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Potential hazards from floodflows in Grapevine Canyon, Death Valley National Monument, California and Nevada

Water-Resources Investigations Report 89-4063

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Abstract

Grapevine Canyon is on the western slope of the Grapevine Mountains in the northern part of Death Valley National Monument , California and Nevada. Grapevine Canyon Road covers the entire width of the canyon floor in places and is a frequently traveled route to Scotty 's Castle in the canyon. The region is arid and subject to flash flooding because of infrequent but intense convective storms. When these storms occur, normally in the summer, the resulting floods may create a hazard to visitor safety and property. Historical data on rainfall and floodflow in Grapevine Canyon are sparse. Data from studies made for similar areas in the desert mountains of southern California provide the basis for estimating discharges and the corresponding frequency of floods in the study area. Results of this study indicate that high-velocity flows of water and debris , even at shallow depths, may scour and damage Grapevine Canyon Road. When discharge exceeds 4,900 cu ft/sec, expected at a recurrence interval of between 25 and 50 years, the Scotty 's Castle access road and bridge may be damaged and the parking lot partly inundated. A flood having a 100-year or greater recurrence interval probably would wash out the bridge and present a hazard to the stable and garage buildings but not to the castle buildings, whose foundations are higher than the predicted maximum flood level. (USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Potential hazards from floodflows in Grapevine Canyon, Death Valley National Monument, California and Nevada
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
89-4063
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1990
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ; Books and Open-File Reports Section [distributor],
Description:
iv, 19 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.