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Damming Grand Canyon: The 1923 USGS Colorado River Expedition Hardcover – May 7, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Utah State University Press; 1 edition (May 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874216605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874216608
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,701,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Provides magnificent background on Colorado River water development. . . . It is also an adventure story of coping with the elements while accomplishing the complex surveying required.

W. L. Rusho, author of Lee's Ferry and Everett Reuss

About the Author

Diane Boyer is an archivist working for the U.S. Geological Survey's Desert Laboratory Collection of Repeat Photography in Tucson, Arizona. She has published several articles, most of which deal with Grand Canyon and Colorado River history.

Robert Webb has worked on long-term changes in natural ecosystems of the southwestern United States since 1976. He is a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and has authored, co-authored, or edited nine books, including Grand Canyon: A Century of Change.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Henry Berry on September 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Diaries and letters of 10 of the 12 men in the 1923 U.S. Geological Survey to obtain detailed and useful information on the Colorado River including the Grand Canyon stretch make the "backbone" of the book. The 12 men included a variety with particular knowledge and skills to accomplish the purposes of the expedition. Among them were a hydraulic engineer, a photographer, a writer, and topologists and geologists. The main aim was study of the River for favorable places to build dams to supply water to the fast-growing Western states, especially California with its large agricultural areas, and make the area suitable for additional development and tourism.

Though the locations for dams recommended by the 1923 Expedition were not accepted, its findings were used to determine locations where dams were built, notably Hoover Dam. The publicity given to the Expedition, in the periodical Scientific American for example, and appearances and writings by several of its members brought national attention to the large, unique natural area about which little was previously known despite previous explorations and expeditions going back to the first half of the 1800s. The Grand Canyon has since become a popular tourist area.

The format of much of the book is to follow the progress and varied work of the Expedition by excerpts from its members' diaries and letters covering the same day or short period of time. Background on the Expedition and its aftermath are provided in surrounding chapters by the coauthors, both of whom have done much work and writing relating to the region's natural environment.
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