Home Archived May 12, 2018

Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 95.0, Hermit Rapid , Downstream View from River Left (Stake 1464)

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Stake 1464, 8 February 1890 View Larger Image
8 February 1890
This image was taken from the mouth of Hermit Creek, seen flowing in the foreground, at the head of Hermit Rapid. The rapid was far longer in 1890 than in the 20th century as a result of debris-flow deposition downstream at Boucher Rapid. In 1890, despite the fuzzy whitewater caused by the long exposure (Stanton’s camera did not have a shutter), the whitewater appears to extend into the distance, an observation verified by later surveying and photography. The wide debris fan is nearly devoid of vegetation. Mormon tea is visible growing on the slopes above the scour line of the river.
Photo credit: Robert B. Stanton, 57-RS-472, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 1464, 31 January 1990 View Larger Image
31 January 1990
When this image was matched on a rainy winter day, we did not have a sufficiently wide angle lens to capture the entire view, which nonetheless shows most of the center portion of the image. The rapid, one of the largest in Grand Canyon, is clearly visible in our view owing to use of a fast shutter speed, and the pool below the rapid can be plainly seen at center. Some of the same large boulders are still visible on the debris fan, while many of the smaller rocks are gone or have moved. The stream course has slightly altered. There is now considerable vegetation on the fan and along the new high water line, including tamarisk, seepwillow, arrowweed, coyote willow, cattail, and various perennial grasses. The sand dune visible in the center left appears to have aggraded over the past century.
Photo credit: Tom Brownold

Stake 1464, 14 March 1999 View Larger Image
14 March 1999
This image matches the original Stanton field of view. A debris flow in 1998 has buried many of the large boulders, and small cobbles now dominate the foreground. The debris flow slightly increased the constriction in the center of the rapid, which for a brief period greatly increased the severity of waves near the bottom of the rapid. The tamarisk trees that were present nine years before have grown considerably in stature and now partially obscure the view of the rapid.
Photo credit: Dominic Oldershaw

Stake 1464, 31 October 2001 View Larger Image
31 October 2001
Tamarisk, seepwillow, and coyote willow now largely block the foreground view, and the creek bed has changed, precluding an exact match. The river is barely visible through the vegetation and only a small portion of the large boulder visible in the lower right of the 1999 match can be seen.
Photo credit: Tom Brownold

Stake 1464, 20 September 2010 View Larger Image
20 September 2010
Riparian vegetation, including arrowweed, seepwillow, and tamarisk, now completely obscures both the foreground and midground.
Photo credit: Steve Tharnstrom

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