Phenomena

Simulating Floods

Last week officials opened the Glen Canyon Dam’s bypass tubes to release a simulated flood on the Colorado River, which runs through the Grand Canyon. This is the first of several planned “high-flows” intended to imitate the positive effects of natural floods on the area. Officials hope the increased water flow will help deposit sediment along the Grand Canyon’s walls at heights unreachable at the lower water levels. This sediment transport should help restore the natural sandbars and beaches that serve as breeding grounds for native fish.  The floods will also clear vegetation from the riverside camping spots utilized by tourists. (Photo credit: Reuters/Bob Strong; submitted by Bobby E.)

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