Monday, October 25, 2010

A canyon flashes

Last weekend was spent in Moab UT at a literary festival about water. The weekend as a whole was a bit wet and fall in the desert never looked better. Saturday afternoon, however, the heavens opened and the town was treated to a good soaking with severe thunderstorms, a half hour downpour and hail. The canyon we were exploring did not have a gauging station but a nearby stream showed a 10 fold increase in discharge from about 7 cfs to 70 cfs in a matter of minutes. Actually the storm was a perfect addition to a festival about water.

Below are images of Courthouse Wash which originates in Arches N.P. Usually the water is clear, but the sediment load is easily seen as the silt is an especially red color.

A nearby gauging station showing a spike on Saturday October 23.

This is usually an easy river crossing.
A view from the other side.
Using a beaver dam to cross the river. The flash certainly impacted the integrity of the dam and my walking across it didn't help either.

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