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Find Your Science at GSA
27 October 2013
GSA Release No. 13-75
Kea Giles
Managing Editor,
GSA Communications
Contact On-Site:
Kea Giles
Newsroom: Colorado Convention Center, Room 608
flooding in Boulder, Colo.
Click on the photo for a larger image. Credit: keagiles.
flooding in Boulder, Colo.
Click on the photo for a larger image. Credit: keagiles.

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BREAKING NEWS: GSA Session to Address Flooding in Colorado's Front Range Region

The 2013 Colorado Flood Event: A Perfect Storm Hits a Dynamic Landscape — Causes, Processes, and Effects

Boulder, Colorado, USA – In response to devastation caused by unprecedented heavy rains between 9 and 13 September 2013, and the resulting catastrophic flooding that hit Colorado’s Front Range, The Geological Society of America will present a late-breaking session on Tuesday morning, 29 October, during their 125th Anniversary Annual Meeting in Denver.

Session organizers Peter Barkmann (Project Hydrogeologist, Colorado Geological Survey) and Bob Jarrett (Scientist Emeritus, U.S. Geological Survey) recognized a need for the geoscience community to respond to this historic event in a timely fashion with sound and accurate information. “The timing of such a widespread major rainfall event leading to floods and landslides right before this gathering of Earth scientists was fortuitous. It provides a great opportunity to share observations and further our understanding of how our landscape was shaped by its climate," said Barkmann.

Nolan Doesken, Colorado State Climatologist for the Colorado Climate Center, will examine conditions that led up to the flood in his talk titled, “Not Expected but Not a Surprise.”

Speakers will also cover flood processes and how the flood waters behaved, as well as the impacts of the flooding on dams, highways, infrastructure, and lives. Finally, a discussion of the flood within the context of water supply and management will help to bring events into perspective for future policy and decision-making. A 30-minute question and answer period will follow the presentations.

See the complete list of speakers at

The 2013 Colorado Flood Event—A Perfect Storm Hits a Dynamic Landscape, Causes, Processes, and Effects
Tuesday, 29 Oct.: 8:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Colorado Convention Center, Mile High Ballroom 2AB/3AB

Contact: Peter E. Barkmann,

A related late-breaking field trip to the Boulder flood zone took place earlier on Saturday, 26 October, to examine the effects of the 2013 Front Range flood on low-order streams and alluvial terraces in the area. The trip, which was filled to capacity, was arranged and led by Lon Abbott (University of Colorado), Mariela Perignon, Lisa Dierauf, and Dave Sutherland.

Media are invited to attend and cover this and other sessions at the GSA Annual Meeting. Onsite registration for media is in the Newsroom, Room 608, in the Colorado Convention Center. Eligibility requirements are online at
Newsroom Hours:
Sunday, 27 October: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Monday & Tuesday, 28-29 October: 7:30 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday, 30 October: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
Phone: 303-228-8431

Search the complete Annual Meeting program by author or keyword at

The Geological Society of America, founded in 1888, is a scientific society with more than 25,000 members from academia, government, and industry in more than 100 countries. Through its meetings, publications, and programs, GSA enhances the professional growth of its members and promotes the geosciences in the service of humankind. Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA, GSA encourages cooperative research among earth, life, planetary, and social scientists, fosters public dialogue on geoscience issues, and supports all levels of earth science education.