Late summer glacial meltwater contributions to Bull Lake Creek stream flow and water quality, Wind River Range, Wyoming, USA
The Wind River Range in Wyoming contains more glacial ice than any other location within the USA’s Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. Bull Lake Creek watershed in the southeast portion of the range contains five major (0.6–1.5 km2) glaciers along with numerous smaller glaciers that contribute to the Wind River. Field measurements were made of discharge from the Knife Point and Bull Lake Glaciers to determine the contribution of glacial meltwater to the river system. Water samples were collected and analyzed for stable isotopes, major ions, nutrients, and selected trace elements. Meltwater from the two glaciers contributed 13.9% to Bull Lake Creek streamflow (site BL-3), with all glaciers within the Bull Lake Creek watershed estimated to be contributing 55.6% to the streamflow of Bull Lake Creek (United States Geological Survey gage) during the August 2015 study period. Hydrogen and oxygen stable isotope analysis indicated as much as 80% of late summer discharge in the upper Bull Lake Creek watershed was attributed to glacial meltwater. This study also found that nutrients (NO3 – NO2, total P) from glacial meltwater can be a significant source of nutrient loading to Bull Lake Creek.
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Africa Review on 17/04/2014, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02723646.2019.1565215
Jeffrey VanLooy and Gregory S. Vandeberg. "Late summer glacial meltwater contributions to Bull Lake Creek stream flow and water quality, Wind River Range, Wyoming, USA" (2019). Earth System Science and Policy Faculty Publications. 14.