feasible. We developed a spatially based simulation program that accounts for natural history, habitat use, and sampling scheme to investigate the power of monitoring protocols to detect trends in population abundance over time with occupancy-based methods. We analyzed monitoring schemes with different sampling efforts for wolverine (Gulo gulo) populations in 2 areas of the U.S. Rocky Mountains. The relation between occupancy and abundance was nonlinear and depended on landscape, population size, and movement parameters. With current estimates for population size and detection probability in the northern U.S. Rockies, most sampling schemes were only able to detect large declines in abundance in the simulations (i.e., 50% decline over 10 years). For small populations reestablishing in the Southern Rockies, occupancy-based methods had enough power to detect population trends only when populations were increasing dramatically (e.g., doubling or tripling in 10 years), regardless of sampling effort. In general, increasing the number of cells sampled or the per-visit detection probability had a much greater effect on power than the number of visits conducted during a survey. Although our results are specific to wolverines, this approach could easily be adapted to other territorial species. PMID:24001256

  20. Climatic and hydrologic variability during the past millennium in the eastern Rocky Mountains and northern Great Plains of western Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Thomas W. D.; Birks, S. Jean; Luckman, Brian H.; MacDonald, Glen M.

    2008-09-01

    Modelling of tree-ring δ 13C and δ 18O data from the Columbia Icefield area in the eastern Rocky Mountains of western Canada provides fuller understanding of climatic and hydrologic variability over the past 1000 yr in this region, based on reconstruction of changes in growth season atmospheric relative humidity ( RHgrs), winter temperature ( Twin) and the precipitation δ 18O- Twin relation. The Little Ice Age (~ AD 1530s-1890s) is marked by low RHgrs and Twin and a δ 18O- Twin relation offset from that of the present, reflecting enhanced meridional circulation and persistent influence of Arctic air masses. Independent proxy hydrologic evidence suggests that snowmelt sustained relatively abundant streamflow at this time in rivers draining the eastern Rockies. In contrast, the early millennium was marked by higher RHgrs and Twin and a δ 18O- Twin relation like that of the 20th century, consistent with pervasive influence of Pacific air masses because of strong zonal circulation. Especially mild conditions prevailed during the "Medieval Climate Anomaly" ~ AD 1100-1250, corresponding with evidence for reduced discharge in rivers draining the eastern Rockies and extensive hydrological drought in neighbouring western USA.

  1. Spatially explicit power analyses for occupancy-based monitoring of wolverine in the U.S. Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Ellis, Martha M; Ivan, Jacob S; Schwartz, Michael K

    2014-02-01

    Conservation scientists and resource managers often have to design monitoring programs for species that are rare or patchily distributed across large landscapes. Such programs are frequently expensive and seldom can be conducted by one entity. It is essential that a prospective power analysis be undertaken to ensure stated monitoring goals are feasible. We developed a spatially based simulation program that accounts for natural history, habitat use, and sampling scheme to investigate the power of monitoring protocols to detect trends in population abundance over time with occupancy-based methods. We analyzed monitoring schemes with different sampling efforts for wolverine (Gulo gulo) populations in 2 areas of the U.S. Rocky Mountains. The relation between occupancy and abundance was nonlinear and depended on landscape, population size, and movement parameters. With current estimates for population size and detection probability in the northern U.S. Rockies, most sampling schemes were only able to detect large declines in abundance in the simulations (i.e., 50% decline over 10 years). For small populations reestablishing in the Southern Rockies, occupancy-based methods had enough power to detect population trends only when populations were increasing dramatically (e.g., doubling or tripling in 10 years), regardless of sampling effort. In general, increasing the number of cells sampled or the per-visit detection probability had a much greater effect on power than the number of visits conducted during a survey. Although our results are specific to wolverines, this approach could easily be adapted to other territorial species.

  2. Non-Native Plant Invasion along Elevation and Canopy Closure Gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Averett, Joshua P; McCune, Bruce; Parks, Catherine G; Naylor, Bridgett J; DelCurto, Tim; Mata-González, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    and mid elevations. Current management objectives including restoration to more open canopies in dry Rocky Mountain forests, may increase immigration pressure of non-native plants from lower elevations into the montane and subalpine zones. PMID:26824750

  3. Non-Native Plant Invasion along Elevation and Canopy Closure Gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Averett, Joshua P; McCune, Bruce; Parks, Catherine G; Naylor, Bridgett J; DelCurto, Tim; Mata-González, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    and mid elevations. Current management objectives including restoration to more open canopies in dry Rocky Mountain forests, may increase immigration pressure of non-native plants from lower elevations into the montane and subalpine zones.

  4. Non-Native Plant Invasion along Elevation and Canopy Closure Gradients in a Middle Rocky Mountain Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Averett, Joshua P.; McCune, Bruce; Parks, Catherine G.; Naylor, Bridgett J.; DelCurto, Tim; Mata-González, Ricardo

    2016-01-01

    and mid elevations. Current management objectives including restoration to more open canopies in dry Rocky Mountain forests, may increase immigration pressure of non-native plants from lower elevations into the montane and subalpine zones. PMID:26824750

  5. Use of passive UAS imaging to measure biophysical parameters in a southern Rocky Mountain subalpine forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caldwell, M. K.; Sloan, J.; Mladinich, C. S.; Wessman, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) can provide detailed, fine spatial resolution imagery for ecological uses not otherwise obtainable through standard methods. The use of UAS imagery for ecology is a rapidly -evolving field, where the study of forest landscape ecology can be augmented using UAS imagery to scale and validate biophysical data from field measurements to spaceborne observations. High resolution imagery provided by UAS (30 cm2 pixels) offers detailed canopy cover and forest structure data in a time efficient and inexpensive manner. Using a GoPro Hero2 (2 mm focal length) camera mounted in the nose cone of a Raven unmanned system, we collected aerial and thermal data monthly during the summer 2013, over two subalpine forests in the Southern Rocky Mountains in Colorado. These forests are dominated by lodgepole pine (Pinus ponderosae) and have experienced insect-driven (primarily mountain pine beetle; MPB, Dendroctonus ponderosae) mortality. Objectives of this study include observations of forest health variables such as canopy water content (CWC) from thermal imagery and leaf area index (LAI), biomass and forest productivity from the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) from UAS imagery. Observations were, validated with ground measurements. Images were processed using a combination of AgiSoft Photoscan professional software and ENVI remote imaging software. We utilized the software Leaf Area Index Calculator (LAIC) developed by Córcoles et al. (2013) for calculating LAI from digital images and modified to conform to leaf area of needle-leaf trees as in Chen and Cihlar (1996) . LAIC uses a K-means cluster analysis to decipher the RGB levels for each pixel and distinguish between green aboveground vegetation and other materials, and project leaf area per unit of ground surface area (i.e. half total needle surface area per unit area). Preliminary LAIC UAS data shows summer average LAI was 3.8 in the most dense forest stands and 2.95 in less dense

  6. Nitrogen saturation in the Rocky Mountains: Linking emissions, deposition, and ecosystem effects using stable isotopes of nitrogen compounds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Campbell, D.H.; Nanus, L.; Böhlke, J.K.; Harlin, K.; Collett, J.

    2007-01-01

    Elevated levels of atmospheric N deposition are affecting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems at high elevations in Rocky Mountain National Park and adjacent areas of the Front Range of Colorado. Federal and state agencies are now working together to develop cost-effective means for reducing atmospheric N deposition. A discussion on N saturation covers the need for better understanding of N emission source areas and source types that contribute to N deposition in the Rocky Mountains Front Range of Colorado; reductions in NO emissions that resulted from Clean Air Act Amendments, which caused NO3 deposition to decrease between 1984 and 2003; factors contributing to N deposition, e.g., rapid population growth and energy development; origins of NO3, e.g., as NO emissions from fossil fuel combustion, including stationary sources (e.g. emission from coal combustion in electric generating units), and mobile sources (vehicle emissions); disperse stationary sources from energy resource development, e.g., natural gas production; and the importance of incorporating local source characterization and finer spatial and temporal sampling into future studies, which could provide additional insight into N deposition source attribution. This is an abstract of a paper presented at the 100th Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Air and Waste Management Association (Pittsburgh, PA 6/26-29/2007).

  7. Regional patterns and proximal causes of the recent snowpack decline in the Rocky Mountains, U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pederson, Gregory T.; Betancourt, Julio L.; McCabe, Gregory J.

    2013-05-01

    used a first-order, monthly snow model and observations to disentangle seasonal influences on 20th century,regional snowpack anomalies in the Rocky Mountains of western North America, where interannual variations in cool-season (November-March) temperatures are broadly synchronous, but precipitation is typically antiphased north to south and uncorrelated with temperature. Over the previous eight centuries, regional snowpack variability exhibits strong, decadally persistent north-south (N-S) antiphasing of snowpack anomalies. Contrary to the normal regional antiphasing, two intervals of spatially synchronized snow deficits were identified. Snow deficits shown during the 1930s were synchronized north-south by low cool-season precipitation, with spring warming (February-March) since the 1980s driving the majority of the recent synchronous snow declines, especially across the low to middle elevations. Spring warming strongly influenced low snowpacks in the north after 1958, but not in the south until after 1980. The post-1980, synchronous snow decline reduced snow cover at low to middle elevations by ~20% and partly explains earlier and reduced streamflow and both longer and more active fire seasons. Climatologies of Rocky Mountain snowpack are shown to be seasonally and regionally complex, with Pacific decadal variability positively reinforcing the anthropogenic warming trend.

  8. Drought tolerance of leaves from plants exposed to a global warming manipulation in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

    SciTech Connect

    Loik, M.E.

    1995-06-01

    Drought tolerance was compared for leaves of Artemisia tridentata, Festuca thurberi and Potentilla gracilis exposed to a global warming manipulation at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, near Crested Butte, CO. Leaves of the three species were collected from plants growing in situ in heated and control plots then dried for various periods of time up to 24 h. Tolerance was compared in terms of reduction of relative water content, change in water potential, and changes in chlorophyll a fluorescence quenching kinetics. Relative water content decreased by about 80% for F. thurberi and P. gracilis, but by less than 50% for A. tridentata. Also, plants from heated plots lost water faster than controls for F. thurberi and P. gracilis; for A. tridentata the opposite was true. Water potential for both control and heated-plot leaves decreased below -10 MPa after 24 h drying for F. thurberi and P. gracilis; water potential for A. tridentata decreased little and averaged -2.0 MPa. Quenching of chlorophyll a fluorescence was abolished for F. thurberi and P. gracilis leaves after 8 h drying, and there was little difference between heated and control leaves. Quenching decreased for A. tridentata, but was slower for leaves from heated plots. Leaves from A. tridentata may be better adapted than F. thurberi and P. gracilis to a drier climate in the Rocky Mountains under global warming.

  9. Regional patterns and proximal causes of the recent snowpack decline in the Rocky Mountains, U.S.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pederson, Gregory T.; Betancourt, Julio L.; McCabe, Gregory J.

    2013-01-01

    We used a first-order, monthly snow model and observations to disentangle seasonal influences on 20th century,regional snowpack anomalies in the Rocky Mountains of western North America, where interannual variations in cool-season (November–March) temperatures are broadly synchronous, but precipitation is typically antiphased north to south and uncorrelated with temperature. Over the previous eight centuries, regional snowpack variability exhibits strong, decadally persistent north-south (N-S) antiphasing of snowpack anomalies. Contrary to the normal regional antiphasing, two intervals of spatially synchronized snow deficits were identified. Snow deficits shown during the 1930s were synchronized north-south by low cool-season precipitation, with spring warming (February–March) since the 1980s driving the majority of the recent synchronous snow declines, especially across the low to middle elevations. Spring warming strongly influenced low snowpacks in the north after 1958, but not in the south until after 1980. The post-1980, synchronous snow decline reduced snow cover at low to middle elevations by ~20% and partly explains earlier and reduced streamflow and both longer and more active fire seasons. Climatologies of Rocky Mountain snowpack are shown to be seasonally and regionally complex, with Pacific decadal variability positively reinforcing the anthropogenic warming trend.

  10. Petrology and provenance of modern sands from Cascade Range Forearc and Canadian Rocky Mountain fold-thrust belt

    SciTech Connect

    Kretchmer, A.G.; Ingersoll, R.V.

    1987-05-01

    The Cascade Range volcanic arc and forearc, and the Canadian Rocky Mountain fold-thrust belt represent the two sides of a continental margin arc-trench system. Sands from these areas show clear compositional differences. The most significant discriminating parameters are volcanic lithic grains, metamorphic lithic grains, plagioclase-to-feldspar ratio, and quartz. Variable sediment composition is also evident within each setting. Cascade sands are volcaniclastic and have high plagioclase-to-feldspar ratios. They divide into three categories (volcanic arc, alluvial forearc, and coastal forearc) that differ in their lithic contents and plagioclase-to-feldspar ratios. These changes reflect the attrition of volcanic lithics with distance from the arc and the input of recycled sediment and subduction-complex lithologies. Rocky Mountain sands are sedimenticlastic. They are of two types, a miogeocline-shelf provenance and a clastic-wedge provenance. These linear belts differ in clastic-carbonate content, plagioclase-to-feldspar ratio, and quartz content. The compositional differences reflect interstratified petrofacies of fold-thrust belts. Just as they can use detrital modes of modern sands to characterize provenance and tectonic setting, modes of ancient sandstones help up to recognize provenance terranes and reconstruct paleotectonic settings.

  11. The ecological effect of acid conditions and precipitation of hydrous metal oxides in a Rocky Mountain stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McKnight, Diane M.; Feder, G.L.

