Untitled Document

High test flows at 1,312-MW Glen Canyon shift sands in Grand Canyon

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne opened jet tubes March 5 at 1,312-MW Glen Canyon Dam, flushing 41,500 cubic feet per second of Colorado River water into the Grand Canyon.

The 60-hour high-flow test, through both the bypass tubes and the powerhouse, was expected to redistribute sand from the river bottom, forming sandbars and beaches within the canyon. The experiment is part of a research effort by three agencies of the Interior Department: the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the National Park Service.

Sandbars within the Grand Canyon provide habitat for wildlife, camping beaches, and sand to protect archaeological sites, Interior said. High flows also create areas of low-velocity flow, or backwaters, used by young fish, particularly the endangered humpback chub.

The 2008 test is different from similar releases in 1996 and 2004. Scientists concluded more sand, than was available in the prior years, is needed to rebuild sandbars through the 277-mile river reach. Sand supplies in the river are at a ten-year high with a volume three times greater than was available in 2004.

Since 1996, releases from Glen Canyon have ranged from 8,000 to 20,000 cfs. Monthly releases later in the year will be adjusted downward to account for water released during the experiment.

The agencies last year scoped the long-term experimental plan for operation of Glen Canyon Dam, on the Colorado near Page. (HNN 4/24/07) Experimental operations are to learn which elements of dam operations and other management actions would lead to recovery and long-term sustainability of downstream resources, while minimizing effects to hydropower capability and flexibility.

Latest Slideshow

Your Picture Here: Send Us Your Dam Selfie

View Slideshow >>

more slideshows >>   

Hydro Whitepapers

Related Articles

Hydro Industry Financials

Most Read Articles

Recent Comments

Continuing Education

Professional Development Hours
To access a course listing associated to a specific topic listed below, click on the topic of choice from the list below.

Volume 34, Issue 3
Volume 23, Issue 2

Archived Articles

2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 2011 | 2012 | 2013
Hydro Review Past Issues

Buyers Guide Products

Project Management

Knight Piésold engineers, scientists and techni...

Environmental Services

Knight Piésold maintains the technical capabili...

QSP Environmental Packers aka Fixed End Style

SS / Viton with Pass Thru(s)

GEI's Review of an EPA Thermal Model

GEI provides water quaily and temperature analy...

Buyers Guide Companies

In-Situ Inc

Designs, manufactures, and distributes environm...

Ecofish Research Ltd

Specializes in the environmental assessment and...

Cable Huston Benedict Haagensen & Lloyd LLP

Provides legal support for environmental, natur...

Gomez and Sullivan Engineers PC

We are a water resources consulting firm offeri...

Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd

An internationally-recognized engineering and e...