Posts Tagged “Great Sand Dunes National Park”

The countdown for the semester has begun and it cant come soon enough. Projects in all classes are keeping my busy but a few have me out in the field which is nice. A project for Hydrogeology involves doing some tests to the west of the sand dunes near by and the Geomorphology project involves looking at a the upstream section of Terrace Reservoir that has a very active (geomophologically) stream cutting through the sediment at the bottom. Here are some pictures of the areas. Check my flickr stream if you want to see a few more.

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Amy and Dan doing some surveying for the Hydrogeology project

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Point bars, cut banks, chutes, meanders, aeolian process, oh my!

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An ant’s view of some features from shrink/swell

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The Great Sand Dunes National Park is nestled in the east part of the San Luis Valley, just 45 minutes northeast of Alamosa.  Some may think it’s just a big, boring pile of sand.  These people are either intensely ill informed or have never been to said piles of sand.  The former National Monument was promoted to National Park status in 2004 and stands, like the name suggests, as a great example of eolian and other complex processes.  The dunes are a great place to go sandboarding, fly a kite, soak in the river (in the spring), or just wander around and have lunch.  Plus they just plain look sweet, especially with the Crestones peaks of the Sangre de Cristo mountains as a back drop.  There are a handful of trails around the park as well.  So this past weekend we decided to visit and were treated with sun filled skys and a wonderful sunset which provided all sorts of entertainment like…

Wildlife Monitoring:

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Tracking Big Game (namely the endemic Valley She-Hulk):

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and Deep, Deep Thought:

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