Feds to flood Grand Canyon to distribute sediment
Published: November 10, 2013 09:17PM
Updated: November 10, 2013 12:11PM
image
Paul Fraughton | Tribune file photo Authorities are again releasing high flows from Glen Canyon Dam, shown in 2008 with a similar release, to distribute sediment piled up below the dam.

Flagstaff, Ariz. • An abundance of sand in the Colorado River is giving federal officials an opportunity to flood the waterway through the Grand Canyon.

The high-flow experiment starts Monday and is meant to create beaches for campers and sandbars and to protect archaeological sites. It’s scheduled to last five days.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation oversaw a similar flood from Glen Canyon Dam last November. The difference this year is that three times the sediment is available to be pushed through the river. The amount is equivalent to filling a football field-sized hole that is 690 feet deep.

Most of the sediment once deposited throughout the Grand Canyon is now trapped behind the dam near the Arizona-Utah border.

The intent of the flooding is to mimic pre-dam conditions.