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Science

Manmade Flood to Nourish Grand Canyon Ecosystem 56

Dr. Eggman writes "The Associated Press brings us news of a flood in the Grand Canyon. This flood is no ordinary flood, however. This is a man-made flood released from the Glen Canyon Dam. The Dam is releasing four to five times its normal amount of water over the course of a three day artificial flood. Scientists are conducting this massive experiment in order to document and better understand the complex relation of the aquatic habitats, natural floods, and the sediment they bring. Floods no longer bring sediment to these parts of the canyon as the Dam keeps it locked up and released in small, drawn out intervals. The Dam prevents the floods from bringing the sediments in to replenish the sandbars and allow the river to maintain its warm, murky habitat rather than a cool, clear one. It is thought that this cool clear environment brought on by the dam is responsible for helping to extinguish 4 species of fish and push 2 more towards the brink. It is hoped that this terra-reformation experiment will positively impact the habitat and fish populations, warranting further artificial floods at an increased rate of every one to two years rather than the time span between the two previous floods and this one of 8 and 4 years."

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