Description

I own no land, instead I have wheelestate. I’ve been a full time RVer since 1997. Working summers as a Park Ranger takes me to many beautiful places and playing during the winter takes me to many more. This blog is simply the story of my life's adventures.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Glen Canyon Dam - Arizona


End of Echo Cliffs
I drove up through a cut in Echo Cliffs on my way to Page, Arizona.

Page Sandstone
On top of the Echo Cliffs there lies another exposed layer of sandstone, a little different than below. Windblown sand was deposited about 170 million years ago during the Middle Jurassic creating large-scale cross-bedding (angled lines) seen on exposed sandstone.
Coal fired Navajo Generating Station & Navajo Mountain
Page is a place of power, electricity production that is. The dam generates an average of 451 megawatts compared to the generating station's 2280 megawatts.

Glen Canyon Dam
Glen Canyon Dam, built between 1956 and 1966, stands 710 feet high, 25 feet wide at the top and 300 feet wide at the base. The dam provides water, electricity, flood control and recreation to millions of people.

Colorado River
The dam also radically changed the ecosystem of the Colorado River. Below the dam the water temperature dropped at least 20 degrees F causing the loss of some native fish. Without periodic flooding to wash away and redeposit sediments the entire riparian habitat changed, including the establishment of non-native plants.

Lake Powell
Glen Canyon Dam backed up the river 186 miles creating a reservoir called Lake Powell with about 100 major side canyons and five marinas. This flooding buried many Native American ruins and outstanding geologic features.


I continued my journey into the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. Please check back for that part of the story.

10 comments:

Stephen Baird said...

love your photos.
nikonsniper

Natural Moments said...

Like a block in a major artery, the system is at risk for a major stroke. Good Medicine is required.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Hello Gaelyn. More beautiful countryside. That is an ideal place to build the dam but oh what damage it has cause!! I don't know which is worse: the change in the ecosystem or that it covered those ruins. Damn but humans are inconsiderate!! Some people just never seem to think of the consequences of their actions!!

Ruth said...

I have enjoyed your journeys in the past three posts. The sunrise on the north rim is spectacular. We have a lot of dams in our region built for flood control. The lakes above them have naturalized nicely, but it is obvious that in your ecosystem, things have not adapted for the better. Very interesting.

The Good Life in Virginia said...

as always a most excellent post and so enjoyed the photos too.
happy you are having a great trip.
looking forward to hearing where you will be working this summer ^.^

Lew said...

Amazing sculpture created by the water and wind and ages!

dAwN said...

I wish there was a way to go back in time and get rid of that damn dam...
I suppose it is helpful...but also very destructive at the same time..
What wonderful things must be hidden now under the water.

Karen said...

Even though we went to Page and Glen Canyon Dam last summer, and have some very similiar photos of the area, your post has been very educational to me. For instance, the tour guide at the dam did not tell us about the damage it has done to the ecosystem.

susieofarabia said...

Lake Powell is so amazingly beautiful - but I had no idea about its formation! Thanks for the great info, Gaelyn.

Janie said...

I know a few people who still fantasize, in Monkey Wrench Gang style, about doing away with that Glen Canyon Dam! I regret the changes to the natural environment, but I must say, Lake Powell is a great recreation area, not to mention the water storage and electric power. So, though I love Edward Abbey, I'm okay with the dam.

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