Date of Award

January 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Earth System Science & Policy

First Advisor

Jeffrey A. VanLooy


Climate change continues to manifest itself through increased temperatures across the Western United States. Subsequently glaciers in the Wind River Range of Wyoming have been in decline since the end of the Little Ice Age and continue to lose mass during the annual ablation season. Understanding these changes is of paramount importance for water resource managers. This study uses data from Landsat 5, 7 and 8 over a 33-year period from 1984-2017 to determine the long-term change in water color for lakes in the range related to glacial flour discharge. Water color can be used to indicate changes in the discharge of glacial flour which in turn may indicate changes in glacial activity. Further, the long-term trend indicates years of higher and lower reflectance. The high values can occur in single years or in groups of years and indicates significant glacial ablation. The long-term water color changes were also compared to changes in streamflow in Dinwoody Creek, Bull Lake Creek and Pine Creek to identify how glacier contributions are changing in these basins. This data was then paired with glacier area measurements to identify how changes in mass are affecting glacier contributions to streamflow.