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Book review: Drowned River

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hank moon, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

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    Excerpt from:
    https://hyperallergic.com/429203/drowned-river-the-death-and-rebirth-of-glen-canyon-on-the-colorado/

    As Climate Change Dries a Southwest Reservoir, a Drowned Canyon Returns
    For Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado photographers Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe with author Rebecca Solnit explored the return of a flooded Southwest landscape.
    [​IMG]
    Photograph from Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado by Mark Klett, Byron Wolfe, and Rebecca Solnit (courtesy the artists and Radius Books)

    Before Glen Canyon was flooded by a reservoir, photographer Eliot Porter documented its sandstone formations, small rivers, and sculptural chasms. The color photographs were published by the Sierra Club in the 1963 The Place No One Knew: Glen Canyon on the Colorado, a eulogy to this place lost to development. Over half a century later, photographers Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe, with author Rebecca Solnit, returned to this disrupted landscape that stretches between Utah and Arizona, setting out to find the places Porter photographed, even though most were underwater. Their discoveries are published in Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado, out from Radius Books.

    [​IMG]
    Cover of Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado by Mark Klett, Byron Wolfe, and Rebecca Solnit (courtesy Radius Books)

    “We found a few,” Klett told Hyperallergic. “But in the end, we made work that referenced Porter’s, not intending to repeat his as we had done in previous projects. … The work became less about the dam and the creation of the lake, and more about what’s happened there since the dam, the outlook for its future, and finally the reemergence of Glen Canyon.”

    Klett, Wolfe, and Solnit are longtime collaborators, with work like the 2005 Yosemite in Time: Ice Ages, Tree Clocks, Ghost Rivers, for which they re-photographed some of the most popular images of Yosemite, and the 2012 Reconstructing the View, for which Klett and Wolfe returned to the sites of historic photographs of the Grand Canyon. Due to the changes at Glen Canyon, that kind of study was impossible.
    Deagol, Ali Miller, Ram and 3 others like this.
  2. Taylor

    Taylor

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    My copy has been ordered. Thanks Hank
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  3. Bootboy

    Bootboy Atwood Gear

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    I would look at the pictures but shudder to read anything written by Rebecca Solnit....

    Anyway....

    While I’m of the opinion that building the dam was a travesty, and I don’t shed any tears for the eventual obsolescence of the reservoir,
    I have to point out that Lake Powell (Floyd Dominy Reservoir) is not gradually emptying and getting lower and lower every year, as this book seems to suggest.

    There seems to be a narrative that pushes that idea. It’s factually inaccurate. And regardless of predictions of decreasing snowfall in the upper CR basin and the increasing demand on water resources, those aren’t facts they are projections and forecasts.

    Lake Powell was at its lowest level since filled in 2005, when it was about 140’ below full pool. That was 13 years ago.
    The lake is currently 88 feet below full pool. In late summer 2011, it was within 40’ of full pool. So certainly no trend for the last 13 years.
    Austin Farnworth likes this.
  4. Downward Bound

    Downward Bound

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    Here is a nice chart of the lake levels since day 1. Use the drop down arrow below the chart and change to “All Time Lake Levels.”

    http://graphs.water-data.com/lakepowell/

    I bemoan the existence of Lake Powell, but take advantage of it since it is there.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  5. Craig

    Craig Feeling My Way

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    Since the peak level of the 1980s, It is easy to see a downward trend.
    https://arachnoid.com/NaturalResources/powell.html

    From my very limited reading on the subject, it is suggested that a "Structural Deficit" exists. The water planners from 1922, used max river flow instead of average flow to calculate how much water was to be allocated to each user. I'm sure the planners would never have expected that 50 million people would be currently using the water.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/should-iconic-lake-powell-be-drained/

    Also, it seems the Colorado basin might be in the worst drought cycle in 1200 years.
    https://www.usbr.gov/newsroom/newsrelease/detail.cfm?RecordID=62170

    Maybe this drought would not be so scary if we could depend on it to run its course as many past cycles have done. However, science suggests our climate is warming ten times faster than the average since the last ice age; so, any forecasts we make are probably more uncertain than usual.
    https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/GlobalWarming/page3.php
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  6. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    I didn't realize she paved the way to coining the term, "mansplaining"...
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  7. Rapterman

    Rapterman

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    Rebecca rocks!
    Just bought the book...
    will read and 'splain it to ya later
    :D
    townsend likes this.
  8. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    I like it as a lake, but I'd go there without the lake too because I'd love to see the bottom half of the canyon. That said, even if the dam were blown tomorrow, it isn't going to look like it did 100 years ago for a long, long time. Not sure which will take longer to disappear, the trash or the sediment.
  9. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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    I got a chance to see Cathedral of the Desert when I popped out at low water a few years back. Awesome. Yeah, there's boaters trash. That can be picked up. Sediment...a season or two of flash floods...gone. Bath tub ring will hang around for awhile but not that big a deal.

    What will disappear are the boats...at least the ones that float...ha ha. And water skiers. And wave runners.

    I'd think it would recover way faster than folks think. Probably faster than the reservoir took to fill.
  10. Canyonero

    Canyonero

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    I'm skeptical the sediment can go that fast. Eventually, the river will win though.
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  11. Brian in SLC

    Brian in SLC Brian in SLC

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  12. Ali Miller

    Ali Miller

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  13. RossK

    RossK

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    I’ve previously bought 4 great DVDs (3 with photos before the dam, one from a low lake year), & gone through some websites with many pre-dam shots, but I’ve read there’s a library in Flagstaff with the biggest collection of pre- dam photos. Has anyone ever gone there and checked them out? Wondered if it was worth visiting and how many are unpublished on the web or in books/DVD’s


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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