Document Type


Publication Title

Permafrost and Periglacial Processes

Publication Date



Six hundred sixty‐one rock glaciers in the northern Absaroka and Beartooth Ranges of south‐central Montana were digitized and evaluated using geographic information systems technology and an array of topographic and environmental parameters. Beartooth rock glaciers are larger, occur at higher elevations, receive more precipitation, and are subject to lower temperatures than northern Absaroka rock glaciers. Elevation is strongly correlated with rock glacier activity. Comparative analysis of these adjacent mountain ranges indicates that Beartooth geomorphic landscapes are shifting from predominantly glacial to periglacial regimes, and that the northern Absarokas have largely completed this transition. Because glaciers are declining in response to climate warming, rock glaciers could soon become the most important source of ice in the region.

Associated data and attachments (files available below):

  • Polygon Attributes [Rock_Glacier_Attriubte_Table.csv]
  • Polygons of Absaroka rock glaciers [Absaroka_Rock_glaciers_ObjectID.kmz]
  • Polygons of Beartooth rock glaciers [Beartooth_rock_glaciers_ObjectID.kmz]

The file available via the Download button above is a .txt file that describes these three data files.


Beartooth range, climate change, ground ice, mapping, Montana, northern Absaroka range, periglacial, rock glacier, Rocky Mountains, water resources

Rock_Glacier_Attribute_Table.csv (37 kB)
Polygon Attributes

Absaroka_Rock_glaciers_ObjectID.kmz (90 kB)
Polygons of Absaroka rock glaciers

Beartooth_rock_glaciers_ObjectID.kmz (159 kB)
Polygons of Beartooth rock glaciers