Grain-size evolution in suspended sediment and deposits from the 2004 and 2008 controlled-flood experiments in Marble and Grand Canyons, Arizona

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Abstract

Since the closure of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, the hydrology, sediment supply, and distribution and size of modern alluvial deposits in the Colorado River through Grand Canyon have changed substantially (e.g., Howard and Dolan, 1981; Johnson and Carothers, 1987; Webb et al., 1999; Rubin et al., 2002; Topping et al., 2000, 2003; Wright et al., 2005; Hazel et al., 2006). The dam has reduced the fluvial sediment supply at the upstream boundary of Grand Canyon National Park by about 95 percent. Regulation of river discharge by dam operations has important implications for the storage and redistribution of sediment in the Colorado River corridor. In the absence of natural floods, sediment is not deposited at elevations that regularly received sediment before dam closure. There has been a systemwide decrease in the size and number of subaerially exposed fluvial sand deposits since the 1960s, punctuated by episodic aggradation during the exceptional high-flow intervals in the early 1980s and by sediment input from occasional tributary floods (Beus and others, 1985; Schmidt and Graf, 1990; Kearsley et al., 1994; Schmidt et al., 2004; Wright et al., 2005; Hazel et al., 2006). Fluvial sandbars are an important component of riparian ecology that, among other functions, enclose eddy backwaters that form native-fish habitat, provide a source for eolian sand that protects some archaeological sites, and are used as campsites by thousands of river-runners annually (Rubin et al., 1990; Kearsley et al., 1994; Neal et al., 2000; Wright et al., 2005; Draut and Rubin, 2008).

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Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Grain-size evolution in suspended sediment and deposits from the 2004 and 2008 controlled-flood experiments in Marble and Grand Canyons, Arizona
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Joint Federal Interagency Conference
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Conference Paper
Larger Work Subtype Conference Paper
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the Joint Federal Interagency Conference 2010 : Hydrology and sedimentation for a changing future : existing and emerging issues
Conference Title Joint Federal Interagency Conference on Sedimentation and Hydrologic Modeling
Conference Location Las Vegas, Nevada
Conference Date June 27-July 1, 2010
Country United States
State Arizona
Other Geospatial Grand and Marble Canyons
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N