    1984-01-01

    Periphyton and benthic invertebrates assemblages were studied at the confluence of two Rocky Mountain streams, Deer Creek and the Snake River near Montezuma, Colorado. Upstream from the confluence the Snake River is acidic and enriched in dissolved trace metals, while Deer Creek is a typical Rocky Mountain stream. In the Snake River, downstream from the confluence, the pH increases and hydrous metal oxides precipitate and cover the streambed. The algal and benthic invertebrate communities in the upstream reaches of the Snake River and in Deer Creek were very different. A liverwort, Scapania undulata var. undulata, was abundant in the Snake River, and although periphyton were very sparse, there were as many benthic invertebrates as in Deer Creek. Downstream from the confleunce, the precipitation of hydrous metal oxides greatly decreased the abundance of periphyton and benthic invertebrates. This study shows that in streams metal precipitates covering the streambed may have a more deleterious effect on stream communities than high metal-ion activities. ?? 1984 Dr. W. Junk Publishers.

  12. Redistribution of forest carbon caused by patch blowdowns in subalpine forests of the Southern Rocky Mountains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wohl, Ellen

    2013-12-01

    blowdowns varying in size from 0.1 to 33 ha affected several areas in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA, during the winter of 2011-2012. These blowdowns resulted in substantial redistribution of forest carbon by snapping and uprooting trees, thereby increasing instream wood recruitment, recruitment of dead wood to the forest floor, and exposure of organic soil on uprooted tree plates. Estimates of carbon redistribution at five sites in Rocky Mountain National Park range as high as 308 Mg C/ha in high-severity patches to 106 Mg C/ha in low-severity patches, of which typically 10-30% is soil C and the remainder is downed wood. Masses of carbon redistributed from living to dead biomass at high-severity sites represent a substantial portion of average total biomass in old-growth subalpine forests in the region. Consequently, the potential for increasing frequency and/or severity of blowdowns under a warming climate represents a significant potential source of terrestrial carbon to the atmosphere. The majority of this carbon is in the form of downed wood that becomes a carbon source to the atmosphere, although interactions between downed wood and river processes can locally increase carbon storage in floodplain soil. Predictions of changes in precipitation and wind patterns, and associated changes in wildfire and insect infestation, suggest that blowdowns may become more common in future in the Southern Rockies, but the consequences for carbon dynamics depend on site-specific interactions between blowdowns and other processes such as floodplain storage of organic matter.

  13. Remote continental aerosol characteristics in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levin, Ezra J. T.

    The Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming enjoy some of the cleanest air in the United States, with few local sources of particulate matter or its precursors apart from fire emissions, windblown dust, and biogenic emissions. However, anthropogenic influences are also present with sources as diverse as the populated Front Range, large isolated power plants, agricultural emissions, and more recently emissions from increased oil and gas exploration and production. While long-term data exist on the bulk composition of background fine particulate matter at remote sites in the region, few long-term observations exist of aerosol size distributions, number concentrations and size resolved composition, although these characteristics are closely tied to important water resource issues through the potential aerosol impacts on clouds and precipitation. Recent modeling work suggests sensitivity of precipitation-producing systems to the availability of aerosols capable of serving as cloud condensation nuclei (CCN); however, model inputs for these aerosols are not well constrained due to the scarcity of data. In this work I present aerosol number and volume concentrations, size distributions, chemical composition and hygroscopicity measurements from long-term field campaigns. I also explore the volatility of organic material from biomass burning and the potential impacts on aerosol loading. Relevant aerosol observations were obtained in several long-term field studies: the Rocky Mountain Atmospheric Nitrogen and Sulfur study (RoMANS, Colorado), the Grand Tetons Reactive Nitrogen Deposition Study (GrandTReNDS, Wyoming) and as part of the Bio-hydro-atmosphere interactions of Energy, Aerosols, Carbon, H2O, Organics & Nitrogen project (BEACHON, Colorado). Average number concentrations (0.04 < Dp < 20 mum) measured during the field studies ranged between 1000 -- 2000 cm-3 during the summer months and decreased to 200 -- 500 cm-3 during the winter. These seasonal changes in aerosol

  14. Water quality in alluvial aquifers of the southern Rocky Mountains Physiographic Province, upper Colorado River basin, Colorado, 1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Apodaca, Lori Estelle; Bails, Jeffrey B.

    2000-01-01

    Water-quality samples were collected in the summer of 1997 from 45 sites (43 wells and 2 springs) in selected alluvial aquifers throughout the Southern Rocky Mountains physiographic province of the Upper Colorado River Basin study unit as part of the U.S. Geological Survey National Water-Quality Assessment Program. The objective of this study was to assess the water-quality conditions in selected alluvial aquifers in the Southern Rocky Mountains physiographic province. Alluvial aquifers are productive aquifers in the Southern Rocky Mountains physiographic province and provide for easily developed wells. Water-quality samples were collected from areas where ground water is used predominantly for domestic or public water supply. Twenty-three of the 45 sites sampled were located in or near mining districts. No statistical differences were observed between the mining sites and sites not associated with mining activities for the majority of the constituents analyzed. Water samples were analyzed for major ions, nutrients, dissolved organic carbon, trace elements, radon-222, pesticides, volatile organic compounds, bacteria, and methylene blue active substances. In addition, field parameters consisting of water temperature, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, and alkalinity were measured at all sites.Specific conductance for the ground-water sites ranged from 57 to 6,650 microsiemens per centimeter and had higher concentrations measured in areas such as the northwestern part of the study unit. Dissolved oxygen ranged from 0.1 to 6.0 mg/L (milligrams per liter) and had a median concentration of 2.9 mg/L. The pH field values ranged from 6.1 to 8.1; about 4 percent of the sites (2 of 45) had pH values outside the range of 6.5 to 8.5 and so did not meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency secondary maximum contaminant level standard for drinking water. About 5 percent (2 of 43) of the samples exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended

  15. Dramatic increase in late Cenozoic alpine erosion rates recorded by cave sediment in the southern Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Refsnider, Kurt A.

    2010-09-01

    Apparent increases in sedimentation rates during the past 5 Ma have been inferred at sites around the globe to document increased terrestrial erosion rates, but direct erosion rate records spanning this period are sparse. Modern and paleo-erosion rates for a small alpine catchment (3108 m above sea level) in the Southern Rocky Mountains are measured using the cosmogenic radionuclides (CRNs) 10Be and 26Al in cave sediment, bedrock on the overlying landscape surface, and coarse bedload in a modern fluvial drainage. The unique setting of the Marble Mountain cave system allows the inherited erosion rates to be interpreted as basin-averaged erosion rates, resulting in the first CRN-based erosion rate record from the Rocky Mountains spanning 5 Myr. Pliocene erosion rates, derived from the oldest cave sample (4.9 ± 0.4 Ma), for the landscape above the cave are 4.9 ± 1.1 m Myr - 1 . Mid Pleistocene erosion rates are nearly an order of magnitude higher (33.1 ± 2.7 to 41.3 ± 3.9 m Myr - 1 ), and modern erosion rates are similar; due to the effects of snow shielding, these erosion rate estimates are likely higher than actual rates by 10-15%. The most likely explanation for this dramatic increase in erosion rates, which likely occurred shortly before 1.2 Ma, is an increase in the effectiveness of periglacial weathering processes at high elevations related to a cooler and wetter climate during the Pleistocene, providing support for the hypothesis that changes in late Cenozoic climate are responsible for increased continental erosion.

  16. Quality of ground water and surface water in intermontane basins of the northern Rocky Mountains, Montana and Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, David W.; Dutton, DeAnn M.

    1996-01-01

    The Regional Aquifer-System Analysis (RASA) program is a series of studies by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to analyze regional ground-water systems that compose a major portion of the Nations water supply (Sun, 1986). The Northern Rocky Mountains Intermontane Basins is one of the study regions in this national program. The main objectives of the RASA studies are to: (1) describe the ground-water systems as they exist today, (2) analyze the known changes that have led to the system's present condition, (3) combine results of previous studies in a regional analysis, where possible, and (4) provide means by which effects of future ground-water development can be estimated.The purpose of this study, which began in 1990, was to increase understanding of the hydrogeology of the intermontane basins of the Northern Rocky Mountains area. This report is Chapter C of a three-part series and describes the quality of ground water and surface water in the study area. Chapter A (Tuck and others, 1996) describes the geologic history and generalized hydrogeologic units. Chapter B (Briar and others, 1996) describes the general distribution of ground-water levels in basin-fill deposits.Water-quality data illustrated in this report represent the distribution of concentrations and composition of dissolved solids in ground water and surface water in the intermontane areas. The chemistry of ground and surface water in the intermontane areas is influenced by the chemical and physical nature of the rocks in the basin deposits of the valleys and surrounding bedrock in the mountains.

  17. Tectonics vs. eustasy: Mid Pennsylvanian carbonate-ramp cycles, ancestral Rocky Mountains, north-central New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Wiberg, T.L. . Dept. of Geology); Smith, G.A. . Dept. of Geology)

    1992-01-01

    Detailed stratigraphic and sedimentologic analysis of measured sections within the Madera Limestone in the Sandia Mountains, New Mexico, characterize depositional environments and transgressive-regressive (T-R) cycles across a west-dipping ramp, situated approximately 70 kilometers west of the Pedernal uplift, a tectonically active element of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains. The ramp setting was separated from the Pedernal Uplift by the deep, clastic-filled Estancia Basin. T-R cycles are 2--12 meters thick and consist of asymmetric, shoaling-upward calcareous shales, thick skeletal wackestones, packstones-grainstones, and are capped by subaerial exposure surfaces or terrigenous clastics. The presence of subaerial exposure features upon subtidal carbonates argues for an allogenic control on cycle formation. 15 T-R cycles are interpreted to coincide with 3rd-order eustatic curves of Ross and Ross (1987). Following the convention of most workers, these 3rd-order cycles are herein referred to as 4th-order. No higher-order cycles have been recognized. Cycles exhibit a bundling of 4, 4th-order cycles into larger, asymmetric 3rd-order cycles, similar in pattern to those described by Ross and Ross (1987). Correlation of Madera Limestone cycles with those in other regions indicates that ancestral Rocky Mountains tectonism was less effective than eustasy in controlling the stratigraphy of Middle Pennsylvanian sediments. Using various time scales for the Desmoinesian, cycle periodicities range between 200,000--370,000 years. This average cycle periodicity is similar to other 4th-order cycles reported in the literature for the Pennsylvanian and suggests a Milankovitch orbital forcing mechanism.

  18. Regional and Local Carbon Flux Information from a Continuous Atmospheric CO2 Network in the Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, S. L.; Stephens, B.; Watt, A.

    2007-12-01

    We will present preliminary carbon flux estimates from the Regional Atmospheric Continuous CO2 Network in the Rocky Mountains (Rocky RACCOON). In order to improve our understanding of regional carbon fluxes in the Rocky Mountain West, we have developed and deployed autonomous, inexpensive, and robust CO2 analyzers (AIRCOA) at five sites throughout Colorado and Utah, and plan additional deployments on the Navajo Reservation, Arizona in September 2007 and atop Mount Kenya, Africa in November 2007. We have used a one- dimensional CO2 budget equation, following Bakwin et al. (2004), to estimate regional monthly-mean fluxes from our continuous CO2 concentrations. These comparisons between our measurements and estimates of free- tropospheric background concentrations reveal regional-scale CO2 flux signals that are generally consistent with one another across the Rocky RACCOON sites. We will compare the timing and magnitude of these estimates with expectations from local-scale eddy-correlation flux measurements and bottom-up ecosystem models. We will also interpret the differences in monthly-mean flux signals between our sites in terms of their varying upwind areas of influence and inferred regional variations in CO2 fluxes. Our measurements will be included in future CarbonTracker assimilation runs and other planned model-data fusion efforts. However, questions still exist concerning the ability of these models to accurately represent the various influences on CO2 concentrations in continental boundary layers, and at mountaintop sites in particular. We will present an analysis of the diurnal cycles in CO2 concentration and CO2 variability at our sites, and compare these to various model estimates. Several of our sites near major population centers reflect the influence of industrial CO2 sources in afternoon upslope flows, with CO2 concentration increasing and variable in the mid to late afternoon. Other more remote sites show more consistent and decreasing CO2

  19. Sustainability of vegetation communities grazed by elk in Rocky Mountain National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schoenecker, K.A.; Singer, F.J.; Menezes, R.S.C.; Zeigenfuss, L.C.; Binkley, D.; Singer, F.J.; Zeigenfuss, L.C.

    2002-01-01

    Current management of the worldsa?? grazing lands in either based on changes in plant species composition or on other management evaluation programs that emphasize changes in net aboveground production. Management is based solely on changes in aboveground production has been criticized as too limited in view, because it ignores root production, nitrogen pools, nutrient processes, and the long-term sustainability of the ecosystem. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of elk (Cervus elaphus) grazing on aboveground production, internal nitrogen (N) fluxes, N pools and inputs, and elk nutrient transfers across the landscape in different vegetation types in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Colorado. Nitrogen processes and possibly N pools were significantly reduced in the willow community, but not in the upland grass/shrub community. Nitrogen mineralization rates were lower in grazed versus ungrazed short willow sites (P = 0.07; n = 4 sites), as were nitrate (NO3) pools (P = 0.10), but not in tall willow sites (P > 1.10 n = 4 sites) after 4 years. There was about half the annual N inputs to the soil surface in grazed willow sites (5.79g N/m2/yr = annual herbaceous biomass a?? offtake + litterfall + elk urine and feces) compared to ungrazed sites (9.66 g N/m2/yr = annual herbaceous biomass + litterfall), suggesting elk herbivory and movement led to a net loss of N in the willow vegetation type. Elk substantially reduced the annual growth of willows (Salix spp.) by 98% after 35 years and 66% after 4 years of treatment. Thus, height and canopy and N yield of willows were reduced as well as willow litter biomass (65 g/m2/yr in ungrazed versus 33 g/m2/yr in grazed), and N yield of willows was 64% less in grazed plots. Elk grazing had no significant effect on other soil N pools (NH4) or litter decomposition rates in either of the two willow types, nor on any nitrogen process rates or pools in the upland grass/shrub type (P > 0.10). Nitrogen concentrations

  20. The Natural Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration Potential of Rocky Mountain Soils Derived From Volcanic Bedrock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yager, D. B.; Burchell, A.; Johnson, R. H.

