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Southern Rockies Ecoregion: Chapter 8 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000

Professional Paper 1794-A-8

This publication is Chapter 8 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000, which is Volume A in Status and trends of land change in the United States--1973 to 2000, PP 1794. Volume A consists of 30 chapters. For access to other chapters, please visit PP 1794-A.
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Abstract

The Southern Rockies Ecoregion is a high-elevation mountainous ecoregion that covers approximately 138,854 km2 (53,612 mi2), including much of central Colorado and parts of southern Wyoming and northern New Mexico (fig. 1) (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997). It abuts six other ecoregions: the Wyoming Basin and Colorado Plateaus Ecoregions on the north and west, the Arizona/New Mexico Plateau Ecoregion on the south, and the Northwestern Great Plains, Western High Plains, and Southwestern Tablelands Ecoregions on the east (fig. 1). The ecoregion receives most of its annual precipitation (25–100 cm) as snowfall, which provides a significant amount of high-elevation snowpack that is an important water source for surrounding ecoregions. The Southern Rockies Ecoregion has a steep elevation gradient from low foothills to high peaks, with several hundred summits higher than 3,660 m (12,000 ft). As a southern extension of the larger RockyMountain system, it is composed primarily of seven main north-south trending mountain ranges that are separated by four large intermontane basins. A fifth basin, the San Luis Valley, is outside the ecoregion, forming a northern finger of the Arizona/New Mexico Plateau Ecoregion that lies mostly to the south. To the east, late Tertiary sand and gravel deposits that were eroded from the relatively young Rocky Mountains were carried eastward by streams, forming the nearby Western High Plains Ecoregion and its underlying Ogallala aquifer.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Southern Rockies Ecoregion: Chapter 8 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000
Series title:
Professional Paper
Series number:
1794-A-8
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Western Geographic Science Center
Description:
Chapter 8: 9 p.
Larger Work Type:
Report
Larger Work Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title:
Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000: Volume A in Status and trends of land change in the United States--1973 to 2000 (PP 1794-A)
First page:
95
Last page:
103
Country:
United States
State:
Colorado;New Mexico;Wyoming
Other Geospatial:
Rockies
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
Y