Spatially explicit digital technologies are integrated within a geographic information science (GISc) context to map, model, and visualize selected direct and indirect geomorphic processes that influence the spatial organization of the alpine treeline ecotone (ATE) in Glacier National Park (GNP), MT. GISc is used to examine alpine treeline and its biotic and abiotic controls through the application of multi-resolution remote sensing systems, geospatial information and product derivatives, and simulations of treeline spatial organization. Three geomorphic features are examined: relict solifluction terraces, evidence of nonlinearity in the development of a catena, and the locations of isolated boulders. The significance of these features is in constraining subsequent geomorphic and biogeographic processes, thus leading to disequilibrium. Exploration of these features though GISc indicates that visualizations for characterizing the relations of geomorphic patterns and processes within a three-dimensional context show promise for improved alpine slope models in the future by defining landscape attributes within a spatially and temporally explicit context.
Geomorphology, 53:1-2 (2003) pp.129-145
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/george_malanson/66/