Impact of flood in Grand Canyon has mixed results

PAGE, AZ - Scientists studying the effects of a manmade flood through the Colorado River last fall say it created sandbars as intended.

But the U.S. Geological Survey says the real test of success will be in whether those sandbars can be sustained over longer periods of time.

Research hydrologist Paul Grams says of the 33 sandbars monitored by camera, 18 had substantial gains, 12 had no significant change and three decreased in size. Scientists will do on-site assessments of the flood impacts later this year.

The heavy rush of water from Glen Canyon Dam in November was part of a government program to restore the Grand Canyon's ecosystem.

Previous experiments in 1996, 2004 and 2008 were one-time fact-finding missions instead of fundamental shifts in river management.

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