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WWRC 90-36
Glacier Lakes Hydrologic Balance


The Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station (RMS) is responsible for baseline monitoring of the inputs and outputs from the Glacier Lakes watershed located in the Snowy Range Mountains of southeastern Wyoming as a part of their Glacier Lakes Ecosystem Experiment Site (GLEES). The University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Water Research Center (WWRC), at the University of Wyoming, operate the Snowy Range Observatory in the Medicine Bow National Forest. The Snowy Range Observatory operates meteorological and streamgaging sites at several points within the Observatory, including the area in and around the Glacier Lakes watershed. The monitoring of hydrologic information which allows for a water budget analysis of the Glacier lakes watershed could best be accomplished with a cooperative arrangement between hydrologic expertise at the WWRC and personnel at the RMS.

The work performed under this contract for the RMS by the WWRC to help describe the water balance in the Glacier Lakes watershed has the following defined tasks:

  1. Installation of Parshall flumes and associated monitoring equipment for the East Glacier Lake outlet and on Meadow and Cascade Creeks near their inlets to West Glacier Lake.
  2. Estimation of an approximate hydrologic balance of inputs and outputs from the watershed areas of East Glacier and West Glacier Lake watersheds.
  3. Estimation of the approximate errors associated with the hydrologic balance determined for East Glacier and West Glacier Lake watersheds.
  4. Definition of a plan by which the hydrologic balance of each gaged watershed can be determined with some precision which minimizes the errors associated with the estimation.
  5. Measurement of the depth of unconsolidated material at several locations throughout the GLEES study site within the East Glacier and West Glacier Lake watersheds.

A discussion of each of the tasks follows with associated data and any analysis that was needed to complete the task.

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