    2008-12-01

    The possible economic and environmental ramifications of climate change have stimulated a range of atmospheric carbon mitigation actions, as well as, studies to understand and quantify potential carbon sinks. However, current carbon management strategies for reducing atmospheric emissions underestimate a critical component. Soils represent between 18 - 30% of the terrestrial carbon sink needed to prevent atmospheric doubling of CO2 by 2050 and a crucial element in mitigating climate change, natural terrestrial sequestration (NTS), is required. NTS includes all naturally occurring, cumulative, biologic and geologic processes that either remove CO2 from the atmosphere or prevent net CO2 emissions through photosynthesis and microbial fixation, soil formation, weathering and adsorption or chemical reactions involving principally alumino- ferromagnesium minerals, volcanic glass and clays. Additionally, NTS supports ecosystem services by improving soil productivity, moisture retention, water purification and reducing erosion. Thus, 'global climate triage' must include the protection of high NTS areas, purposeful enhancement of NTS processes and reclamation of disturbed and mined lands. To better understand NTS, we analyzed soil-cores from Colorado, Rocky Mountain Cordillera sites. North-facing, high-plains to alpine sites in non-wetland environments were selected to represent temperate soils that may be less susceptible to carbon pool declines due to global warming than soils in warmer regions. Undisturbed soils sampled have 2 to 6 times greater total organic soil carbon (TOSC) than global TOSC averages (4 - 5 Wt. %). Forest soils derived from weathering of intermediate to mafic volcanic bedrock have the highest C (34.15 Wt. %), C:N (43) and arylsulfatase (ave. 278, high 461 μg p-nitrophenol/g/h). Intermediate TOSC was identified in soils derived from Cretaceous shale (7.2 Wt. %) and Precambrian, felsic gneiss (6.2 Wt. %). Unreclaimed mine-sites have the lowest C (0

  1. Regional Comparative Unit Cost Studies for Maintenance and Operation of Physical Plants in Universities and Colleges in Central States Region and Rocky Mountain Region.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Association of Physical Plant Administrators, Corvallis, OR.

    Presented in this document are data pertaining to maintenance and operations costs at colleges and universities in the central states region and the Rocky Mountain region. The major accounts included in the cost analysis are: (1) physical plant administration, (2) building maintenance, (3) custodial services, (4) utilities, (5) landscape and…

  2. FIELD ACTIVITIES AND PRELIMINARY RESULTS FROM THE INVESTIGATION OF WESTERN AIRBORNE CONTAMINANTS IN TWO HIGH ELEVATION WATERSHEDS OF ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

    EPA Science Inventory

    The National Park Service initiated the Western Airborne Contaminants Assessment Project (WACAP) in 2002 to determine if airborne contaminants from long-range transport and/or regional sources are having an impact on remote western ecosystems, including AK. Rocky Mountain Nation...

  3. College-Bound Seniors, 1979. [College Board ATP Summary Reports for: National, New England, Middle States, Southern, Midwestern, Southwestern, Rocky Mountain, and Western Regions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    College Entrance Examination Board, Princeton, NJ.

    The Admissions Testing Program (ATP) is a service of the College Board. The 1979 ATP summary reports on college-bound seniors were produced for each region of the United States, including New England, the Middle, Southern, Midwestern, Southwestern, Rocky Mountain, and Western States. The national and each regional report are in separate booklets.…

  4. Detection of PrP**CWD in retinal tissues in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) with CWD

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Introduction. Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, has been reported in captive and free-ranging mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni). An abnormal isoform of a prion p...

  5. A global model simulation for 3-D radiative transfer impact on surface hydrology over Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Lee, W. -L.; Gu, Y.; Liou, K. N.; Leung, L. R.; Hsu, H. -H.

    2014-12-15

    We investigate 3-D mountain effects on solar flux distributions and their impact on surface hydrology over the Western United States, specifically the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Nevada using CCSM4 (CAM4/CLM4) global model with a 0.23° × 0.31° resolution for simulations over 6 years. In 3-D radiative transfer parameterization, we have updated surface topography data from a resolution of 1 km to 90 m to improve parameterization accuracy. In addition, we have also modified the upward-flux deviation [3-D - PP (plane-parallel)] adjustment to ensure that energy balance at the surface is conserved in global climate simulations based on 3-D radiation parameterization.more » We show that deviations of the net surface fluxes are not only affected by 3-D mountains, but also influenced by feedbacks of cloud and snow in association with the long-term simulations. Deviations in sensible heat and surface temperature generally follow the patterns of net surface solar flux. The monthly snow water equivalent (SWE) deviations show an increase in lower elevations due to reduced snowmelt, leading to a reduction in cumulative runoff. Over higher elevation areas, negative SWE deviations are found because of increased solar radiation available at the surface. Simulated precipitation increases for lower elevations, while decreases for higher elevations with a minimum in April. Liquid runoff significantly decreases in higher elevations after April due to reduced SWE and precipitation.« less

  6. Lake-specific responses to elevated atmospheric nitrogen deposition in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nydick, K.R.; LaFrancois, B.M.; Baron, J.S.; Johnson, B.M.

    2003-01-01

    We explored variability among subalpine lakes sharing very similar climate and atmospheric conditions, but differing in watershed characteristics, hydrology, and food web structure. Special attention was given to nitrogen (N) dynamics because the study area receives some of the highest levels of atmospheric N deposition in the Rocky Mountains. We asked if the effect of regional N deposition would be manifested uniformly among neighboring lakes both in terms of ambient conditions and responses to greater nutrient inputs. Catchment vegetation appeared to be the main determinant of ambient nitrate (NO3), phosphate (PO4), and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations, although in-lake differences in recycling produced variable and contrasting NH4 levels. Phytoplankton chlorophyll a temporarily responded to early season NO3 peaks in the lakes with rocky watersheds, but chlorophyll means over the ice-free season were remarkably similar among lakes despite differences in both nutrient supply and zooplankton grazing. In most cases, phosphorus was limiting to phytoplankton growth, although the importance of N deficiencies was greater in lakes with forested watersheds and fringing wetlands.

  7. 1999 resource assessment of selected Tertiary coal beds and zones in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    1999-01-01

    The USGS has assessed resources of selected coal of the Fort Union Formation and equivalent units in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Great Plains region. The assessment focused on coal in the Powder River, Williston, Hanna-Carbon, and Greater Green River basins most likely to be utilized in the next few decades. In other basins in the region Tertiary coal resources are summarized but not assessed. Disc 1, in PDF files, includes results of the assessment and chapters on coal geology, quantity and quality, and land use and ownership. Disc 2 provides GIS files for land use and ownership maps and geologic maps, and basic GIS data for the assessed basins. ArcView shapefiles, PDF files for cross sections and TIFF files are included along with ArcView Datapublisher software for Windows-based computer systems.

  8. New lipid-producing, cold-tolerant yellow-green alga isolated from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

    PubMed

    Nelson, David R; Mengistu, Sinafik; Ranum, Paul; Celio, Gail; Mashek, Mara; Mashek, Douglas; Lefebvre, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    A new strain of yellow-green algae (Xanthophyceae, Heterokonta), tentatively named Heterococcus sp. DN1 (UTEX accession number UTEX ZZ885), was discovered among snow fields in the Rocky Mountains. Axenic cultures of H. sp. DN1 were isolated and their cellular morphology, growth, and composition of lipids were characterized. H. sp. DN1 was found to grow at temperatures approaching freezing to accumulate large intracellular stores of lipids. H. sp. DN1 produces the highest quantity of lipids when grown undisturbed with high light in low temperatures. Of particular interest was the accumulation of eicosapentaenoic acid, known to be important for human nutrition, and palmitoleic acid, known to improve biodiesel feedstock properties. PMID:23754623

  9. New lipid-producing, cold-tolerant yellow-green alga isolated from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

    PubMed

    Nelson, David R; Mengistu, Sinafik; Ranum, Paul; Celio, Gail; Mashek, Mara; Mashek, Douglas; Lefebvre, Paul A

    2013-01-01

    A new strain of yellow-green algae (Xanthophyceae, Heterokonta), tentatively named Heterococcus sp. DN1 (UTEX accession number UTEX ZZ885), was discovered among snow fields in the Rocky Mountains. Axenic cultures of H. sp. DN1 were isolated and their cellular morphology, growth, and composition of lipids were characterized. H. sp. DN1 was found to grow at temperatures approaching freezing to accumulate large intracellular stores of lipids. H. sp. DN1 produces the highest quantity of lipids when grown undisturbed with high light in low temperatures. Of particular interest was the accumulation of eicosapentaenoic acid, known to be important for human nutrition, and palmitoleic acid, known to improve biodiesel feedstock properties.

  10. Spring stopover food resources and land use patterns of Rocky Mountain population Sandhill Carnes in the San Luis Valley, Colorado

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Laubhan, M.K.; Gammonley, J.H.; Dolton, D.D.

    2001-01-01

    Virtually the entire Rocky Mountain population (RMP) of greater sandhill cranes uses the San Luis Valley (SLV) of Colorado as a spring stopover area. RMP cranes in the SLV depend on unharvested grain provided on Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, and on waste grain in privately owned fields. In recent years, however, fall tillage and irrigation of grain fields has become increasingly widespread in the SLV. These changes in farming practices have resulted in an unmeasured reduction in waste grain availability for RMP cranes during spring and have prompted concern over whether current or projected foods are adequate to meet spring demands of the target population size of 18,000-20,000 RMP cranesa?|

  11. Genetic structure in the Anaxyrus boreas species group (anura, Bufonidae): an evaluation of the Southern Rocky Mountain population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Switzer, John F.; Johnson, Robin L.; Lubinski, Barbara A.; King, Tim L.

    2009-01-01

    The Anaxyrus boreas species group is comprised of four species endemic to the western United States: A. boreas, A. canorus, A. exsul, and A. nelsoni. Disjunct populations of the widespread western toad Anaxyrus boreas from Colorado and southern Wyoming, the southern rocky mountain population (SRMP), were previously candidates for listing under the United States Endangered Species Act (ESA) as a distinct population segment (DPS), but were removed due to a lack of significant genetic differentiation in preliminary studies. The purpose of this study was to conduct phylogeographic and population genetic analyses of A. boreas and three related species using mitochondrial DNA sequence data and nuclear microsatellite genotype data. The study is specifically focused on testing the evolutionary significance of the SRMP.

  12. Elevation-dependent temperature trends in the Rocky Mountain Front Range: changes over a 56- and 20-year record.

    PubMed

    McGuire, Chris R; Nufio, César R; Bowers, M Deane; Guralnick, Robert P

    2012-01-01

    Determining the magnitude of climate change patterns across elevational gradients is essential for an improved understanding of broader climate change patterns and for predicting hydrologic and ecosystem changes. We present temperature trends from five long-term weather stations along a 2077-meter elevational transect in the Rocky Mountain Front Range of Colorado, USA. These trends were measured over two time periods: a full 56-year record (1953-2008) and a shorter 20-year (1989-2008) record representing a period of widely reported accelerating change. The rate of change of biological indicators, season length and accumulated growing-degree days, were also measured over the 56 and 20-year records. Finally, we compared how well interpolated Parameter-elevation Regression on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) datasets match the quality controlled and weather data from each station. Our results show that warming signals were strongest at mid-elevations over both temporal scales. Over the 56-year record, most sites show warming occurring largely through increases in maximum temperatures, while the 20-year record documents warming associated with increases in maximum temperatures at lower elevations and increases in minimum temperatures at higher elevations. Recent decades have also shown a shift from warming during springtime to warming in July and November. Warming along the gradient has contributed to increases in growing-degree days, although to differing degrees, over both temporal scales. However, the length of the growing season has remained unchanged. Finally, the actual and the PRISM interpolated yearly rates rarely showed strong correlations and suggest different warming and cooling trends at most sites. Interpretation of climate trends and their seasonal biases in the Rocky Mountain Front Range are dependent on both elevation and the temporal scale of analysis. Given mismatches between interpolated data and the directly measured station data, we caution against

  13. Comparison of snowpack and winter wet-deposition chemistry in the Rocky Mountains, USA: Implications for winter dry deposition

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clow, D.W.; Ingersoll, G.P.; Mast, M.A.; Turk, J.T.; Campbell, D.H.

    2002-01-01

    Depth-integrated snowpack chemistry was measured just prior to maximum snowpack depth during the winters of 1992-1999 at 12 sites co-located with National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trend Network (NADP/NTN) sites in the central and southern Rocky Mountains, USA. Winter volume-weighted mean wet-deposition concentrations were calculated for the NADP/NTN sites, and the data were compared to snowpack concentrations using the paired t-test and the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. No statistically significant differences were indicated in concentrations of SO42- or NO3- (p>0.1). Small, but statistically significant differences (p???0.03) were indicated for all other solutes analyzed. Differences were largest for Ca2+ concentrations, which on average were 2.3??eql-1 (43%) higher in the snowpack than in winter NADP/NTN samples. Eolian carbonate dust appeared to influence snowpack chemistry through both wet and dry deposition, and the effect increased from north to south. Dry deposition of eolian carbonates was estimated to have neutralized an average of 6.9??eql-1 and a maximum of 12??eql-1 of snowpack acidity at the southernmost sites. The good agreement between snowpack and winter NADP/NTN SO42- and NO3- concentrations indicates that for those solutes the two data sets can be combined to increase data density in high-elevation areas, where few NADP/NTN sites exist. This combination of data sets will allow for better estimates of atmospheric deposition of SO42- and NO3- across the Rocky Mountain region.

