How Climate Change is Impacting Snowmelt and Lake Pollution in the Wind River Range

Grace Stonecipher
Gabe Benoit
Start Date: 
August, 2016

I will be spending a month during the summer of 2016 at Deep Lake in the Wind River Range of Wyoming, collecting water samples to measure how pollutants in melting snowpack are affecting the chemistry of the alpine lake.  Climate change is impacting the melt patterns of snowpack in this area, which is subsequently changing how quickly pollutants, previously caught up in snowpack, are mixing with the water in the lakes.  I hope to use remote sensing to look at images of the area from the past 30 years during which the Forest Service has also been collecting data about the lake.  I want to match these images up with our measurements of water flow, so to have a visible representation of these changing patterns.  I hope to be able to perform change detection over time series to ‘watch’ the snow melt, and also to see if chemical changes are visible in the lake.  The use of satellite imagery will help to contextualize the data.