Home Archived May 12, 2018

Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 214.3, Lower Red Lake Canyon, Downstream View from River Left (Stake 2790)

Viewing Cataract Canyon Site 10 of 32 Return to Main Stanton Index

Stake 2790, 31 May 1889 View Larger Image
31 May 1889
In this view, from a camera station upstream from Rapid 1 and just downstream from Lower Red Lake Canyon, a crew member of the Brown-Stanton Expedition holds a survey rod marked in one-foot increments. He is sitting on a flank of the evaporite diapir covered with gypsic soils. Biological crusts thrive on gypsic soils, and the flats in the foreground and midground are black with dense crusts. The extensive bottomland has a vegetation assemblage dominated by Mormon tea but also including many other shrubs, notably saltbushes, and perennial grasses. The slope at lower left has a stand of shadscale.
Photo credit: Franklin A. Nims, 57-RS-39, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 2790, s2790-1889 View Larger Image
Many trails have been created through the soil crusts on this flat. No trails are visible in 1889, indicating that the modern trails are a result of people, not animals. Destruction of ancient soil crusts is harmful to the ecosystem in Cataract Canyon; to protect this resource, the National Park Service requests that hikers stay on trails. Much of the native riparian vegetation has been replaced by tamarisk along the river corridor. The tamarisk trees are taller than native willow, and the tamarisk now blocks the view of most of the river. In the foreground are seepweed plants that appear to be persistent. The midground is dominated by a number of persistent individuals, including shadscale, greasewood, and Mormon tea, and two new pricklypear are present. The hillslope at left is unstable, and no shadscale appears to persist on it.
Photo credit: Steve Tharnstrom

Stake 2790, 30 July 2010 View Larger Image
30 July 2010
The trails through the soil crusts are still well defined and heavily used, although there are no new trails visible. Shadscale dominates the foreground, and a new pricklypear is visible in the right foreground. As in 1994, many individuals of Mormon tea, shadscale, and greasewood persist on the bottomland. The tamarisk in the midground have largely died off due to damage by the tamarisk leaf beetle, revealing more of the coyote willow along the river banks.
Photo credit: Robert H. Webb

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