  14. Regional and Local Carbon Flux Information from a Continuous Atmospheric CO2 Network in the Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, S.; Stephens, B.; Watt, A.; Schimel, D.; Aulenbach, S.

    2006-12-01

    We have established a Regional Atmospheric Continuous CO2 Network in the Rocky Mountains (Rocky RACCOON) to improve our understanding of regional carbon fluxes and to fill key gaps in the North American Carbon Program (NACP). There are strong scientific and societal motivations for determining CO2 exchanges on regional scales. Mountain forests in particular represent a significant potential net CO2 sink in the U.S. and are highly sensitive to land-use practices and climate change. We have developed a new autonomous, inexpensive, and robust CO2 analysis system (AIRCOA) and have deployed these systems at 4 sites: Niwot Ridge (NWR), near Ward, Colorado (August, 2005); Storm Peak Laboratory (SPL) near Steamboat Springs, Colorado (September, 2005); Fraser Experimental Forest (FEF), near Fraser Colorado (August, 2005); and Hidden Peak (HDP), near Snowbird, Utah (April, 2006). We will deploy a fifth site in Northeastern Arizona in September 2006. Measurements of surveillance gas cylinders, and an ongoing intercomparison with flask measurements made by NOAA GMD at Niwot Ridge, show measurement biases of 0.2 ppm or better. Preliminary analysis of CO2 variability at our sites provides valuable information on the usefulness of mountaintop observations in data-assimilation and inverse modeling. Comparisons between our sites and to background sites can give direct regional-scale flux estimates, and analysis of the nocturnal CO2 build-ups at FEF provides unique insights into valley-scale respiration rates. We will present results of these preliminary analyses and plans for future integration with the NACP effort.

  15. Back-trajectory-based source apportionment of airborne sulfur and nitrogen concentrations at Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gebhart, Kristi A.; Schichtel, Bret A.; Malm, William C.; Barna, Michael G.; Rodriguez, Marco A.; Collett, Jeffrey L., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    The Rocky Mountain Atmospheric Nitrogen and Sulfur Study (RoMANS), conducted during the spring and summer of 2006, was designed to assess the sources of nitrogen and sulfur species that contribute to wet and dry deposition and visibility impairment at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Colorado. Several source apportionment methods were utilized for RoMANS, including the Trajectory Mass Balance (TrMB) Model, a receptor-based method in which the hourly measured concentrations are the dependent variables and the residence times of back trajectories in several source regions are the independent variables. The regression coefficients are estimates of the mean emissions, dispersion, chemical transformation, and deposition between the source areas and the receptors. For RoMANS, a new ensemble technique was employed in which input parameters were varied to explore the range, variability, and model sensitivity of source attribution results and statistical measures of model fit over thousands of trials for each set of concentration measurements. Results showed that carefully chosen source regions dramatically improved the ability of TrMB to reproduce temporal patterns in the measured concentrations, and source attribution results were also very sensitive to source region choices. Conversely, attributions were relatively insensitive to trajectory start height, trajectory length, minimum endpoints per source area, and maximum endpoint height, as long as the trajectories were long enough to reach contributing source areas and were not overly restricted in height or horizontal location. Source attribution results estimated that more than half the ammonia and 30-45% of sulfur dioxide and other nitrogen-containing species at the RoMANS core site were from sources within the state of Colorado. Approximately a quarter to a third of the sulfate was from within Colorado.

  16. Molecular detection of vertebrates in stream water: A demonstration using rocky mountain tailed frogs and Idaho giant salamanders

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goldberg, C.S.; Pilliod, D.S.; Arkle, R.S.; Waits, L.P.

    2011-01-01

    Stream ecosystems harbor many secretive and imperiled species, and studies of vertebrates in these systems face the challenges of relatively low detection rates and high costs. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has recently been confirmed as a sensitive and efficient tool for documenting aquatic vertebrates in wetlands and in a large river and canal system. However, it was unclear whether this tool could be used to detect low-density vertebrates in fast-moving streams where shed cells may travel rapidly away from their source. To evaluate the potential utility of eDNA techniques in stream systems, we designed targeted primers to amplify a short, species-specific DNA fragment for two secretive stream amphibian species in the northwestern region of the United States (Rocky Mountain tailed frogs, Ascaphus montanus, and Idaho giant salamanders, Dicamptodon aterrimus). We tested three DNA extraction and five PCR protocols to determine whether we could detect eDNA of these species in filtered water samples from five streams with varying densities of these species in central Idaho, USA. We successfully amplified and sequenced the targeted DNA regions for both species from stream water filter samples. We detected Idaho giant salamanders in all samples and Rocky Mountain tailed frogs in four of five streams and found some indication that these species are more difficult to detect using eDNA in early spring than in early fall. While the sensitivity of this method across taxa remains to be determined, the use of eDNA could revolutionize surveys for rare and invasive stream species. With this study, the utility of eDNA techniques for detecting aquatic vertebrates has been demonstrated across the majority of freshwater systems, setting the stage for an innovative transformation in approaches for aquatic research.

  17. Interactive effects of winter weather variation and nitrogen deposition on alpine moist meadow ecosystem processes in the Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churchill, A. C.

    2015-12-01

    Alpine climate change in the Rocky Mountains has been linked to changes in precipitation patterns between summer and winter periods, and in total amounts of accumulation over the year. Annual variation in alpine snowpack can have important effects on concentrations and amounts of nitrogen (N) deposition entering the alpine from the atmosphere, as between one third to one half of N deposition occurs in association with precipitation, and high elevations primarily receive precipitation in the form of winter snow. Variation in snowpack further affects the amount and timing of water available to vegetation during the growing season, which can have large implications for alpine ecosystem responses in association with N deposition. To examine the potential interactive effects of variation in winter weather and N deposition, we established five sites along an ambient gradient of N deposition in the Rocky Mountains and collected measurements of N cycling between 2012 and 2014. This time frame included a year with low snow pack (2012), a year with average snow pack (2013), and a year with high snow pack (2014) among sites in the study, and allowed for us to examine candidate dynamic climatic drivers that may create variation in ecosystem processes associated with N. We found that soil water nitrate concentrations following snow melt were highly different for 4 sites along the N deposition gradient between 2013 and 2014. Growing season resin extractable N, however, was unaffected by inter-annual changes in winter precipitation. One possible explanation for no change in resin N may be associated with high inter-annual variation in plant community composition. There were significant differences in the species composition between 2012 and 2013, as well as shifts in the concentrations of N found in dominant plant species tissue. Our results suggest that plants will be important controls on biogeochemical responses of alpine moist meadows under variation in winter precipitation.

  18. How grazing and soil quality affect native and exotic plant diversity in Rocky Mountain grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stohlgren, T.J.; Schell, L.D.; Vanden, Heuvel B.

    1999-01-01

    (adjacent and distant 1000-m2 plots) in the same vegetation type overlapped just 48.6 ?? 3.6%, and the ungrazed plots and distant grazed plots overlapped 49.4 ?? 3.6%. Differences in vegetation and soils between grazed and ungrazed sites were minimal in most cases, but soil characteristics and elevation were strongly correlated with native and exotic plant diversity in the study region. For the 78 1000-m2 plots, 59.4% of the variance in total species richness was explained by percentage of silt (coefficient = 0.647, t = 5.107, P < 0.001), elevation (coefficient = 0.012, t = 5.084, P < 0.001), and total foliar cover (coefficient = 0.110, t = 2.104, P < 0.039). Only 12.8% of the variance in exotic species cover (log10cover) was explained by percentage of clay (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.878, P < 0.005), native species richness (coefficient = -0.011, t = -2.156, P < 0.034), and log10N (coefficient = 2.827, t = 1.860, P < 0.067). Native species cover and exotic species richness and frequency were also significantly positively correlated with percentage of soil N at the 1000-m2 plot scale. Our research led to five broad generalizations about current levels of grazing in these Rocky Mountain grasslands: (1) grazing probably has little effect on native species richness at landscape scales; (2) grazing probably has little effect on the accelerated spread of most exotic plant species at landscape scales; (3) grazing affects local plant species and life-form composition and cover, but spatial variation is considerable; (4) soil characteristics, climate, and disturbances may have a greater effect on plant species diversity than do current levels of grazing; and (5) few plant species show consistent, directional responses to grazing or cessation of grazing.

  19. Microhabitat differences impact phylogeographic concordance of codistributed species: genomic evidence in montane sedges (Carex L.) from the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Massatti, Rob; Knowles, L Lacey

    2014-10-01

    By selecting codistributed, closely related montane sedges from the Rocky Mountains that are similar in virtually all respects but one-their microhabitat affinities-we test predictions about how patterns of genetic variation are expected to differ between Carex nova, an inhabitant of wetlands, and Carex chalciolepis, an inhabitant of drier meadows, slopes, and ridges. Although contemporary populations of the taxa are similarly isolated, the distribution of glacial moraines suggests that their past population connectedness would have differed. Sampling of codistributed population pairs from different mountain ranges combined with the resolution provided by over 24,000 single nucleotide polymorphism loci supports microhabitat-mediated differences in the sedges' patterns of genetic variation that are consistent with their predicted differences in the degree of isolation of ancestral source populations. Our results highlight how microhabitat preferences may interact with glaciations to produce fundamental differences in the past distributions of presently codistributed species. We discuss the implications of these findings for generalizing the impacts of climate-induced distributional shifts for communities, as well as for the prospects of gaining insights about species-specific deterministic processes, not just deterministic community-level responses, from comparative phylogeographic study.

  20. Microhabitat differences impact phylogeographic concordance of codistributed species: genomic evidence in montane sedges (Carex L.) from the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Massatti, Rob; Knowles, L Lacey

    2014-10-01

    By selecting codistributed, closely related montane sedges from the Rocky Mountains that are similar in virtually all respects but one-their microhabitat affinities-we test predictions about how patterns of genetic variation are expected to differ between Carex nova, an inhabitant of wetlands, and Carex chalciolepis, an inhabitant of drier meadows, slopes, and ridges. Although contemporary populations of the taxa are similarly isolated, the distribution of glacial moraines suggests that their past population connectedness would have differed. Sampling of codistributed population pairs from different mountain ranges combined with the resolution provided by over 24,000 single nucleotide polymorphism loci supports microhabitat-mediated differences in the sedges' patterns of genetic variation that are consistent with their predicted differences in the degree of isolation of ancestral source populations. Our results highlight how microhabitat preferences may interact with glaciations to produce fundamental differences in the past distributions of presently codistributed species. We discuss the implications of these findings for generalizing the impacts of climate-induced distributional shifts for communities, as well as for the prospects of gaining insights about species-specific deterministic processes, not just deterministic community-level responses, from comparative phylogeographic study. PMID:25041894

  1. Beaver dams and overbank floods influence groundwater-surface water interactions of a Rocky Mountain riparian area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Westbrook, C.J.; Cooper, D.J.; Baker, B.W.

    2006-01-01

    Overbank flooding is recognized by hydrologists as a key process that drives hydrogeomorphic and ecological dynamics in mountain valleys. Beaver create dams that some ecologists have assumed may also drive riparian hydrologic processes, but empirical evidence is lacking. We examined the influence of two in-channel beaver dams and a 10 year flood event on surface inundation, groundwater levels, and flow patterns in a broad alluvial valley during the summers of 2002-2005. We studied a 1.5 km reach of the fourth-order Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP), Colorado, USA. The beaver dams and ponds greatly enhanced the depth, extent, and duration of, inundation associated with floods; they also elevate the water table during both high and low flows. Unlike previous studies we found the main effects of beaver on hydrologic processes occurred downstream of the dam rather than being confined to the near-pond area. Beaver dams on the Colorado River caused river water to move around them as surface runoff and groundwater seepage during both high- and low-flow periods. The beaver dams attenuated the expected water table decline in the drier summer months for 9 and 12 ha of the 58 ha study area. Thus we provide empirical evidence that beaver can influence hydrologic processes during the peak flow and low-flow periods on some streams, suggesting that beaver can create and maintain hydrologic regimes suitable for the formation and persistence of wetlands. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  2. Estimates of evapotranspiration or effective moisture in Rocky Mountain watersheds from chloride ion concentrations in stream baseflow

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Claassen, H.C.; Halm, D.R.

    1996-01-01

    The principle that atmospherically derived chloride is a conservative tracer in many watersheds can be used to calculate average annual evapotranspiration or effective moisture if estimates are available for (1) the average annual chloride input to the watershed, (2) the average annual precipitation, and (3) the baseflow chloride concentration are known. The method assumes that no long-term storage of chloride occurs and there is no lithologic source of chloride, or that such source releases only insignificant amounts to groundwater compared to the atmospheric source. National Atmospheric Deposition Program estimates of chloride wet deposition, watershed precipitation records or hyetal map estimates of precipitation input to watersheds, and a single sample of chloride concentration in base flow were used to calculate evapotranspiration for diverse Rocky Mountain watersheds. This estimate was compared to evapotranspiration determined by subtracting mean discharge from precipitation. Of the 19 watersheds used to test the method, 13 agreed within 10%, 2 appear to have not met the lithology criterion, 1 appears to have not met the flow criterion, and 1 neither criterion. The method's greatest strength is the minimal data requirements and its greatest weakness is that for some watersheds it may be difficult to obtain reliable estimates of precipitation and chloride deposition. If reliable discharge data are available, the method may be used to estimate watershed-average precipitation; this is especially useful in high-altitude mountain watersheds where little or no precipitation data are available.

