A 4500-year record of large floods on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Arizona

Jim E. O'Connor, Lisa L. Ely, Ellen E. Wohl, Lawrence E. Stevens, Theodore S. Melis, Vishwas S. Kale, Victor R. Baker

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Abstract

A sequence of flood deposits suggests at least 15 floods with peak discharges greater than 5500 m3sec-1 over the last 4500 yr. Ten floods during the last 2000-2300 yr had discharges greater than 6800 m3sec-1. One flood, 1600-1200 yr ago, had a discharge exceeding 14 000 m3sec-1, a flow rate more than twice the largest gaged flood. This record of flooding is one of the longest for a major US river and, combined with the gaged record of twentieth century floods, allows determination of the frequency and history of large floods that have affected key aspects of Colorado River geomorphology. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geology
Volume102
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Cite this

O'Connor, J. E., Ely, L. L., Wohl, E. E., Stevens, L. E., Melis, T. S., Kale, V. S., & Baker, V. R. (1994). A 4500-year record of large floods on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Journal of Geology, 102(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1086/629644