Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center

U.S. Geological Survey
Fact Sheet 2008-3011
version 1.0

Science Activities Associated with Proposed 2008 High-Flow Experiment at Glen Canyon Dam

By John Hamill


before-and-after photos showing a sandbar that has gotten twice as large; about ten boat lengths across
A sandbar along the left shore of the Colorado River near river mile 30 shortly before (top) and shortly after (bottom) the November 2004 high-flow experiment. People and boats indicate scale.

Grand Canyon National Park lies approximately 15 miles downriver from Glen Canyon Dam, which was built on the Colorado River just south of the Arizona-Utah border. Because the dam stops most sediment moving downstream, its presence has resulted in erosion and shrinkage of river sandbars in Grand Canyon. Fewer and smaller sandbars mean smaller camping beaches for visitors to use, continued erosion of cultural sites, and possibly less habitat for native fish, including the endangered humpback chub.

In an effort to restore sandbars and related habitat and to comply with its responsibilities under the Grand Canyon Protection Act, the Department of the Interior has proposed a high-flow release of water from Glen Canyon Dam in March 2008. The U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center is responsible for coordinating research associated with the proposed experiment. The proposed studies are designed to evaluate the feasibility of using such high flows to improve a range of Grand Canyon resources.

Download this report as a 2-page PDF file (fs2008-3011.pdf; 1.2 MB)

For questions about the content of this report, contact John Hamill

Download the Suggested citation and version history

Download a free copy of the latest version of Adobe Reader.

| Help | PDF help | Publications main page |
| Western Fact Sheets |
| Biological Resources | Southwest Biological Science Center |

This report is available only on the Web.

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America home page. logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Michael Diggles
Page Last Modified: February 14, 2008