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Chalk Creek Valley: Colorado’s natural debris-flow laboratory

By
Jeffrey A. Coe
Jeffrey A. Coe
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 966, Box 25046, Denver, Colorado 80225, USA
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Jason W. Kean
Jason W. Kean
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 966, Box 25046, Denver, Colorado 80225, USA
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Scott W. McCoy
Scott W. McCoy
CIRES and Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, 80309USA
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Dennis M. Staley
Dennis M. Staley
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 966, Box 25046, Denver, Colorado 80225, USA
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Thad A. Wasklewicz
Thad A. Wasklewicz
Department of Geography, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina 27858, USA
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

Recent debris flow studies in Colorado indicate that the state is most susceptible to debris flows that initiate from surface-water runoff that erodes and entrains hillslope and channel sediment. These runoff-initiated debris flows grow in size by entraining sediment along travel paths, thereby increasing their destructive potential. Yet, the mechanics of initiation, erosion, and entrainment processes for runoff-initiated debris flows are poorly understood. The steep, bedrock-dominated flanks of the formerly glaciated Chalk Creek Valley near Nathrop, Colorado, generate an average of two runoff-initiated debris flows per year, making the valley an ideal natural laboratory for debris-flow research. This two-day field trip to the Chalk Creek Valley will examine debris-flow initiation areas, transport zones, deposits, and the impact of large pulses of debris-flow sediment on the morphology of Chalk Creek. On the first day, participants will hike into a particularly active basin at Chalk Cliffs where debris flows are being monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Colorado, and East Carolina University. The second day will focus on debris-flow deposits in Chalk Creek and on recent debris flows in and near the community of Alpine in the central part of the valley.

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Contents

GSA Field Guide

Through the Generations

Lisa A. Morgan
Lisa A. Morgan
Geological SurveyBox 25046 973 Denver Federal Center Denver, Colorado 80225-0046USA
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Steven L. Quane
Steven L. Quane
Quest University Canada3200 University Boulevard Squamish, British Columbia V8B 0N8Canada
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Geological Society of America
Volume
18
ISBN electronic:
9780813756189
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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