Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Geography & Geographic Information Science

First Advisor

Gregory Vandeberg


As technology advances over the years there has been a growing interest in the application of using remote sensing for conveying the detection of alpine archaeological sites. As climate changes and global temperatures rise across the globe perennial snow/ ice patches are melting and disappearing in alpine areas. These alpine archaeological sites are being immensely affected and, in some cases, destroyed. The research was conducted to determine if using both remote sensing imagery and suitability models could detect the extent of perennial snow/ice patch loss and determine the ice patches most vulnerable to melting in the Crazy Mountains of Montana. Suitability models were used to see if archaeological perennial snow/ice patches could be identified using the variables elevation, aspect, slope, distance to streams, incoming solar radiation, and glacial extent. The United State Geological Survey imagery and the National Agriculture Imagery Program was used to digitize the identified perennial snow/ice patch over the course range of years 1972, 1998, 2005, 2011, and 2020. Within the study area of the Crazy Mountains, more than 50 remaining perennial snow/ice patches were identified and digitized. The result of this study demonstrated that implementing remote sensing applications such as sustainability models and imagery can be effective in determining perennial snow/ice patches that are at risk.