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Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 178.3, Vulcan's Anvil, Downstream View from River Left (Stake 2336)

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Stake 2336, 26 February 1890 View Larger Image
26 February 1890
Just downstream of Vulcan’s Anvil, Stanton took this view with a member of his crew posing in the left foreground. The dominant shrub on the foreground slope is creosotebush, and biological soil crusts are dense here, developed on substrate weathered from the dolomite of the Muav Limestone. Mormon tea, white bursage, barrel cacti, and catclaw are also present.
Photo credit: Robert B. Stanton, 57-RS-618, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 2336, 10 March 1993 View Larger Image
10 March 1993
Most of the creosotebush and some of the white bursage have persisted the intervening 103 years, and the creosotebush appears to be larger in stature. While none of the individual barrel cactus persist, the number of cacti have greatly increased. Tamarisk grows along the river corridor, with mesquite upslope from it and catclaw scattered along the slope. Heavy rainfall in the winter of 1993 led to lush growth of annuals, particularly non-native brome grasses.
Photo credit: Gary B. Bolton

Stake 2336, 27 September 2010 View Larger Image
27 September 2010
Many of the creosotebush and white bursage that were present at the time of Stanton’s original photograph have persisted another two decades. Most of the barrel cactus that were present in 1993 are still alive, although there also has been some mortality and recruitment. The mesquite, catclaw, and tamarisk, which are leafed out, appear to have increased in density in the last two decades. Bob Webb stands in the same position as Stanton’s crew member.
Photo credit: Bill Lemke

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