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Lake Mead Work Continues, with Presentations and Sampling

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The author's dog, Scupper, contemplates a series of slump scarps along the bank of the Colorado River [alt text]
Field assistant: The author's dog, Scupper, contemplates a series of slump scarps along the bank of the Colorado River.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Dave Twichell presented results from research on sediment transport in Lake Mead to the Southern Nevada Water Authority on December 19 and to managers in the National Park Service on January 7.

The Southern Nevada Water Authority, the agency that oversees water quality and water usage for the State, was keenly interested in the results from our coring work that indicate sand has been transported at least 8 km into the lake from Las Vegas Wash. This wash, a small stream by East Coast standards, drains the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The Park Service managers were interested in our geologic mapping as an aid to modifying and moving recreational facilities on the lake.

A mid-January weekend was spent in the field collecting samples from the delta where the Colorado River enters Lake Mead. January's lake level—57 ft lower than when we completed geophysical mapping in April 2001—provided an unusual opportunity to walk over, photograph, and directly sample what 2 years ago could be viewed only in the geophysical records. A 2-mi walk through the desert in 70°F weather (while my USGS colleagues in Woods Hole, MA, were putting up with 10°F weather), followed by a 0.5-mi walk across desiccated deltaic deposits, led to some spectacular exposures along the bank of the Colorado River. The west edge of the Colorado Plateau provided a truly extraordinary backdrop to the field area. Scupper, the ever-enthusiastic dog, gamely did the entire walk until she faced the last 100 yd, at which point she lay down and, with tail wagging, refused to go another step. So, at the end of the day, not only did I have to carry all the samples, but I also had to carry one of my field assistants!

Related Sound Waves Stories
Dedication of a New Vessel for Research on Lake Mead
November 2002
Dave Twitchell Leaves Woods Hole (Temporarily) for the University of Nevada
October 2002
Coring to Study Sediment Dispersal in Lake Mead, Nevada
July 2002
Lake Mead Group Travels to Las Vegas, NV
March 2002
Lake Mead Mapping Completed
June 2001
Seismic and Sidescan Sonar Survey in Lake Mead, Nevada
July 2000
Lake Mead: UNLV Cooperative Cruise
July 1999

Related Web Sites
Sediment Studies in Lake Mead
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Department of Geoscience
University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)

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Research cover story:
Competitive Edge of Invasive Species

Lake Mead Work Continues

Outreach Dolphin Rescue

London Interns Tour St. Pete

Congressional Briefing on Gas Hydrates

Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety

Science Mentoring

Meetings Coastal Vulnerability

Lidar Data and Technology

International Deep-Sea Corals Workshop

Northeastern Coastal Ecosystems and Resources Workshop

Awards Shinn Wins 2002 Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award

Coastal and Marine Scientists Win 2002 Shoemaker Product Excellence Awards

Behrendt and Poag Elected AAAS Fellows

Normark Awarded Keen Medal

Staff & Center News A Tribute to Joe Newell

Marine Geophysics Pioneer Honored

Celebrating Careers of Five Retirees

Manheim Lectures on Trends in Scientific and Technological Innovation

Publications San Francisco Bay Earthquake Hazards

Effectivenes of Marine Reserves in Central California

Human Influence on Diatom Productivity and Sedimentation in Chesapeake Bay

Feb. / Mar. Publications List

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