High elevation sand/cultural Sites: The response of source-bordering aeolian dunefields to the 2012-2016 high flow experiments of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon (Extended Abstract)

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Abstract

 Glen Canyon Dam has reduced downstream sediment supply to the Colorado River by about 95% in the reach upstream of the Little Colorado River confluence and by about 85% below the confluence (Topping and others, 2000). Operation of the dam for hydropower generation has additionally altered the flow regime of the river in Grand Canyon, largely eliminating pre-dam low flows (i.e., below 8,000 ft3/s) that historically exposed large areas of bare sand (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2016a; Kasprak and others, 2018). At the same time, the combination of elevated low flows coupled with the elimination of large, regularly-occurring spring floods in excess of 70,000 ft3/s has led to widespread riparian vegetation encroachment along the river, further reducing the extent of bare sand (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2016a, Sankey and others, 2015). Kasprak and others (2018) report that the areal coverage of bare sand has decreased by 45% since 1963 due to vegetation expansion and inundation by river flows. Kasprak and others (2018) forecast that the areal coverage of bare sand in the river corridor will decrease by an additional 12% by 2036, due to further vegetation encroachment and erosion. 

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Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title High elevation sand/cultural Sites: The response of source-bordering aeolian dunefields to the 2012-2016 high flow experiments of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon (Extended Abstract)
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher US Bureau of Reclamation Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 5 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title High-Flow Experiments Assessment Extended Abstracts
First page 30
Last page 34
Conference Title Adaptive Management Work Group Meeting
Conference Location Tempe, AZ
Conference Date March 6-7, 2019
Country United States
State Arizona
Other Geospatial Grand Canyon, Marble Canyon