Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Geological Sciences

First Advisor

Robert S. Anderson

Second Advisor

Wesley Longacre

Third Advisor

Charles Stern


Little is known about the Longs Peak and Glacier Gorge Glaciers, located in the Front Range in Rocky Mountain National Park, because, as of this thesis, they had yet to be studied. An understanding of the degree to which these glaciers shaped the landscape around them and what kind of climate could have created these glaciers was the goal of the thesis. I calculate the rate of backwearing of the glacier headwall in order to document the influence of these glaciers on the surrounding alpine landscape. I also created 1D models of the glaciers using Matlab to estimate a range of temperatures and snowfall to constrain the possible climates responsible for extension of Longs Peak and Glacier Gorge glaciers to their maximum Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) extents.