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USGS survey in lower Cataract Canyon in 1921 (Palmer Canyon), which is now buried in Lake Powell sediment.

USGS survey in lower Cataract Canyon in 1921 (Palmer Canyon), which is now buried in Lake Powell sediment.


The Colorado River is a story more about sediment than water. There is a saying on the Colorado about it's sediment load: "Too thin to plow, too thick to drink." By volume, the Colorado River is the most sandy and silty river in North America. By volume of water, the Colorado ranks 25th in the 50 states of the USA. However, this tiny river has eroded half of the Colorado Plateau in as little as 6 - 10 million years. Indeed, quite an accomplishment and a testament to the power of grits both fine and course. Once you read some of the key documents (example) in this section, you will understand that sediment will interrupt water supplies to the water users of the Colorado River in as little as ~250 years.

"Our rivers run silt, although we could better think of them as running the telltale blood of cancer." Alan Gregg. 



1960 - Comprehensive study of Lake Mead sediment and hydrology. US Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation.
Table of Contents
a. The Lake Mead Problem
b. Organization of the Work & Equipment
c. Geologic Setting of Lake Mead
d. Drainage Basin Tributary to Lake Mead
e. Precise Leveling
f. Interpretation of the Precise Leveling
g. Survey of the Lake
h. Survey of Lower Granite Gorge
i. Reservoir Storage
j. Water Budget Mead Survey
k. Character of the Flowing Water
l. Chemistry of the Water
m. Circulation & Evaporation
n. Character of the Accumulated Sediment
o. Bacteriology & BioChemistry of the Sediments
p. Amount of Sediment
q. Turbidity Currents
r. Erosion of Reservoir
s. Sedimentation in Relation to Reservoir Utilization
t. Life of the Reservoir
u. The Sediment Problem in Reservoirs
v. Index MEDIA




USGS Lake Powell Sediment Survey 2017






Dam Operations
Public Notices


Back of Beyond Books
Barbara Anne Morra Memorial
Canyon Country Rising Tide
Canyonlands Watershed Council
Celebrating the Grand Canyon
Center for Biological Diversity
Colorado River Connected
Colorado Riverkeeper
Corey Allen Hale Memorial
Dive Into Democracy
Five Quail Books
Friends of the Earth
Going Solar
Great Basin Water Network
Green River Action Network
Holiday River Expeditions
Las Vegas Water Defender
Living Rivers
New Belgium Brewing Company
O.A.R.S White Water Rafting
Peaceful Uprising
People's Energy Movement
Resource Renewal Institute
Returning Rapids Project
Rig To Flip
River Runners for Wilderness
Save The Colorado
Serena Supplee Gallery
Sheep Mountain Alliance
Steaming Bean Coffee Company
Tom Till Photography
Upper Colorado River Watershed Group
Upper Green River Network
Uranium Watch
Utah Rivers Council
Utah Tar Sands Resistance
Wabi Sabi
Waterkeeper Alliance

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