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Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 215.8, Just downstream from the Confluence, Upstream View from River Left (Stake 3063b)

Viewing Cataract Canyon Site 4 of 32 Return to Main Stanton Index

Stake 3063b, 30 May 1889 View Larger Image
30 May 1889
This upstream view, from the same camera station as Stake 3063a, represents the first swing view taken by Franklin Nims to accomplish his task of documenting the route of the Colorado Canon and Pacific Railroad. The Confluence is left of this view, which mostly shows a bottomland on the Colorado River. Riparian vegetation lining the river includes desert olive, coyote willow, and scattered netleaf hackberry; the bottomland in the midground contains mostly saltbushes; and Mormon tea and shadscale mantle the boulder pile in the foreground. Biological soil crusts are present but are sparse owing to the coarse surficial deposit.
Photo credit: Franklin A. Nims, 57-RS-38, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 3063b, 2 June 1993 View Larger Image
2 June 1993
A small debris flow has added sediment to the foreground, including the prominent rock in the right foreground. The additional fine-grained sediment has promoted establishment of biological soil crusts, which quickly establish on dolomite-rich substrates such as this. The Mormon tea in the center of the view persists despite the deposition, although one to its right has died; many four-wing saltbush and shadscale persist in the view. Tamarisk towers over what was a native stand of riparian vegetation, although one clump of desert olive is apparent at left center. Rubber rabbitbrush has established on the bottomland behind the tamarisk and is taller than the saltbushes on this surface.
Photo credit: Robert H. Webb

Stake 3063b, 29 July 2010 View Larger Image
29 July 2010
The mosaic of brown tamarisk and green coyote willow and desert olive shows the change spurred by tamarisk leaf beetles, which are highly effective in killing tamarisk in Cataract Canyon. Both the rubber rabbitbrush and four-wing saltbushes on the floodplain have persisted and have grown, and non-native Russian thistle growing among the taller shrubs generally obscures the previously barren intershrub area, which was mantled with biological soil crusts. Those crusts are more apparent in the foreground, probably because of recent rainfall but also possibly increasing in density as establishment continues on the historic debris-flow deposit. Several Mormon tea and shadscale individuals at center and in the right foreground persist, and some of these clearly are more than 121 years old.
Photo credit: Steve Young

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