Grand Canyon flooded to improve ecosystem

Mar 05, 2008

U.S. officials released a flood into the Grand Canyon to try to undo damage caused by the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam in the 1960s.

The man-made flood, started Wednesday, was to continue for 60 hours at a rate of about 41,500 cubic feet per second, the Interior Department said. The water released from the power plant and bypass tubes at Glen Canyon Dam is expected to push sand built up at the bottom of the Colorado River channel into a series of sandbars and beaches along the river.

Scientists are monitoring how the high-flow releases affect the the well-being of native fish, particularly the endangered humpback chub.

"This experiment has been timed to take advantage of the highest sediment deposits in a decade and designed to better assess the ability of these releases to rebuild beaches that provide habitat for endangered wildlife and campsites for thousands of Grand Canyon National Park tourists," Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said in a statement.

The water was released at a rate that would fill the Empire State Building within twenty minutes, the agency said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: 'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Australian natural wonders under UNESCO spotlight

Jun 15, 2014

Australia is home to some of the most pristine environment on Earth, but two of its most high-profile protected areas face threats to their status as World Heritage Sites at a UNESCO meeting starting Sunday ...

More Grand Canyon condors die of lead poisoning

Apr 17, 2013

Lead ammunition continues to take a deadly toll on endangered California condors that live in and around the Grand Canyon. Seven of the 80 wild condors in Arizona and Utah have died since December; three of those deaths have ...

Wildfire shuts Los Alamos lab, forces evacuations

Jun 28, 2011

(AP) -- Thousands of residents calmly fled Monday from the mesa-top town that's home to the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory, ahead of an approaching wildfire that sent up towering plumes of smoke, rained down ...

Recommended for you

'Shocking' underground water loss in US drought

5 hours ago

A major drought across the western United States has sapped underground water resources, posing a greater threat to the water supply than previously understood, scientists said Thursday.

User comments : 0