Forced Floods Fail in Grand Canyon

By and

SALT LAKE CITY?An artificial flood created six years ago by opening Glen Canyon Dam floodgates failed in its mission to distribute sediment along Colorado River beaches in Grand Canyon, a group of researchers concluded.

The idea was to churn sand and silt from the bottom of the river channel and distribute them on the banks, sandbars and side canyons.

Scientists say the benefits of the artificial flood apparently were short-lived, if not illusory.

“We’re sort of back to where we were before the ’96 flood. Some measures tell us we have less sand than before,” said Jack Schmidt, a Utah State University geography professor.