Opening the jet tubes at Glen Canyon Dam on March 26, 1996, released from Lake Powell a controlled flood of water that traveled down the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. How fast did the water move? How long did it take for water to reach a particular point along the river? The answers to these questions are important because the speed of river water affects the amount of physical and chemical changes, such as warming by sunlight, that the water will undergo as it moves downstream. Also, very fine particles and substances dissolved in the water travel along with the water, and the speed of the water tells us how fast these move downstream.
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USGS Numbered Series
The Colorado River in Grand Canyon: how fast does it flow?