During the course of our work on rock glaciers, a minor but unclear point of nomenclature emerged. Numerous researchers (Reference Wahraftig and CoxWahraftig and Cox, 1959; Reference PotterPotter, 1972; Reference WhiteWhite, 1976; Reference CorteCorte, 1976) have all followed suit in attributing the first usage of the term "rock glacier" to Reference CappsCapps (1910). Capps himself contributed to this misunderstanding of first usage when he stated (Reference CappsCapps, 1910, p. 359-60), "The special agents with which I wish to deal at present… I have called rock glaciers”.
While other terms were used in earlier literature, the term "rock glacier" first appeared in print in 1905 (the internal text date is 1903) in an indirect manner, fn describing the occurrence of rock glaciers in the Silverton, Colorado, area, Cross and Howe (1905, p. 25} wrote, "So noticeable was this [apparent viscous flow] that in the field they were spoken of as 'rock glaciers' and upon the map received the name 'rock streams' ”. Presumably the term "rock glacier" was used in the field at this time among some of the personnel of the United States Geological Survey of which Cross, Howe, and Capps were all members. Cross and Howe either voluntarily changed their usage of the term "rock glacier" to "rock stream" or an editorial change was suggested by someone else. Apparently Capps was not so restricted and has received most of the credit for first usage of the term.
Departmertt of Geography, JOHN R. GIARDINO
Univernly of Nebraska—Lincoln, Lincoln,
Nebraska 68588, U.S.A.
Department of Geography and Geology, JOHN F. SHRODER, JR.
University of Nebraska—Omaha, Omaha,
Nebraska 68132, U.S.A. 15 September 1977