  3. Assessing accuracy of a probabilistic model for very large fire in the Rocky Mountains: A High Park Fire case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavros, E.; Abatzoglou, J. T.; Larkin, N.; McKenzie, D.; Steel, A.

    2012-12-01

    Across the western United States, the largest wildfires account for a major proportion of the area burned and substantially affect mountain forests and their associated ecosystem services, among which is pristine air quality. These fires commandeer national attention and significant fire suppression resources. Despite efforts to understand the influence of fuel loading, climate, and weather on annual area burned, few studies have focused on understanding what abiotic factors enable and drive the very largest wildfires. We investigated the correlation between both antecedent climate and in-situ biophysical variables and very large (>20,000 ha) fires in the western United States from 1984 to 2009. We built logistic regression models, at the spatial scale of the national Geographic Area Coordination Centers (GACCs), to estimate the probability that a given day is conducive to a very large wildfire. Models vary in accuracy and in which variables are the best predictors. In a case study of the conditions of the High Park Fire, neighboring Fort Collins, Colorado, occurring in early summer 2012, we evaluate the predictive accuracy of the Rocky Mountain model.

  4. Rapid response of alpine timberline vegetation to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Reasoner, M.A.; Jodry, M.A.

    2000-01-01

    Paleobotanical records from two high-altitude (>3,300 m) sites in Colorado show a clear and immediate response to the Younger Dryas climate oscillation. The Black Mountain Lake and Sky Pond records indicate that alpine timberline migrated upslope to near-modern elevations during the late Bolling-Allerod (13.6--12.9 ka). Subsequent declines in arboreal pollen percentages and accumulation rates during the Younger Dryas interval (12.9--11.7 ka) reflect a downslope displacement of the alpine timberline ecotone of 60--120 m in elevation. This change translates to a cooling of summer temperature by {approximately}0.4--0.9 C and is consistent with proposed Younger Dryas advances of alpine glaciers in the Rocky Mountains to positions close to Little Ice Age maxima. Alpine timberline readvanced upslope to elevations above both sites between 11.7 and 11.4 ka. The concomitant response of temperature-sensitive alpine timberline vegetation in Colorado and late-glacial changes in North Atlantic thermohaline circulating implicates a rapid, widespread atmospheric transmission of the Younger Dryas climate oscillation.

  5. Topography, the geoid, and compensation mechanisms for the southern Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coblentz, D.; Chase, C. G.; Karlstrom, K. E.; van Wijk, J.

    2011-04-01

    The southern Rockies of Colorado are anomalously high (elevations greater than 2800 m), topographically rough (implying active uplift), and underlain by significant low-velocity anomalies in the upper mantle that suggest an intimate relationship between mantle geodynamic processes and the surface topography. The region is in isostatic equilibrium (i.e., near-zero free-air gravity anomaly); however, the poor correlation between the high topography and crustal thickness makes the application of simple compensation models (e.g., pure Heiskanen or Pratt-Hayford) problematic. Knowledge of how the current topography of the Rockies is isostatically compensated could provide constraints on the relative role of sublithospheric buoyancy versus lithospheric support. Here we evaluate the geoid and its relationship to the topography (using the geoid-to-elevation ratio (GTR) in the spatial domain and the admittance in the frequency domain) to constrain the mechanism of compensation. We separate the upper mantle geoid anomalies from those with deeper sources through the use of spherical harmonic filtering of the EGM2008 geoid. We exploit the fact that at wavelengths greater than the flexural wavelength where features are isostatically compensated, the geoid/topography ratio can be used to estimate the depth of compensation and the elastic thickness of the lithosphere. The results presented below indicate that the main tectonic provinces of the western United States have moderate geoid/topography ratios between 3.5 and 5.5 m/km (˜3.9 for the southern Rockies, ˜4.25 for the Colorado Plateau, and ˜5.2 for the Northern Basin and Range) suggesting shallow levels of isostatic compensation. In terms of the elastic thickness of the lithosphere, our results indicate an elastic thickness of less than 20 km. These value support the notion that a major portion of the buoyancy that has driven uplift resides at depths less than 100 km and that upper mantle processes such as small

  6. Prevalence of antibodies to canine parvovirus and distemper virus in wolves in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Brynn; Hebblewhite, Mark; Ezenwa, Vanessa; Shury, Todd; Merrill, Evelyn H; Paquet, Paul C; Schmiegelow, Fiona; Seip, Dale; Skinner, Geoff; Webb, Nathan

    2012-01-01

    Wild carnivores are often exposed to diseases via contact with peridomestic host species that travel through the wildland-urban interfaces. To determine the antibody prevalences and relationships to human activity for two common canid pathogens, we sampled 99 wolves (Canis lupus) from 2000 to 2008 for antibodies to canine parvovirus (CPV) and canine distemper virus (CDV) in Banff and Jasper National Parks and surrounding areas of the Canadian Rockies. This population was the source for wolves reintroduced into the Northern Rockies of the US. Of 99 wolves sampled, 94 had detectable antibody to CPV (95%), 24 were antibody-positive for CDV (24%), and 24 had antibodies to both pathogens (24%). We tested whether antibody prevalences for CPV and CDV were higher closer to human activity (roads, town sites, First Nation reserves) and as a function of sex and age class. Wolves ≥2 yr old were more likely to be have antibodies to CPV. For CDV, male wolves, wolves ≥2 yr, and those closer to First Nation reserves were more likely to have antibodies. Overall, however, we found minimal support for human influence on antibody prevalence for CDV and CPV. The similarity between our antibody prevalence results and results from recent studies in Yellowstone National Park suggests that at least in the case of CDV, and perhaps CPV, these could be important pathogens with potential effects on wolf populations.

  7. Prevalence of antibodies to canine parvovirus and distemper virus in wolves in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Brynn; Hebblewhite, Mark; Ezenwa, Vanessa; Shury, Todd; Merrill, Evelyn H; Paquet, Paul C; Schmiegelow, Fiona; Seip, Dale; Skinner, Geoff; Webb, Nathan

    2012-01-01

    Wild carnivores are often exposed to diseases via contact with peridomestic host species that travel through the wildland-urban interfaces. To determine the antibody prevalences and relationships to human activity for two common canid pathogens, we sampled 99 wolves (Canis lupus) from 2000 to 2008 for antibodies to canine parvovirus (CPV) and canine distemper virus (CDV) in Banff and Jasper National Parks and surrounding areas of the Canadian Rockies. This population was the source for wolves reintroduced into the Northern Rockies of the US. Of 99 wolves sampled, 94 had detectable antibody to CPV (95%), 24 were antibody-positive for CDV (24%), and 24 had antibodies to both pathogens (24%). We tested whether antibody prevalences for CPV and CDV were higher closer to human activity (roads, town sites, First Nation reserves) and as a function of sex and age class. Wolves ≥2 yr old were more likely to be have antibodies to CPV. For CDV, male wolves, wolves ≥2 yr, and those closer to First Nation reserves were more likely to have antibodies. Overall, however, we found minimal support for human influence on antibody prevalence for CDV and CPV. The similarity between our antibody prevalence results and results from recent studies in Yellowstone National Park suggests that at least in the case of CDV, and perhaps CPV, these could be important pathogens with potential effects on wolf populations. PMID:22247375

  8. Impacts of insect-related forest mortality on hydrologic partitioning and forest productivity in the Southern Rocky Mountains, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molotch, N. P.

    2014-12-01

    Recent large-scale changes in forest cover over Western North America associated with insect-related forest mortality may have widespread impacts on water availability. These changes have potentially varied impacts on water availability as forest mortality influences rates of snow accumulation, snowmelt, and evapotranspiration. These changes may significantly alter runoff production and gross primary productivity in mountain forests. Analysis of remotely sensed vegetation greenness data indicate strong forest and understory growth dependencies associated with snow accumulation and snowmelt with peak snow water equivalent explaining 40-50% of inter-annual greenness variability in the Rocky Mountains. Examples of these dependencies will be presented based on the 2012 drought in the Southwestern US whereby near record low snow accumulation and record high potential evapotranspiration have resulted in record low forest greening as evident in the 30+ year satellite record. Forest response to aridity in 2012 was exacerbated by forest disturbance with greenness anomalies 90% greater in magnitude in Bark Beetle and Spruce Budworm affected areas versus undisturbed areas and 182% greater in magnitude in areas impacted by fire. Growing season length was inversely proportional to peak greenness with record high Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) values in April (14% above average) corresponding with record low NDVI values in July (7% below average). Gross primary productivity (GPP) estimates from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and from the Niwot Ridge, Colorado Ameriflux tower indicate record high April GPP (30% and 90% above average for MODIS and the tower, respectively) correspodning with record low July GPP (19% and 30% below average, respectively). Differences in these energy, water, ecosystem relationships among difference distrurbance regimes indicate that the sensitivity of ecosystems to changes in climate is heavily dependent on

  9. A global model simulation for 3-D radiative transfer impact on surface hydrology over the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Lee, W.-L.; Gu, Y.; Liou, K. N.; Leung, L. R.; Hsu, H.-H.

    2015-05-19

    We investigate 3-D mountain effects on solar flux distributions and their impact on surface hydrology over the western United States, specifically the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada, using the global CCSM4 (Community Climate System Model version 4; Community Atmosphere Model/Community Land Model – CAM4/CLM4) with a 0.23° × 0.31° resolution for simulations over 6 years. In a 3-D radiative transfer parameterization, we have updated surface topography data from a resolution of 1 km to 90 m to improve parameterization accuracy. In addition, we have also modified the upward-flux deviation (3-D–PP (plane-parallel)) adjustment to ensure that the energy balance atmore » the surface is conserved in global climate simulations based on 3-D radiation parameterization. We show that deviations in the net surface fluxes are not only affected by 3-D mountains but also influenced by feedbacks of cloud and snow in association with the long-term simulations. Deviations in sensible heat and surface temperature generally follow the patterns of net surface solar flux. The monthly snow water equivalent (SWE) deviations show an increase in lower elevations due to reduced snowmelt, leading to a reduction in cumulative runoff. Over higher-elevation areas, negative SWE deviations are found because of increased solar radiation available at the surface. Simulated precipitation increases for lower elevations, while it decreases for higher elevations, with a minimum in April. Liquid runoff significantly decreases at higher elevations after April due to reduced SWE and precipitation.« less

  10. Combustion efficiency and emission factors for wildfire-season fires in mixed conifer forests of the northern Rocky Mountains, US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urbanski, S. P.

    2013-07-01

    In the US, wildfires and prescribed burning present significant challenges to air regulatory agencies attempting to achieve and maintain compliance with air quality regulations. Fire emission factors (EF) are essential input for the emission models used to develop wildland fire emission inventories. Most previous studies quantifying wildland fire EF of temperate ecosystems have focused on emissions from prescribed burning conducted outside of the wildfire season. Little information is available on EF for wildfires in temperate forests of the conterminous US. The goal of this work is to provide information on emissions from wildfire-season forest fires in the northern Rocky Mountains, US. In August 2011, we deployed airborne chemistry instruments and sampled emissions over eight days from three wildfires and a prescribed fire that occurred in mixed conifer forests of the northern Rocky Mountains. We measured the combustion efficiency, quantified as the modified combustion efficiency (MCE), and EF for CO2, CO, and CH4. Our study average values for MCE, EFCO2, EFCO, and EFCH4 were 0.883, 1596 g kg-1, 135 g kg-1, 7.30 g kg-1, respectively. Compared with previous field studies of prescribed fires in temperate forests, the fires sampled in our study had significantly lower MCE and EFCO2 and significantly higher EFCO and EFCH4. The fires sampled in this study burned in areas reported to have moderate to heavy components of standing dead trees and down dead wood due to insect activity and previous fire, but fuel consumption data was not available. However, an analysis of MCE and fuel consumption data from 18 prescribed fires reported in the literature indicates that the availability of coarse fuels and conditions favorable for the combustion of these fuels favors low MCE fires. This analysis suggests that fuel composition was an important factor contributing to the low MCE of the fires measured in this study. This study only measured EF for CO2, CO, and CH4; however, we

  11. A WRF simulation of the impact of 3-D radiative transfer on surface hydrology over the Rocky-Sierra Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liou, K. N.; Gu, Y.; Leung, L. R.; Lee, W. L.; Fovell, R. G.

    2013-07-01

    Essentially all modern climate models utilize a plane-parallel (PP) radiative transfer approach in physics parameterizations; however, the potential errors that arise from neglecting three-dimensional (3-D) interactions between radiation and mountains/snow on climate simulations have not been studied and quantified. This paper is a continuation of our efforts to investigate 3-D mountains/snow effects on solar flux distributions and their impact on surface hydrology over the Western United States, specifically the Rocky and Sierra-Nevada Mountains. We use the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model applied at a 30 km grid resolution with incorporation of a 3-D radiative transfer parameterization covering a time period from 1 November 2007 to 31 May 2008 during which abundant snowfall occurred. Comparison of the 3-D WRF simulation with the observed snow water equivalent (SWE) and precipitation from Snowpack Telemetry (SNOTEL) sites shows reasonable agreement in terms of spatial patterns and daily and seasonal variability, although the simulation generally has a positive precipitation bias. We show that 3-D mountain features have a profound impact on the diurnal and monthly variation of surface radiative and heat fluxes and on the consequent elevation-dependence of snowmelt and precipitation distributions. In particular, during the winter months, large deviations (3-D-PP) of the monthly mean surface solar flux are found in the morning and afternoon hours due to shading effects for elevations below 2.5 km. During spring, positive deviations shift to earlier morning. Over the mountain tops above 3 km, positive deviations are found throughout the day, with the largest values of 40-60 W m-2 occurring at noon during the snowmelt season of April to May. The monthly SWE deviations averaged over the entire domain show an increase in lower elevations due to reduced snowmelt, leading to a reduction in cumulative runoff. Over higher elevation areas, positive SWE deviations

  12. Biotic and abiotic processes controlling water chemistry during snowmelt at rabbit ears pass, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, U.S.A.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peters, N.E.; Leavesley, G.H.

