Southwest Biological Science Center

Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center

Filter Total Items: 7
Date published: March 10, 2021
Status: Active

Is timing really everything? Evaluating Resource Response to Spring Disturbance Flows

Glen Canyon Dam has altered ecological processes of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon. Before the dam was built, the Colorado River experienced seasonable variable flow rates, including springtime flooding events. These spring floods scoured the river bottom and enhanced natural processes that sustained the Colorado River ecosystem. Since the dam’s construction in 1963, springtime floods have...

Date published: October 28, 2020
Status: Active

Episode 6 - Sandbars and Vegetation in Grand Canyon

In this episode of Outstanding in the Field, we are talking about beaches in a place that most people probably would not think of—the Grand Canyon. USGS scientists at the Southwest Biological Science...

Date published: October 7, 2020
Status: Active

River Sediment Dynamics

Sediment controls the physical habitat of river ecosystems. Changes in the amount and areal distribution of different sediment types cause changes in river-channel form and river habitat. The amount and type of sediment suspended in the water column determines water clarity. Understanding sediment transport and the conditions under which sediment is deposited or eroded from the various...

Date published: August 3, 2019
Status: Active

River Geomorphology and Geomorphic Change

River channels and their adjacent floodplains are ever evolving in form and composition in response to changing patterns of streamflow, the quantity and size of supplied sediment, and feedbacks with the riparian and aquatic ecosystems. Changes in channel form affect aquatic and riparian habitats, which are important for plants, animals, and insects. Erosion and deposition of river channels and...

Contacts: Paul Grams, Ph.D., David J Topping, Keith A Kohl, Daniel Buscombe, Matt Kaplinskii, Joseph E. Hazel
Date published: August 3, 2019
Status: Active

Sediment Storage in Grand Canyon

The sandbars exposed along the shoreline of the Colorado River represent only a small fraction of the sand deposits in Grand Canyon, most of which are on the bed of the river in eddies and the channel. Current management practice includes efforts to maintain and build sandbars by releasing high flows from Glen Canyon Dam that are timed to coincide with periods of fine-sediment supply from...

Contacts: Paul Grams, Ph.D., Robert Tusso, Keith A Kohl, David J Topping, Joseph E. Hazel, Jr, Daniel Buscombe, Matt Kaplinski
Date published: July 28, 2019
Status: Active

River Campsites in Grand Canyon National Park

Sandbars have been used as campsites by river runners and hikers since the first expeditions to the region more than 100 years ago. Sandbar campsites continue to be an important part of the recreational experience for the more than 25,000 hikers and river runners that visit the Colorado River corridor each year. Because the Colorado River is dominated by bedrock cliffs and steep talus slopes,...

Contacts: Paul Grams, Ph.D., Robert Tusso, Matt Kaplinski
Date published: April 24, 2019
Status: Active

Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Projects

The Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center currently functions under a Triennial Work Plan (TWP) which is thoroughly reviewed and vetted both internally within the Center and through the GCDAMP Technical Work Group (TWG) and the Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG).  These advisory panels have been a part of the Glen Canyon Dam...