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Abstract

The Boulder Creek Watershed, like many western watersheds, is composed of a high-gradient upper reach mostly fed by snowmelt, a substantial change in gradient at the range front, and an urban corridor within the lower section. Water from Boulder Creek provides many services, including drinking water, crop irrigation, power plant cooling, wastewater disposal, recreation, and aquatic life habitat. A multi-use path follows Boulder Creek through the city of Boulder, serving as a link to parks, schools, a hospital, a library, public transportation, and businesses, and provides the opportunity to observe many of the important uses and features of the Boulder Creek corridor. This 16-mile field trip will follow this path, using rented bicycles, to explore the hydrology and geochemistry of Boulder and South Boulder Creeks. Topics will include flood frequency and hazards, aqueous geochemistry of the watershed, and potential impacts of invasive species, nonpoint source pollution, and emerging contaminants on stream ecology.

This field trip follows the GSA guide published from the 2007 GSA Annual Meeting in Denver (available at http://fieldguides.gsapubs.org/):

Verplanck, P.L., Murphy, S.F., Birkeland, P.W., Pitlick, J., Barber, L.B., and Schmidt T.S., 2008, Boulder Creek: A stream ecosystem in an urban landscape, in Raynolds, R.G., ed., Roaming the Rocky Mountains and Environs: Geological Field Trips: Geological Society of America Field Guide 10, p. 217–233, doi: 10.1130/2008.fld010(10).

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