    1995-01-01

    The chemical composition of snowmelt, groundwater, and streamwater was monitored during the spring of 1991 and 1992 in a 200-ha subalpine catchment on the western flank of the Rocky Mountains near Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Most of the snowmelt occurred during a one-month period annually that began in mid-May 1991 and mid-April 1992. The average water quality characteristics of individual sampling sites (meltwater, streamwater, and groundwater) were similar in 1991 and 1992. The major ions in meltwater were differentially eluted from the snowpack, and meltwater was dominated by Ca2+, SO4/2-, and NO3/-. Groundwater and streamwater were dominated by weathering products, including Ca2+, HCO3/- (measured as alkalinity), and SiO2, and their concentrations decreased as snowmelt progressed. One well had extremely high NO3/- concentrations, which were balanced by Ca2+ concentrations. For this well, hydrogen ion was hypothesized to be generated from nitrification in overlying soils, and subsequently exchanged with other cations, particularly Ca2+. Solute concentrations in streamwater also decreased as snowmelt progressed. Variations in groundwater levels and solute concentrations indicate thai most of the meltwater traveled through the surficial materials. A mass balance for 1992 indicated that the watershed retained H+, NH4/+, NO3/-, SO4/2- and Cl- and was the primary source of base cations and other weathering products. Proportionally more SO4/2- was deposited with the unusually high summer rainfall in 1992 compared to that released from snowmelt, whereas NO3/- was higher in snowmelt and Cl- was the same. The sum of snowmelt and rainfall could account for greater than 90% of the H+ and NH4/+ retained by the watershed and greater than 50% of the NO3/-.The chemical composition of snowmelt, groundwater, and streamwater was monitored during the spring of 1991 and 1992 in a 200-ha subalpine catchment on the western flank of the Rocky Mountains near Steamboat Springs

  13. The Western Edge of Cratonic North America and Topography of the Northern U.S. Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, D. A.; Russo, R. M.; van der Lee, S.; Mueller, P. A.

    2009-12-01

    We used seismic structure of the upper mantle determined via waveform inversions of surface and regional shear waves (Beadle and van der Lee, 2007) to examine the 3-D geometry of the base of North American lithosphere at the junction between thick, stable cratonic eastern North America and the thinner, recently tectonized western part of the continent. This boundary has been affected by long-term subduction beneath North America. Variability in convergence rates and directions, and especially in slab dip, have been postulated as important controls on the configuration of the transition from thick to thin lithosphere, and on the distribution and degree of crustal deformation and volcanism in the western U.S. We show that the lithospheric thickness transition at depths of 70-130 km - defined as contours of zero shear velocity anomaly - correlates strongly with the high topography of Laramide uplifts in the northern Rockies, which lie west of this seismically defined craton edge. The transition from thick to thin lithosphere also includes an embayment symmetrically centered on the Yellowstone hotspot, offset cratonward from the surface position of the hotspot by ca. 140-180 km at depths of 130-150 km. We interpret this structure as a reduction of cratonic seismic velocities reflecting the thermal halo around the hotspot, and perhaps associated with the separation of the lower lithosphere. The steep velocity gradient (boundary) east of the hotspot occurs along the Big Horn Mountains, and distributed mountain ranges of southwestern Montana. The steep transition between thin and thick lithosphere turns sharply west along the northern margin of the Helena thrust salient-Lewis and Clark fault zone, where it may reflect the edge of the Archean Medicine Hat Block and/or the northern termination of the influence shallow Farallon slab subduction the during Laramide time. Laramide-style basement uplifts are absent north of this zone and the eastern front ranges of the Rockies

  14. Numerical Modeling of the Snowmass Creek Paleoglacier, Colorado: Implications for Middle and Late Pleistocene climate in the Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, E. M.; Plummer, M. A.; Carrara, P. E.

    2013-12-01

    Well-preserved moraines from the last two glaciations of the Snowmass Creek valley in the Elk Range of Colorado present an opportunity to examine the character of the high-altitude climate in the Rocky Mountains during marine isotope stages 6 and 2. This study employs a 2-D coupled energy/mass balance and flow model (Plummer and Phillips, 2003) to assess the magnitudes of temperature and precipitation change that could have sustained the glacier in mass-balance equilibrium at its maximum extents during the penultimate (MIS 6 or Bull Lake) glaciation and the last glacial maximum (MIS 2 or Pinedale). Variable substrate effects on glacier flow and ice thickness make the modeling somewhat more complex than in geologically simpler settings. Model results indicate that a temperature depression of about 6.4°C compared to the modern (1971-2000AD) would have been necessary to sustain the 26 km-long Snowmass Creek glacier in mass balance equilibrium during the Bull Lake glaciation, assuming no change from the modern in precipitation amount or seasonality. Uncertainty in the modeling is about 1°C. A 50 percent increase or decrease from modern precipitation would have been coupled with 4.8°C and 8.8°C Bull Lake temperature depressions respectively. The maximum extent of the glacier during MIS 2 or Pinedale glaciation is somewhat less clear. Moraines confidently assigned to the Pinedale glaciation indicate a temperature depression of about 6.1°C, assuming no change in precipitation. An intermediate set of moraines which may be Pinedale in age, would suggest a Pinedale temperature depression very close to that of the Bull Lake glaciation. These Pinedale temperature depression estimates are comparable to those obtained using the same model in three other Colorado ranges (5.5 - 6.8°C with no change in precipitation) and slightly less than those previously obtained using a variety of other paleoglaciological methods (6.4 to 8.5°C with no change in precipitation). The Bull

  15. Cripple Creek and other alkaline-related gold deposits in the Southern Rocky Mountains, USA: Influence of regional tectonics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kelley, K.D.; Ludington, S.

    2002-01-01

    Alkaline-related epithermal vein, breccia, disseminated, skarn, and porphyry gold deposits form a belt in the southern Rocky Mountains along the eastern edge of the North American Cordillera. Alkaline igneous rocks and associated hydrothermal deposits formed at two times. The first was during the Laramide orogeny (about 70-40 Ma), with deposits restricted spatially to the Colorado mineral belt (CMB). Other alkaline igneous rocks and associated gold deposits formed later, during the transition from a compressional to an extensional regime (about 35-27 Ma). These younger rocks and associated deposits are more widespread, following the Rocky Mountain front southward, from Cripple Creek in Colorado through New Mexico. All of these deposits are on the eastern margin of the Cordillera, with voluminous calc-alkaline rocks to the west. The largest deposits in the belt include Cripple Creek and those in the CMB. The most important factor in the formation of all of the gold deposits was the near-surface emplacement of relatively oxidized volatile-rich alkaline magmas. Strontium and lead isotope compositions suggest that the source of the magmas was subduction-modified subcontinental lithosphere. However, Cripple Creek alkaline rocks and older Laramide alkaline rocks in the CMB that were emplaced through hydrously altered LREE-enriched rocks of the Colorado (Yavapai) province have 208Pb/204Pb ratios that suggest these magmas assimilated and mixed with significant amounts of lower crust. The anomalously hot, thick, and light crust beneath Colorado may have been a catalyst for large-scale transfer of volatiles and crustal melting. Increased dissolved H2O (and CO2, F, Cl) of these magmas may have resulted in more productive gold deposits due to more efficient magmatic-hydrothermal systems. High volatile contents may also have promoted Te and V enrichment, explaining the presence of fluorite, roscoelite (vanadium-rich mica) and tellurides in the CMB deposits and Cripple Creek as

  16. An analysis of airspeed, altitude, and acceleration data obtained from a twin-engine transport airplane operated over a feeder-line route in the Rocky Mountains

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Copp, Martin R; Fetner, Mary W

    1956-01-01

    Time-history data of airspeed, altitude, and acceleration obtained with the NACA VGH recorder from a twin-engine airplane operated by a regional feeder airline in the Rocky Mountains are evaluated to determine the magnitude and frequency of occurrence of gusts and gust accelerations and the operating airspeeds and altitudes. The results obtained are compared with the results previously obtained from a representative short-haul and long-haul operation.

  17. Regional operations research program for commercialization of geothermal energy in the Rocky Mountain Basin and Range. Final report, August 1, 1978-February 28, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Marlin, J.M.; Cunniff, R.; McDevitt, P.; Nowotny, K.; O'Dea, P.

    1981-01-01

    The work accomplished from August 1978 to February 1980 in the Regional Operations Research efforts for the Rocky Mountain Basin and Range Geothermal Commercialization Program are described. The work included continued data acquisition and extension of the data base, enhancement and refinement of the economic models for electric and direct use applications, site-specific and aggregated analyses in support of the state teams and special analyses in support of several federal agencies.

  18. Joint interpretation of seismic tomography and new magnetotelluric results provide evidence for support of high topography in the Southern Rocky Mountains and High Plains of eastern Colorado, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feucht, D. W.; Sheehan, A. F.; Bedrosian, P.

    2015-12-01

    A recent magnetotelluric (MT) survey in central Colorado, USA, when interpreted alongside existing seismic tomography, reveals potential mechanisms of support for high topography both regionally and locally. Broadband and long period magnetotelluric data were collected at twenty-three sites along a 330 km E-W profile across the Southern Rocky Mountains and High Plains of central North America as part of the Deep RIFT Electrical Resistivity (DRIFTER) experiment. Remote-reference data processing yielded high quality MT data over a period range of 100 Hz to 10,000 seconds. A prominent feature of the regional geo-electric structure is the Denver Basin, which contains a thick package of highly conductive shales and porous sandstone aquifers. One-dimensional forward modeling was performed on stations within the Denver Basin to estimate depth to the base of this shallow conductor. Those estimates were then used to place a horizontal penalty cut in the model mesh of a regularized two-dimensional inversion. Two-dimensional modeling of the resistivity structure reveals two major anomalous regions in the lithosphere: 1) a high conductivity region in the crust under the tallest peaks of the Rocky Mountains and 2) a lateral step increase in lithospheric resistivity beneath the plains. The Rocky Mountain crustal anomaly coincides with low seismic wave speeds and enhanced heat flow and is thus interpreted as evidence of partial melt and/or high temperature fluids emplaced in the crust by tectonic activity along the Rio Grande Rift. The lateral variation in the mantle lithosphere, while co-located with a pronounced step increase in seismic velocity, appears to be a gradational boundary in resistivity across eastern Colorado and could indicate a small degree of compositional modification at the edge of the North American craton. These inferred conductivity mechanisms, namely crustal melt and modification of mantle lithosphere, likely contribute to high topography locally in the

  19. Distribution of hazardous air pollutant trace elements, total sulfur, and ash in coals from five Tertiary basins in the Rocky Mountain Region

    SciTech Connect

    Ellis, M.S.; Stricker, G.D.; Flores, R.M.

    1994-12-31

    Arithmetic mean values of the contents of hazardous air pollutant (HAP) trace elements named in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, selenium, and uranium), ash, and total sulfur were statistically compared on a whole-coal basis for Paleocene coals from five Tertiary basins in the Rocky Mountain Region. The study of proximate and elemental analyses indicate a relationship between trace element contents and paleogeography.

  20. Regional operations research program for commercialization of geothermal energy in the Rocky Mountain basin and range. Final technical report, January 1980-March 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-07-01

    This report describes the work accomplished from January 1980 to March 1981 in the Regional Operations Research efforts for the Rocky Mountain Basin and Range Geothermal Commercialization Program. The work included continued data acquisition and extension of the data base, enhancement and refinement of the economic models for electric and direct use applications, site-specific and aggregated analyses in support of the state teams, special analyses in support of several federal agencies, and marketing assistance to the state commercialization teams.

  1. Organosulfates and Carboxylic Acids in Secondary Organic Aerosols in Coniferous Forests in Rocky Mountains (USA), Sierra Nevada Mountains (USA) and Northern Europe (Finland and Denmark)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glasius, M.; Hansen, A. M. K.; Kristensen, K.; Kristensen, T. B.; Mccubbin, I. B.; Hallar, A. G.; Petäjä, T.; Surratt, J. D.; Worton, D. R.; Bilde, M.; Kulmala, M. T.; Goldstein, A. H.

    2014-12-01

    Levels and chemical composition of secondary organic aerosols affect their climate effects and properties. Organosulfates (OS) are formed through heterogeneous reactions involving oxidized sulfur compounds, primarily originating from anthropogenic sources. Availability of authentic standards have until now been an obstacle to quantitative investigations of OS in atmospheric aerosols. We have developed a new, facile method for synthesis and purification of OS standards. Here we have used 7 standards to quantify OS and nitrooxy organosulfates (NOS) observed in aerosols collected at four sites in coniferous forests in USA and Europe during spring or summer. The two American sites were Storm Peak Laboratory, Colorado (Rocky Mountains, elevation 3220 m a.s.l) and Sierra Nevada Mountains, California (as part of BEARPEX 2007 and 2009). The European sites were Hyytiälä Forest Station, Finland (in the boreal zone) and Silkeborg, Denmark (temperate forest). Aerosol filter samples were extracted and analyzed using a high performance liquid chromatograph coupled through an electrospray inlet to a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (HPLC-QTOF-MS). We identified 11 carboxylic acids using authentic standards, while 16 different OS and 8 NOS were identified based on their molecular mass and MS fragmentation patterns, as well as comparison with available standards. OS were ubiquitous in the atmospheric aerosol samples, even at the high elevation mountain station. Levels of carboxylic acids from oxidation of monoterpenes were 8-25 ng m-3 at Silkeborg and Storm Peak Laboratory, while concentrations at the sites with strong regional monoterpene emissions (Sierra Nevada Mountains and Hyytiälä) were much higher (10-200 ng m-3). At all sites, the dominant group of OS were derived from isoprene (IEPOX) and related compounds, while OS of monoterpenes showed lower concentrations, except at Hyytiälä during periods of north-westerly winds when monoterpene OS were at similar or

  2. An Assessment of Fire Regime Changes in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region Using Simulated Historical Fire Maps and Remotely Sensed Current Fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, F.; Zhu, Z.; Huang, C.

