Home Archived May 12, 2018

Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 216.3, Confluence of Green and Colorado Rivers, Upstream View from River Right (Stake 2429)

Viewing Cataract Canyon Site 1 of 32 Return to Main Stanton Index

Stake 2429, 31 May 1889 View Larger Image
31 May 1889
The Confluence of the Green (left) and the Colorado (center, exiting right) Rivers is the site of many colorful episodes in western history. Denis Julien was the first known explorer of European origin to pass here in the 1830s. The Powell Expedition paused here in 1869 and 1871, and in 1889, the Brown-Stanton Expedition found two plates left by one of the Powell expeditions. The rivers are at flood stage, and the riparian species appear to be mostly native willows with scattered cottonwood trees and possibly a few boxelder trees. Saltbushes occur on the bottomlands in the midground, and a number of desert shrubs, notably Mormon tea, are scattered within the hillslope boulders. The rivers are in low flood stage, and no sandbars are exposed.
Photo credit: Franklin A. Nims, 57-RS-35, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 2429, 24 March 1997 View Larger Image
24 March 1997
The riparian vegetation has greatly increased on both sides of the river, and although most are non-native tamarisk trees, several small groves of boxelders appear across the river on the left, and desert olive with scattered Goodding willows and cottonwood trees are also present. Native riparian species also have increased. Desert vegetation in the foreground is a saltbush community, and a number of four-wing saltbush persist. Biological soil crusts are obvious in this view in contrast with conditions in 1889, when the bottomland had more shrubs and less exposed substrate.
Photo credit: Robert H. Webb

Stake 2429, 29 July 2010 View Larger Image
29 July 2010
The foreground saltbush community has changed little in the intervening 13 years, and many of the persistent individuals have grown. Several new peachleaf willows are visible behind the tamarisk along the river, which are dying because of introduction of the tamarisk beetle. The prominent sandbar in the midground is a seasonal feature at this site and heavily used by river runners for campsite, but its size fluctuates annually and seasonally. Biological soil crusts remain prominent, although trails through the bottomlands appear to have widened at the expense of the crusts.
Photo credit: Helen A. Raichle

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