Friday, 3 June 2016

Rocky Mountain National Park

By: Jose Miguel Abad ,Alfonso Arenas , Adrian Bolaños , Sebastian Villar  


Rocky mountain national park has 2 types of ecosystem, 1st one is alpine tundra and the 2nd one is a taiga. Depending on the zones it has its one type or another.


Type of ecosystems it represents:
 The lowest elevations in the park are montane forests and grassland. The ponderosa pine, which prefers drier areas, dominates especially on the eastern side of the park, while at higher elevations Douglas fir trees are found. Above 9,000 feet (2,700 m), the montane forests give way to the subalpine forest. Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir trees are common in this zone. These forests tend to have more moisture than the montane and tend to be denser. Above tree line, at approximately 11,500 feet (3,500 m), trees disappear and the vast alpine tundra takes over.


BIOTOPE
Geographical location: This national park is one of the biggest natural parks of all USA,it has a big amplitude of natural resources and a very big variaty of plants and animals.
Location       Larimer / Grand / Boulder counties, Colorado, United States
Nearest city Estes Park and Grand Lake, Colorado
Coordinates 40°2000N 105°4232











Geology:

The Front Range was created by the Laramide Orogeny, the last of three major mountain-building events, which occurred between 70 and 40 million years ago. Tectonic activity during the Cenozoic Era changed the Ancestral Rocky Mountains via block uplift, eventually forming the Rocky Mountains as they exist today. The geologic make-up of Rocky Mountain National Park was also affected by deformation and erosion during the Cenozoic Era. Many sedimentary rocks from the Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras exist in the basins surrounding the park.
 


.Structural factors:

The grand scenery of Rocky Mountain National Park is the product of a complex geologic history spanning almost two billion years. The area occupied by the park has been repeatedly uplifted and eroded. Although many of its mountaintops have been flattened by ancient erosion, recent glaciation has left steep scars, U-shaped valleys, lakes and moraine deposits.

.Lithological factors:

Today, steep semicircular scars called cirques indicate the top of U-shaped glaciated valleys. Chasm Lake lies in a cirque below the east face of Longs Peak. A cirque on Sundance Mountain is easily seen from Trail Ridge Road and numerous cirques may be seen from Bear Lake Road. Glacial erosion also left scratches, grooves and polished surfaces on some of the rocks.
The few small glaciers and snowfields now occupying the tops of glacial valleys are only hints of what the ice age was like. The park's high mountaintops were not covered with glacial ice and a few of the lower valley areas of the park escaped the effects of glaciation. For example, the Twin Owls and Gem Lake Trail area of Lumpy Ridge feature coarse-grained granite rounded into interesting shapes by millions of years of non-glacial erosion.

Outside the park, water from melting glaciers helped carve canyons to the east. Hogback ridges were left near the Colorado Front Range cities of Loveland and Lyons by differential erosion of sedimentary rock tilted up against older crystalline rock of the mountains.

Rocky Mountain National Park occupies only a small part of the 200-mile long Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, but this part of the Continental Divide shows the effects of ancient erosion and many of the valleys illustrate classic features of glaciation.



.Climate :

July and August are the warmest months in the park, where temperatures can commonly reach the 80s. In summertime thunderstorms sometimes appear in the afternoons, and visitors should plan on staying below tree line when they occur. Heavy winter snows can begin around mid-October, and last into April. While the snow can melt away from the lowest elevations of the park quickly, deep snow is found above 9,000 feet (2,700 m) in the winter, causing the closure of Trail Ridge and Fall River roads during the winter and early spring. Most of the trails are under snow this time of the year, and snowshoeing and skiing become popular. Springs tend to be wet, alternating between rain and occasional light snow. Light snow can occur as late as July in the higher regions. The west side of the park typically receives more precipitation than the drier east side.

.Biocenosis:

 Black Bear

Mountain Lion
Mountain Bluebird


Boreal owl

Greenback cutthroat trout

Boreal toad

Wood frog

Silvery checkerspot

Goldenrod Crab Spider 

Orb weaver spider 


.Flora:

Green algae

Canada thistle


Pleopsidium


Mushroom


Liverworts


.Food web:










.Resourced used: wikipedia, official park webpage,google images.




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