Title

GLEN CANYON DAM VS. COLORADO RIVER

Presenter Information

Caleb George

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

Since the construction of Glen Canyon Dam, the Colorado River ecosystem has suffered a major loss in sediment deposition. From the time of the dam’s completion in 1963 to the present, a tremendous amount of scientific work has centered on examining the altered processes of sediment transport and loss in this river system. Sediment deposition is an invaluable resource to the Colorado River ecosystem. Sand and other sediments flowing into the Colorado River are a neccesary component in order to maintain a healthy equlibrium for physical and biological resources. In the last two decades, controlled flooding or HFE’s(High Flow Experiments) at Glen Canyon Dam have been undertaken to address this problem. High Flow Experiments have provided scientific data on the long-term ecological and hydrological impacts of damming, with specific attention to the complex relationship between natural seasonal flooding and sand deposition of related tributaries that enter the Colorado River system at various points. How effective are HFE’s in addressing the problem of sediment loss in the Colorado River? And are there other approaches to adaptive management that could better conserve and restore the Colorado River ecosystem below Glen Canyon Dam? This study aims to address these questions through a survey and analysis of existing sediment deposition and loss data available through the U.S. Department of the Interior, USGS Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, and published scientific journals. In addition, this study draws on data and observations that were recorded in February 2011 during a three week field campaign on the Colorado River. The overall intention is to build an understanding of the complex relationships surrounding a dam and its management and the river ecosystem in one of the most highly controlled and regulated river corridors in the world.

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Apr 15th, 3:00 PM Apr 15th, 4:00 PM

GLEN CANYON DAM VS. COLORADO RIVER

UC South Ballroom

Since the construction of Glen Canyon Dam, the Colorado River ecosystem has suffered a major loss in sediment deposition. From the time of the dam’s completion in 1963 to the present, a tremendous amount of scientific work has centered on examining the altered processes of sediment transport and loss in this river system. Sediment deposition is an invaluable resource to the Colorado River ecosystem. Sand and other sediments flowing into the Colorado River are a neccesary component in order to maintain a healthy equlibrium for physical and biological resources. In the last two decades, controlled flooding or HFE’s(High Flow Experiments) at Glen Canyon Dam have been undertaken to address this problem. High Flow Experiments have provided scientific data on the long-term ecological and hydrological impacts of damming, with specific attention to the complex relationship between natural seasonal flooding and sand deposition of related tributaries that enter the Colorado River system at various points. How effective are HFE’s in addressing the problem of sediment loss in the Colorado River? And are there other approaches to adaptive management that could better conserve and restore the Colorado River ecosystem below Glen Canyon Dam? This study aims to address these questions through a survey and analysis of existing sediment deposition and loss data available through the U.S. Department of the Interior, USGS Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, and published scientific journals. In addition, this study draws on data and observations that were recorded in February 2011 during a three week field campaign on the Colorado River. The overall intention is to build an understanding of the complex relationships surrounding a dam and its management and the river ecosystem in one of the most highly controlled and regulated river corridors in the world.