Chalk Cliffs, Colorado

Science Center Objects

Recent Conditions

The instrumentation was installed in the summer of 2008 and includes a series of three monitoring stations located along the main channel. Data from one of these stations (Station 1) is transmitted from the site and displayed here.

Data from the sensors are sampled at high rates (2 seconds to 100 hertz) during rain events and every 2 minutes otherwise. Two-minute data are transmitted by cell phone modem from the site to a USGS computer every 5 minutes.

Chalk Cliffs, located 8 miles southwest of Buena Vista, CO, is one of the most active debris-flow areas in the state. Typically one or more debris flows occur each year after intense or prolonged rainfall. The debris flows are triggered by surface-water runoff over loose material stored in channels.

The USGS and its cooperators have installed debris-flow monitoring equipment in the largest drainage basin at Chalk Cliffs. Data collection at this site supports research on the hydrologic factors that control debris-flow initiation, entrainment, and flow dynamics.

For More Information

 

 

Map of Chalk Cliffs Study Basin

Map of Chalk Cliffs study area and locations of Upper (1), Middle (2), and Lower (3) monitoring stations.

(Public domain.)

 

View of monitoring basin from the debris-flow fan near Chaffee County Road 162.

View of the Chalk Cliffs, CO study area from the debris-flow fan near Chaffee County Road 162.

(Public domain.)

 

Set up of Station 1 in Chalk Cliffs with view up-channel

The Upper monitoring station at Chalk Cliffs, CO.

(Public domain.)

 

Station 2 set up with camera (Image view is down-channel)

The Middle monitoring station at Chalk Cliffs, CO.

(Public domain.)

 

 

Station 3 set up with view down-channel of debris flow

The Lower monitoring station at Chalk Cliffs, CO.

(Public domain.)

Chalk Cliffs in the background showing view from video camera towards station 1.

View of the west channel and Upper monitoring station (Station 1), Chalk Cliffs, CO.

(Public domain.)

 

View from Video Camera set up looking towards station one in Chalk Cliffs

View of the west channel and Upper monitoring station (Station 1) from video camera site at Chalk Cliffs, CO.

(Public domain.)

 

A non-contact stage sensor is suspended approximately 2 meters above the channel bed.

Force plate (silver square) and stage sensor at the Upper monitoring station, Chalk Cliffs, CO.

(Public domain.)

 

View of Chalk Cliffs down-channel where the debris flow is originating from with a man standing on side for scale

Debris-flow initiation zone near the top of the East Channel at Chalk Cliffs, CO.

(Public domain.)