Picture of the Day: Sunset at Grand Falls, Arizona
SUNSET AT GRAND FALLS, ARIZONA
Photograph by SCOTT WOOD
An incredible shot of the Grand Falls in Arizona by Scott Wood, located on the Little Colorado River in the high desert of northeastern Arizona. The waters of the Little Colorado River become extremely muddy as they pass through the sandstone of the Colorado Plateau. At Grand Falls, the river is diverted from its original bed by an ancient lava flow dam, plunging 185 ft (56 m) over a wide escarpment. The Little Colorado eventually joins up with the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, some 70 mi (113 km) downstream.
Grand Falls is actually higher than Niagara Falls but not as wide. On most days little water flows over the falls, and during dry periods discharge is reduced to a trickle and may even completely dry up. In late February 2010 the flow as measured by a stream gauge just above the falls was less than one cubic foot per second (cfs). However, by early April the flow rate surged dramatically due to runoff from rapid snowmelt in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona. A deeper than normal snow pack and a sudden warm spell in late March were responsible for notable surge. [Source: Universities Space Research Association]