Sunday, April 10, 2016
Flowers, Folds, and Floods on the Way to Yosemite
Despite the nonstop rain, we accomplished most of our goals, and saw most of the features of Yosemite and the Merced River Canyon (Half Dome was a no-show, though). We managed to thread our way through the day, catching some stops when the rain had declined to a drizzle, or having a sheltered place to discuss the geological features of particular stops.
The flow yesterday may have been a record for the date (although I'm not quite clear how to interpret the graph on that count). The river was not actually officially flooding (it would have to reach 6,600 cfs), but flows yesterday were consistent with the peak runoffs that normally occur in late May and early June. The record low flow for the date was just set last year, at 244 cfs. The greatest recorded flood ever occurred during the El Nino year of 1997 when the river reached 24,600 cubic feet per second.