    2011-12-01

    Wildland fire is a primary ecosystem process that shapes the landscape of Western United States. Changes in fire regime can therefore have profound impact on ecosystem functions and services, including carbon cycling, habitat conditions, and biodiversity. This poster presents a study on current fire regime and changes in the Northern Rocky Mountain region assessed using contemporary and historical fire regimes. Contemporary fire records from 1984 to 2008 were obtained from the Monitoring Trends in Burn Severity (MTBS) project. Historical (pre-EuroAmerican settlement) fire regimes and fire regime condition class (FRCC), produced by the LANDFIRE project, were simulated using a Landscape Succession Model (LANDSUM). We extracted historical fire frequency (Mean Fire Interval) and fire severity (percentage of severe fire) data from LANDFIRE, and calculated current fire frequency and severity using MTBS data by following the FRCC definition, to evaluate changes in fire regimes in Northern Rocky Mountain area. Preliminary results reveal that the current fire regime in Northern Rocky Mountains may exhibit a general pattern of longer return intervals and more severe fires. Biophysical Setting (BpS) map units from LANDFIRE are used as study units to describe environmental gradients and will be used to further examine whether the observed fire regime changes are controlled by land cover or biophysical settings. The findings of this study will help reveal contemporary fire dynamics in this region and serve for future fire studies and other forest management applications.

  3. Home range characteristics of Mexican Spotted Owls in the Rincon Mountains, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Willey, David W.; Van Riper, Charpes III

    2014-01-01

    We studied a small isolated population of Mexican Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis lucida) from 1996–1997 in the Rincon Mountains of Saguaro National Park, southeastern Arizona, USA. All mixed-conifer and pine-oak forest patches in the park were surveyed for Spotted Owls, and we located, captured, and radio-tagged 10 adult birds representing five mated pairs. Using radio-telemetry, we examined owl home range characteristics, roost habitat, and monitored reproduction within these five territories. Breeding season (Mar–Sep) home range size for 10 adult owls (95% adaptive kernel isopleths) averaged 267 ha (±207 SD), and varied widely among owls (range 34–652 ha). Mean home range size for owl pairs was 478 ha (±417 ha SD), and ranged from 70–1,160 ha. Owls that produced young used smaller home ranges than owls that had no young. Six habitat variables differed significantly between roost and random sites, including: percent canopy cover, number of trees, number of vegetation layers, average height of trees, average diameter of trees, and tree basal area. Radio-marked owls remained in their territories following small prescribed management fires within those territories, exhibiting no proximate effects to the presence of prescribed fire.

  4. Resilience of a Subalpine Ecosystem in the Southern Rocky Mountains to Past Changes in Hydroclimate and Disturbance Regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minckley, T. A.; Shuman, B. N.

    2011-12-01

    Concerns about the impact of predicted future water deficits on mountain ecosystems can be assessed though analyses of past ecosystem responses to hydrologic variability. Paleoecological records indicate that the composition of subalpine forests in western North America have been resilient to multiple influences over millennia, including severe droughts, insect outbreaks, and widely varying fire regimes. We evaluate the hypothesis that early-succession conifer forests with broad climatic tolerances, such as those dominated by lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia Engelm. ex Wats.) persist because forest dynamics are disrupted by frequent disturbance and climate variations. To assess this prolonged resilience, we use independently reconstructed vegetation, fire, and drought history for a small, forested watershed in southeastern, Wyoming, based on sedimentary pollen and charcoal counts in conjunction with sedimentary lake-level indicators. Our data indicate that prominent vegetation shifts (from sagebrush steppe to spruce-fir parkland at ca. 10.7 ka and spruce-fir parkland to pine-dominated forest at ca. 8.5 ka) coincided with changes in effective moisture. However, once the modern subalpine, lodgepole pine forests establish at ca. 8.5 ka, similar hydroclimatic changes did not produce detectable changes in forest composition. Fire history data show that other aspects of the ecosystem were responsive to changes in effective moisture at multi-centennial-to-millennial timescales with prolonged fire-free episodes coinciding with periods of low effective moisture at >7.2-5.6 and 3.7-1.6 ka. Our results suggest that although current climate changes favor widespread disturbance in Rocky Mountain forests, the composition of these ecosystems could recover through succession dynamics over the next few decades to centuries.

  5. Late Paleogene topography of the Central Rocky Mountains and western Great Plains region using hydrogen isotope ratios in volcanic glass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossetto, G.; Fricke, H. C.; Cassel, E. J.; Evanoff, E.

    2015-12-01

    The Central Rocky Mountains (CRM), located in southern Wyoming, Colorado, and northern New Mexico, are characterized by the highest elevation basins (up to 2500 m) and mountains (over 4000 m) in the North American Cordillera. The timing and drivers for surface uplift of the CRM have not been conclusively determined. The goal of this study is to constrain the timing of surface uplift of the CRM by comparing hydrogen isotope ratios of hydration waters (δDglass) in late Paleogene volcanic glasses preserved in felsic tuffs deposited in CRM basins to δDglass values from glasses of similar age (34.9 to 32.2 Ma) preserved in tuffs from the surrounding Great Plains. The tuffs deposited in the Great Plains, to the north and east of the CRM, are currently at elevations of 1100-1600 m. Volcanic glass hydrates shortly after deposition, preserving the δD of ancient meteoric water on geologic timescales, and can thus be used as a proxy for ancient precipitation δD values. Volcanic glasses from the CRM have δDglass values that are an average of ~31‰ higher than δDglass values from the Great Plains, while modern day precipitation δD values in the CRM are ~25‰ lower than δD values in the Great Plains. These results suggest that the uplift of the CRM relative to the surrounding Great Plains occurred after ~32 Ma. This requires a mechanism such as mantle upwelling or differential crustal hydration, not solely Laramide tectonism, to uplift the CRM to current elevations. Elevation, however, may not have been the only control on the spatial distribution of precipitation δD values across the western US. Similar to the modern, mixing of Pacific and Gulf coast air masses likely occurred during the latest Paleogene, driving regional variability in δD values of precipitation.

  6. Simulations show decreasing carbon stocks and potential for carbon emissions in Rocky Mountain forests over the next century.

    PubMed

    Boisvenue, Céline; Running, Steven W

    2010-07-01

    Climate change has altered the environment in which forests grow, and climate change models predict more severe alterations to come. Forests have already responded to these changes, and the future temperature and precipitation scenarios are of foremost concern, especially in the mountainous western United States, where forests occur in the dry environments that interface with grasslands. The objective of this study was to understand the trade-offs between temperature and water controls on these forested sites in the context of available climate projections. Three temperature and precipitation scenarios from IPCC AR4 AOGCMs ranging in precipitation levels were input to the process model Biome-BGC for key forested sites in the northern U.S. Rocky Mountains. Despite the omission of natural and human-caused disturbances in our simulations, our results show consequential effects from these conservative future temperature and precipitation scenarios. According to these projections, if future precipitation and temperatures are similar to or drier than the dry scenario depicted here, high-elevation forests on both the drier and wetter sites, which have in the absence of disturbance accumulated carbon, will reduce their carbon accumulation. Under the marginally drier climate projections, most forests became carbon sources by the end of the simulation horizon (2089). Under all three scenarios, growing season lengthened, the number of days with snow on the ground decreased, peak snow occurred earlier, and water stress increased through the projection horizon (1950-2089) for all sites, which represent the temperature and precipitation spectrum of forests in this region. The quantity, form, and timing of precipitation ultimately drive the carbon accumulation trajectory of forests in this region.

  7. Simulated impacts of mountain pine beetle and wildfire disturbances on forest vegetation composition and carbon stocks in the Southern Rocky Mountains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Caldwell, Megan K.; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Briggs, Jenny S.; Cigan, P.W.; Stitt, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Forests play an important role in sequestering carbon and offsetting anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, but changing disturbance regimes may compromise the capability of forests to store carbon. In the Southern Rocky Mountains, a recent outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae; MPB) has caused levels of tree mortality that are unprecedented in recorded history. To evaluate the long-term impacts of both this insect outbreak and another characteristic disturbance in these forests, high-severity wildfire, we simulated potential changes in species composition and carbon stocks using the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS). Simulations were completed for 3 scenarios (no disturbance, actual MPB infestation, and modeled wildfire) using field data collected in 2010 at 97 plots in the lodgepole pine-dominated forests of eastern Grand County, Colorado, which were heavily impacted by MPB after 2002. Results of the simulations showed that (1) lodgepole pine remained dominant over time in all scenarios, with basal area recovering to pre-disturbance levels 70–80 yr after disturbance; (2) wildfire caused a greater magnitude of change than did MPB in both patterns of succession and distribution of carbon among biomass pools; (3) levels of standing-live carbon returned to pre-disturbance conditions after 40 vs. 50 yr following MPB vs. wildfire disturbance, respectively, but took 120 vs. 150 yr to converge with conditions in the undisturbed scenario. Lodgepole pine forests appear to be relatively resilient to both of the disturbances we modeled, although changes in climate, future disturbance regimes, and other factors may significantly affect future rates of regeneration and ecosystem response.

  8. Albedo-induced radiative forcing from mountain pine beetle outbreaks in forests, south-central Rocky Mountains: magnitude, persistence, and relation to outbreak severity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderhoof, M.; Williams, C. A.; Shuai, Y.; Jarvis, D.; Kulakowski, D.; Masek, J.

    2013-07-01

    Mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreaks in North America are widespread and have potentially-persistent impacts on forest albedo and associated radiative forcing. This study utilized multiple datasets, both current and historical, within lodgepole pine stands in the south-central Rocky Mountains to quantify the full radiative forcing impact of outbreak events for decades after outbreak (0 to 60 yr) and the role of outbreak severity in determining that impact. Change in annual albedo and radiative forcing peaked at 14-20 yr post-outbreak (0.06 ± 0.006 and -0.8 ± 0.1 W m-2, respectively) and recovered to pre-outbreak levels by 30-40 yr post-outbreak. Change in albedo was significant in all four seasons, but strongest in winter with the increased visibility of snow (radiative cooling of -1.6 ± 0.2 W m-2, -3.0 ± 0.4 W m-2, and -1.6 ± 0.2 W m-2 for 2-13 yr, 14-20 yr and 20-30 yr post-outbreak, respectively). Change in winter albedo and radiative forcing also increased with outbreak severity (percent tree mortality). Persistence of albedo effects are seen as a function of the growth rate and species composition of surviving trees, and the establishment and growth of both understory herbaceous vegetation and tree species, all of which may vary with outbreak severity. The establishment and persistence of deciduous trees was found to increase the temporal persistence of albedo effects. MPB induced changes to radiative forcing may have feedbacks for regional temperature and precipitation, which could impact future MPB outbreaks dynamics.

  9. Persistence of evapotranspiration and albedo-induced radiative forcing from mountain pine beetle outbreaks in forests, south-central Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderhoof, M. K.; Williams, C. A.; Shuai, Y.; Masek, J. G.

    2013-12-01

    The current extent and high severity (percent tree mortality) of mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreaks in North America has been attributed to regional climate change. These outbreaks are widespread and have potentially-persistent impacts on forest evapotranspiration and albedo-driven radiative forcing. The few data-driven studies have largely been restricted by the temporal availability of remote sensing products. This study utilized multiple MPB outbreak location datasets, both current and historical, within lodgepole pine stands in the south-central Rocky Mountains. The full evapotranspiration and radiative forcing impact of outbreak events for decades after outbreak (0 to 60 years) and the role of outbreak severity in determining that impact were quantified. Positive change in albedo and associated negative radiative forcing peaked during winter months at 14-20 years post-outbreak (-3.0×0.4 W m-2) and recovered to pre-outbreak levels by 30-40 years post-outbreak. Summer evapotranspiration (ET), meanwhile showed a small decrease, relative to non-attacked forests, through 13 years, then a strong increase in ET for 20 through 50 years post-attack (0.31×0.04 mm day-1). Persistence of effects are seen as a function of the growth rate and species composition of surviving trees, and the establishment and growth of both understory herbaceous vegetation and tree species, all of which may vary with outbreak severity. MPB induced changes to radiative forcing and ET may have feedbacks for regional temperature and precipitation, which could impact future MPB outbreaks dynamics.

  10. Albedo-induced radiative forcing from mountain pine beetle outbreaks in forests, south-central Rocky Mountains: magnitude, persistence, and relation to outbreak severity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanderhoof, M.; Williams, C. A.; Shuai, Y.; Jarvis, D.; Kulakowski, D.; Masek, J.

