Using GIS to estimate the age of paleo-glaciers. (Senior Division).
This project is an ongoing effort to develop a new technique to
determine the age of paleo-glaciers using GIS (geographic information
system) techniques. Currently, the only way to measure the age of
paleo-glaciers involves extensive field observations and radioactive
dating which is costly and time consuming. The goal of this project was
to design an alternate, lower-cost approach based upon aerial
photography that dates paleo-glaciers by evaluating subtle erosional
characteristics of moraines left by retreating glaciers. The study
focused upon twelve moraines surrounding Fremont Lake (at the base Wind
River Range near Pinedale, Wyoming). These moraines were deposited
during the Bull Lake and Pinedale glaciations (about 130,000 and 10,000
years ago respectively). Ten- meter DEM (digital elevation model) data
was combined with a digitized form of Richmond's (1987) map of
Fremont Lake area moraines. Two raster-based GIS programs, MFWorks and
,ArcInfo were used to examine topographic characteristics of each
moraine including slope angle, terrain roughness, development of
drainage systems, aspect deviation, number of kettles and curvature to
determine whether observed characteristics were correlated with the
known age of the moraines. Kettles, curvature, and drainage system
characteristics were found to have good correlation with moraine age.
Evan W Burgess, Fairview High School.