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U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2010-3009

Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center

2008 High-Flow Experiment at Glen Canyon Dam Benefits Colorado River Resources in Grand Canyon National Park

By Theodore S. Melis, David J. Topping, Paul E. Grams, David M. Rubin, Scott A. Wright, Amy E. Draut, Joseph E. Hazel, Jr., Barbara E. Ralston, Theodore A. Kennedy, Emma Rosi-Marshall, Josh Korman, Kara D. Hilwig, and Lara M. Schmit


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On March 5, 2008, the Department of the Interior began a 60-hour high-flow experiment at Glen Canyon Dam, Arizona, to determine if water releases designed to mimic natural seasonal flooding could be used to improve downstream resources in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and their cooperators undertook a wide range of physical and biological resource monitoring and research activities before, during, and after the release. Scientists sought to determine whether or not high flows could be used to rebuild Grand Canyon sandbars, create nearshore habitat for the endangered humpback chub, and benefit other resources such as archaeological sites, rainbow trout, aquatic food availability, and riverside vegetation. This fact sheet summarizes research completed by January 2010.

  • This report is also available in print from:

    USGS Information Services, Box 25286,
    Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225
    telephone: 888 ASK-USGS; e-mail:

For additional information contact:
SBSC Staff, Southwest Biological Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
2255 N. Gemini Drive
Flagstaff, AZ 86001

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Suggested citation:

Melis, T.S., Topping, D.J., Grams, P.E., Rubin, D.M., Wright, S.A., Draut, A.E., Hazel, J.E., Jr., Ralston, B.E., Kennedy, T.A., Rosi-Marshall, Emma, Korman, Josh, Hilwig, K.D., and Schmit, Lara M., 2010, 2008 High-flow experiment at Glen Canyon Dam benefits colorado river resources in Grand Canyon National Park: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2010-3009, 4 p.




2008 High-Flow Experiment


Archaeological Sites

Riparian Vegetation

Aquatic Food Web

Rainbow Trout


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