Active tectonics along the flank of Yellowstone

Investigated using terraces of the Snake River in and around Alpine Canyon

April 21st (Tuesday), 6 p.m., Teton Co. Library Auditorium – Open to Public. Presentation: “Active tectonics along the flank of Yellowstone investigated using terraces of the Snake River in and around Alpine Canyon, Presented by Joel Pederson, Utah State University.

Have you ever wondered how fast a canyon forms? or why the Snake River creates narrow canyons with whitewater rapids in certain reaches — but then wide, lazy, braided channels in others? Utah State University professor Joel Pederson will answer those and other questions about Jackson’s tectonically deforming landscape in a presentation of new research conducted in and around Alpine Canyon.

In addition to the famous volcanism of Yellowstone hotspot, as our tectonic plate has moved, models predict a corresponding wave of uplift at the plume’s leading edge and then the collapse of topography in its wake. Studying the patterns and rates of canyon incision by rivers flowing off the Yellowstone plateau can test these models and improve our understanding of the geodynamics and the hazards in the region.

Joel will present research mapping and dating river terraces along the transect of the lower Hoback and upper Snake rivers, across zones of changing fault activity and canyon cutting, into the Snake River Plain. Results reveal the patterns and potential causes of incision and deformation in the region.