Recent U.S. Geological Survey research is providing important insights into how best to monitor changes in the amount of tributary-derived sand stored on the bed of the Colorado River and in eddies in Marble Canyon, Arizona. Before the construction of Glen Canyon Dam and other dams upstream, sandbars in Glen, Marble, and Grand Canyons were replenished each year by sediment-rich floods. Sand input into the Colorado River is crucial to protecting endangered native fish, animals, and plants and cultural and recreational resources along the river in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park.
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A sand budget for Marble Canyon, Arizona: implications for long-term monitoring of sand storage change