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Modeling of flood-deposited sand distributions in a reach of the Colorado River below the Little Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4168

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Abstract

A release from Glen Canyon Dam during March-April 1996 was designed to test the effectiveness with which the riparian environment could be renewed with discharges greatly in excess of the normal powerplant-restricted maximum. Of primary concern was the rebuilding of sand deposits along the channel sides that are important to the flora and fauna along the river corridor and that provide the only camp sites for riverside visitors to the Grand Canyon National Park. Analysis of the depositional processes with a model of flow, sand transport, and bed evolution shows that the sand deposits formed along the channel sides early during the high flow were affected only slightly by the decline in suspended-sand concentrations over the course of the controlled flood. Modeling results suggest that the removal of a large sand deposit over several hours was not a response to declining suspended-sand concentrations. Comparisons of the controlled-flood deposits with deposits formed during a flood in January 1993 on the Little Colorado River that contributed sufficient sand to raise the suspended-sand concentrations to predam levels in the main stem show that the depositional pattern as well as the magnitude is strongly influenced by the suspended-sand concentrations.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Modeling of flood-deposited sand distributions in a reach of the Colorado River below the Little Colorado River, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
97-4168
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1998
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey ;Information Services [distributor],
Contributing office(s):
Southwest Biological Science Center
Description:
iv, 15 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.