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Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 212.5, Rapid 1, Across Canyon View from River Left (Stake 3065)

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Stake 3065, 31 May 1889 View Larger Image
31 May 1889
This photograph is unusual because Nims mostly use a landscape format instead of this portrait format for his images. Flow in the river is approximately 40,000 ft3/s, and the right bank, across the river, is mostly barren in the view. On the upstream edge (right side), a stand of low netleaf hackberry is apparent with desert vegetation upslope, including Mormon tea and desert barberry. The steep channel on the left leading down from the vertical cliffs at the top creates the river right debris fan at the head of Rapid 1. This view is also of historical interest because it shows the Brown-Stanton expedition campsite, which was reached after the accident with the cook’s boat, the Brown Betty, that led to name of Brown Betty Rapid and the loss of much of the expedition’s provisions on a makeshift raft.
Photo credit: Franklin A. Nims, 57-RS-22, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 3065, 3 June 1993 View Larger Image
3 June 1993
The discharge in the Colorado River is 70,000 ft3/s, much larger than the water level experienced by the Brown-Stanton expedition 104 years before. The riparian stand of non-native tamarisk and native coyote willow obscures the netleaf hackberry trees, most of which have persisted the intervening 104 years. Numerous Mormon tea and desert barberry individuals persist. A debris flow from the high-angle chute has caused deposition at the head of Rapid 1, causing a slight change in the upper right side of the rapid.
Photo credit: Robert H. Webb

Stake 3065, 30 July 2010 View Larger Image
30 July 2010
The river is flowing at about 6,000 ft3/s, or low enough to expose the rocky bank downslope from the stand of coyote willow and non-native tamarisk. The brown color of the dead or dying tamarisk distinguishes that species from the native coyote willow, which now forms a dense, extensive stand downslope from the still-persistent netleaf hackberry trees. Most of the Mormon tea and desert barberry still persist 121 years after Nims’ photograph.
Photo credit: Steve Young

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