Strandlines of peak-stage indicators (such as driftwood logs, woody debris, and trash) provide valuable data for understanding the maximum stage and extent of inundation during floods. A series of seven strandlines have been preserved along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, USA. A survey and analysis of these strandlines was completed from the Colorado River at Lees Ferry, Ariz., gaging station to the Colorado River near Grand Canyon, Ariz., gaging station. Owing to the longitudinally discontinuous nature of the strandlines, several lines of evidence were used to determine the year of the flood associated with each strandline segment. This evidence included strandline relative vertical position, degree of peak-stage indicator weathering, datable trash drift, and map-view location. The seven distinct strandlines identified were deposited during floods with the following peak discharges (in cubic feet per second [ft3/s]) at the Colorado River at Lees Ferry, Ariz., gaging station (year of flood in parentheses): 210,000 ft3/s (1884), 170,000 ft3/s (1921), 125,000 ft3/s (1957), 108,000 ft3/s (1958), 97,000 ft3/s (1983), 52,500 ft3/s (1986), and 45,000 ft3/s (multiple events between 1996 and 2012). Stage-discharge relations were developed in areas where all, or most of the strandlines were present, and were compared to predicted stage-discharge relations from a one-dimensional flow model. River width exerted a strong control on these relations, with much greater stage change occurring for a given discharge change in narrower bedrock-dominated reaches than in wider reaches with more extensive channel-margin alluvium. This comprehensive dataset allows for the verification of model-predicted flood stage along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park.
|Title||Strandlines from large floods on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona|
|Authors||Thomas A. Sabol, Ronald E. Griffiths, David J. Topping, Erich R. Mueller, Robert B. Tusso, Joseph E. Hazel|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Southwest Biological Science Center|