    2014-02-01

    Mountain pine beetle (MPB) outbreaks in North America are widespread and have potentially persistent impacts on forest albedo and associated radiative forcing. This study utilized multiple data sets, both current and historical, within lodgepole pine stands in the south-central Rocky Mountains to quantify the full radiative forcing impact of outbreak events for decades after outbreak (0-60 yr) and the role of outbreak severity in determining that impact. Change in annual albedo and radiative forcing peaked at 14-20 yr post-outbreak (0.06 ± 0.006 and -0.8 ± 0.1 W m-2, respectively) and recovered to pre-outbreak levels by 30-40 yr post-outbreak. Change in albedo was significant in all four seasons, but strongest in winter with the increased visibility of snow (radiative cooling of -1.6 ± 0.2 W m-2, -3.0 ± 0.4 W m-2, and -1.6 ± 0.2 W m-2 for 2-13, 14-20 and 20-30 yr post-outbreak, respectively). Change in winter albedo and radiative forcing also increased with outbreak severity (percent tree mortality). Persistence of albedo effects are seen as a function of the growth rate and species composition of surviving trees, and the establishment and growth of both understory herbaceous vegetation and tree species, all of which may vary with outbreak severity. The establishment and persistence of deciduous trees was found to increase the temporal persistence of albedo effects. MPB-induced changes to radiative forcing may have feedbacks for regional temperature and the hydrological cycle, which could impact future MPB outbreaks dynamics.

  11. Simulated impacts of mountain pine beetle and wildfire disturbances on forest vegetation composition and carbon stocks in the Southern Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caldwell, M. K.; Hawbaker, T. J.; Briggs, J. S.; Cigan, P. W.; Stitt, S.

    2013-12-01

    Forests play an important role in sequestering carbon and offsetting anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, but changing disturbance regimes may compromise the capability of forests to store carbon. In the Southern Rocky Mountains, a recent outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae; MPB) has caused remarkable levels of tree mortality. To evaluate the long-term impacts of both this insect outbreak and another characteristic disturbance in these forests, high-severity wildfire, we simulated potential changes in species composition and carbon stocks using the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS). Simulations were completed for 3 scenarios (no disturbance, actual MPB infestation, and modeled wildfire) using field data collected in 2010 at 97 plots in the lodgepole-pine-dominated forests of eastern Grand County, Colorado, which were heavily impacted by MPB after 2002. Results of the simulations showed that (1) lodgepole pine remained dominant over time in all scenarios, with basal area recovering to pre-disturbance levels 70-80 yr after disturbance; (2) wildfire caused a greater magnitude of change than did MPB in both patterns of succession and distribution of carbon among biomass pools; (3) levels of standing-live carbon returned to pre-disturbance conditions after 40 vs. 50 yr following MPB vs. wildfire disturbance, respectively, but took 120 vs. 150 yr to converge with conditions in the undisturbed scenario. Lodgepole pine forests appear to be relatively resilient to both of the disturbances we modeled, although changes in climate, future disturbance regimes, and other factors may significantly affect future rates of regeneration and ecosystem response.

  12. Simulated impacts of mountain pine beetle and wildfire disturbances on forest vegetation composition and carbon stocks in the Southern Rocky Mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caldwell, M. K.; Hawbaker, T. J.; Briggs, J. S.; Cigan, P. W.; Stitt, S.

    2013-08-01

    Forests play an important role in sequestering carbon and offsetting anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, but changing disturbance regimes may compromise the capability of forests to store carbon. In the Southern Rocky Mountains, a recent outbreak of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae; MPB) has caused levels of tree mortality that are unprecedented in recorded history. To evaluate the long-term impacts of both this insect outbreak and another characteristic disturbance in these forests, high-severity wildfire, we simulated potential changes in species composition and carbon stocks using the Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS). Simulations were completed for 3 scenarios (no disturbance, actual MPB infestation, and modeled wildfire) using field data collected in 2010 at 97 plots in the lodgepole pine-dominated forests of eastern Grand County, Colorado, which were heavily impacted by MPB after 2002. Results of the simulations showed that (1) lodgepole pine remained dominant over time in all scenarios, with basal area recovering to pre-disturbance levels 70-80 yr after disturbance; (2) wildfire caused a greater magnitude of change than did MPB in both patterns of succession and distribution of carbon among biomass pools; (3) levels of standing-live carbon returned to pre-disturbance conditions after 40 vs. 50 yr following MPB vs. wildfire disturbance, respectively, but took 120 vs. 150 yr to converge with conditions in the undisturbed scenario. Lodgepole pine forests appear to be relatively resilient to both of the disturbances we modeled, although changes in climate, future disturbance regimes, and other factors may significantly affect future rates of regeneration and ecosystem response.

  13. The US Geological Survey's side-looking airborne radar acquisition program: Image data from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific

    SciTech Connect

    Kovar, A.N.; Schoonmaker, J.W. Jr. )

    1993-04-01

    The US Geological Survey (USGS) has been systematically collecting side-looking airborne radar (SLAR) image data for the US since 1980. The image strip swaths, ranging in width from 20 to 46 km, are acquired commercially by X-band (3 cm) radar systems. Data are acquired with 60 percent side-lap for better mosaic preparation and stereoscopic capability. The image strips are assembled into 1[degree] x 2[degree] mosaic quadrangles that are based on the USGS 1:250,000-topographic map series for control, format, and nomenclature. These mosaics present the data in a broad synoptic view that facilitates geologic interpretation. SLAR image mosaics have been prepared for more than 35 percent of the US west of the Rocky Mountain front. In addition to quadrangle mosaics, regional composite mosaics have been prepared as value-added products. These include Pacific Northwest (14 quadrangles), southern California Coastal (from San Francisco to San Diego), Reno-Walker (includes parts of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks), Uinta Basin (Salt Lake City, Price and Grand Junction), and Salton Sea Region (San Diego, Santa Ana, El Centro and Salton Sea). Most of the image data are available on computer compatible tapes and photographic products. To make the data more accessible and reasonably priced, the strip images are being processed into CD-ROM (compact disc, read-only memory). One demonstration CD-ROM includes the mosaics of Las Vegas, Mariposa, Ritzville, Walla Walla, and Pendleton quadrangles.

  14. DNA barcoding at riverscape scales: assessing biodiversity among fishes of the genus Cottus (Teleostei) in northern Rocky Mountain streams.

    PubMed

    Young, Michael K; McKelvey, Kevin S; Pilgrim, Kristine L; Schwartz, Michael K

    2013-07-01

    There is growing interest in broad-scale biodiversity assessments that can serve as benchmarks for identifying ecological change. Genetic tools have been used for such assessments for decades, but spatial sampling considerations have largely been ignored. Here, we demonstrate how intensive sampling efforts across a large geographical scale can influence identification of taxonomic units. We used sequences of mtDNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and cytochrome b, analysed with maximum parsimony networks, maximum-likelihood trees and genetic distance thresholds, as indicators of biodiversity and species identity among the taxonomically challenging fishes of the genus Cottus in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Analyses of concatenated sequences from fish collected in all major watersheds of this area revealed eight groups with species-level differences that were also geographically circumscribed. Only two of these groups, however, were assigned to recognized species, and these two assignments resulted in intraspecific genetic variation (>2.0%) regarded as atypical for individual species. An incomplete inventory of individuals from throughout the geographical ranges of many species represented in public databases, as well as sample misidentification and a poorly developed taxonomy, may have hampered species assignment and discovery. We suspect that genetic assessments based on spatially robust sampling designs will reveal previously unrecognized biodiversity in many other taxa.

  15. Organochlorine compounds in trout from lakes over a 1600 meter elevation gradient in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Demers, Marc J; Kelly, Erin N; Blais, Jules M; Pick, Frances R; St Louis, Vincent L; Schindler, David W

    2007-04-15

    The effect of altitude on the concentration and composition of organochlorine compounds (OC) in troutwas investigated along an elevation gradient of 1600 m in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The eight lakes sampled were within or adjacent to national parks in sparsely settled parts of Alberta and British Columbia, thus contaminants were assumed to have derived from long-range atmospheric transport. Concentrations of several OCs in trout increased significantly with lake elevation. In general, these increases were most pronounced for the higher K(ow) pesticides (i.e., dieldrin and DDTs), and less pronounced for lower K(ow) pesticides (e.g., HCHs and HCB) and PCBs. Most OC concentrations in trout were inversely correlated with fish growth rate. Growth rate explained more of the variation for some OCs (particularly PCBs) than lake elevation. Differences in trophic position (indicated by delta15N) explained little of the variation in OC concentration in comparison to other factors such as lake elevation and the growth rate and age of trout. Using principal component analysis (PCA), we identified the importance of lake elevation and octanol/water partition coefficient (K(ow)) to the OC composition of trout.

  16. Modeled subalpine plant community response to climate change and atmospheric nitrogen deposition in Rocky Mountain National Park, USA.

    PubMed

    McDonnell, T C; Belyazid, S; Sullivan, T J; Sverdrup, H; Bowman, W D; Porter, E M

    2014-04-01

    To evaluate potential long-term effects of climate change and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition on subalpine ecosystems, the coupled biogeochemical and vegetation community competition model ForSAFE-Veg was applied to a site at the Loch Vale watershed of Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Changes in climate and N deposition since 1900 resulted in pronounced changes in simulated plant species cover as compared with ambient and estimated future community composition. The estimated critical load (CL) of N deposition to protect against an average future (2010-2100) change in biodiversity of 10% was between 1.9 and 3.5 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1). Results suggest that the CL has been exceeded and vegetation at the study site has already undergone a change of more than 10% as a result of N deposition. Future increases in air temperature are forecast to cause further changes in plant community composition, exacerbating changes in response to N deposition alone.

  17. Selected geohydrologic data from a regional aquifer-system analysis of the Northern Rocky Mountains intermontane basins in Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stone, M.A.; Parliman, D.J.; Schaefer, J.L.

    1996-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey began a regional aquifer-system analysis of the Northern Rocky Mountains of northern and central Idaho and western Montana in 1990. The analysis helped establish a regional framework of information for aquifers in about 70 ntermontane basins in an area of 80,000 square miles. In many areas, ground water is the only suitable source of supply, yet little information is available about this resource. Selected geohydrologic data from 1,004 wells in 19 intermontane basins in Idaho were compiled as part of the regional analysis. Data consist of basin name and well number, altitude of land surface, date of well construction, geologic unit, depth of well, diameter of casing, type of finish, top of open interval, primary use of water, date of water level measurement, water level, discharge, specific capacity, source of discharge data, type of log available, date of water-quality constituent measurement, specific conductance, pH, and temperature. A similar report for intermontane basins in Montana has been published by the U.S. Geologcial Survey in Montana. (USGS)

  18. The relative influences of climate and competition on tree growth along montane ecotones in the Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Copenhaver-Parry, Paige E; Cannon, Ellie

    2016-09-01

    Distribution shifts of tree species are likely to be highly dependent upon population performance at distribution edges. Understanding the drivers of aspects of performance, such as growth, at distribution edges is thus crucial to accurately predicting responses of tree species to climate change. Here, we use a Bayesian model and sensitivity analysis to partition the effects of climate and crowding, as a metric of competition, on radial growth of three dominant conifer species along montane ecotones in the Rocky Mountains. These ecotones represent upper and lower distribution edges of two species, and span the distribution interior of the third species. Our results indicate a greater influence of climate (i.e., temperature and precipitation) than crowding on radial growth. Competition importance appears to increase towards regions of more favorable growing conditions, and precise responses to crowding and climate vary across species. Overall, our results suggest that climate will likely be the most important determinant of changes in tree growth at distribution edges of these montane conifers in the future. PMID:26873606

  19. Organochlorine compounds in trout from lakes over a 1600 meter elevation gradient in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

    PubMed

    Demers, Marc J; Kelly, Erin N; Blais, Jules M; Pick, Frances R; St Louis, Vincent L; Schindler, David W

    2007-04-15

    The effect of altitude on the concentration and composition of organochlorine compounds (OC) in troutwas investigated along an elevation gradient of 1600 m in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The eight lakes sampled were within or adjacent to national parks in sparsely settled parts of Alberta and British Columbia, thus contaminants were assumed to have derived from long-range atmospheric transport. Concentrations of several OCs in trout increased significantly with lake elevation. In general, these increases were most pronounced for the higher K(ow) pesticides (i.e., dieldrin and DDTs), and less pronounced for lower K(ow) pesticides (e.g., HCHs and HCB) and PCBs. Most OC concentrations in trout were inversely correlated with fish growth rate. Growth rate explained more of the variation for some OCs (particularly PCBs) than lake elevation. Differences in trophic position (indicated by delta15N) explained little of the variation in OC concentration in comparison to other factors such as lake elevation and the growth rate and age of trout. Using principal component analysis (PCA), we identified the importance of lake elevation and octanol/water partition coefficient (K(ow)) to the OC composition of trout. PMID:17533830

  20. Clypeatula cooperensis gen. n., sp. n., a new freshwater sponge (Porifera, Spongillidae) from the Rocky Mountains of Montana, USA.

    PubMed

    Peterson, K J; Addis, J S

    2000-07-01

    A new genus and species of freshwater sponge, Clypeatula cooperensis, collected from three lakes in the Northern Rocky Mountains of Montana, USA, are described. The sponge grows as a hard, disc-shaped encrustation on the undersides of rocks and logs. It lacks microscleres and has amphioxeal megascleres that often show a slight midregion bulb and are usually covered with short, conical spines except at their tips. The sponge is also non-gemmulating, overwintering in a regressed state in which choanocyte chambers are reduced in number. Phylogenetic analyses of complete 18S rDNA sequences of C. cooperensis, Ephydatia muelleri, Spongilla lacustris and Eunapius fragilis suggest that C. cooperensis is more closely related to Ephydatia muelleri than to Spongilla lacustris or Eunapius fragilis. Our data, nonetheless, do not rule out the possibility that C. cooperensis is more closely related to the non-gemmulating sponges of Lake Baikal (Russia) than it is to Ephydatia muelleri. These phylogenetic analyses support the erection of a new genus, the monophyly of freshwater sponges belonging to the families Spongillidae and Lubomirskiidae, and the monophyly of demosponges. PMID:12194185