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Feds to flood Grand Canyon to distribute sediment

Published November 10, 2013 9:17 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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.