Document Type


Publication Date



This 2-day trip will highlight recent fire and storm-related debris flows in the Payette River region, Holocene records of fires and fire-related sedimentation events preserved in alluvial fan stratigraphic sequences, and geomorphology and geology of alpine glaciations in the spectacular Sawtooth Mountains and Stanley Basin of central Idaho. Storm events and associated scour following recent fires in the South Fork Payette basin have exposed Holocene fire-related debris-flow deposits, flood sediments, and other alluvial fan-building deposits that yield insights into Holocene environmental change. Moraine characteristics and sediment cores from the southeastern Sawtooth Mountains and Stanley Basin provide evidence of late Pleistocene alpine glaciation. A combination of these glacial records with reconstructions of regional equilibrium line elevations produces late-glacial paleoclimatic inferences for the area. Day one of the trip will examine recent and Holocene fire-related deposits along the South Fork Payette River; day two will focus on alpine glaciation in the Sawtooth Mountains (fig. 1). A description of the scope, methods, results and interpretation of the South Fork Payette fire study is given below. Background information on late Pleistocene alpine glaciation in the eastern Sawtooth Mountains is presented with the material for day 2 of the trip. The road log for day 1 of the trip begins at Banks, Idaho, and ends in Stanley, Idaho. Stop locations are shown on figure 2. At Stop 1, we will provide an introduction to interpretation of alluvial fan stratigraphic sections, and discuss the Boise Ridge fault. At Stops 2–4 (Hopkins Creek, Deadwood River, and Jughead creek), we will examine recent debrisflow deposits and Holocene alluvial fan stratigraphic sections. At Stop 5 (Helende Campground), we will look at a series of well-preserved Holocene and Pleistocene terraces and at Stop 6 (Canyon Creek), we will briefly inspect fire-related deposits in higher-elevation alluvial fan stratigraphic sections. The road log for day 2 begins at Stanley, Idaho, and ends in Sun Valley, Idaho. Stop locations are shown on figure 2. Stop 1, at Redfish Lake, will focus on regional equilibrium line altitude reconstructions and on the general pattern of late Pleistocene glaciation on the eastern flank of the Sawtooth Mountains. Stop 2 will be at Pettit Lake, where we will examine the moraine sequence and discuss relative weathering criteria and moraine groupings. At Stop 3, near Alturas Lake, we will discuss lake sediment coring, moraine chronology, and implications for latest Pleistocene paleoclimatic inferences. Stop 4 will be a brief stop at Galena Summit for an overview of the Sawtooth Mountains and a discussion of ice accumulation patterns. The trip will end at a set of moraines in the Trail Creek valley, near Sun Valley, where we will examine moraine morphology and weathering rind data that constrain the moraine ages.