Seepage erosion and mass failure of emergent sandy deposits along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, are a function of the elevation of groundwater in the sandbar, fluctuations in river stage, the exfiltration of water from the bar face, and the slope of the bar face. In this study, a generalized three-dimensional numerical model was developed to predict the time-varying groundwater level, within the bar face region of a freshly deposited eddy sandbar, as a function of river stage. Model verification from two transient simulations demonstrates the ability of the model to predict groundwater levels within the onshore portion of the sandbar face across a range of conditions. Use of this generalized model is applicable across a range of typical eddy sandbar deposits in diverse settings. The ability to predict the groundwater level at the onshore end of the sandbar face is essential for both physical and numerical modeling efforts focusing on the erosion and mass failure of eddy sandbars downstream of Glen Canyon Dam along the Colorado River.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Transient simulation of groundwater levels within a sandbar of the Colorado River, Marble Canyon, Arizona, 2004