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Category: Elwha valley



Pedestrian Offramp, Elwha River, June 2013


Nurse cedars/snags + high-water mark
Aldwell lakebed, December 2012

I’ve been coming here since they drained the lake, trying to get a handle on the project. It’s such a cumulative landscape, difficult to isolate what you are seeing in distinctly-portioned frames.  I usually end up wandering in the alluvial fan, taking a few images of miniature silt canyons that have no scale or distinction.

I went back with a 5″x12″ banquet format camera yesterday, which made it a little easier getting an overview. There’s a fugitive sense of the current (pun intended) with this wider view, as the flow lines add a sense of both duration and endurance, if not permanence outright.

Another Bridge study w/ bucket
Lower Elwha, October 2012

Bridge study w/ bucket
Lower Elwha, October 2012

NASA visits the Elwha valley

*The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured these natural-color images of Lake Aldwell
on August 10, 2004 (top), and May 12, 2012 (bottom). These images have been rotated so that north is to the lower right. Removal of
the Elwha Dam started in September 2011 and concluded in March 2012. The high-resolution images also show changes in Lake Mills
and the Glines Canyon Dam, which is expected to be completely removed by the summer of 2013.

Just happened to check in at NASA’s Earth Observatory this evening and saw a familiar site selected as the image of the day. Here’s a link to the page where you can directly compare both images as an overlay-
Top image is pre-river recovery program, bottom is post-dam removal. The silting is impressive,  more post-holocaust than recovery.  I’ve walked the drained lake bed a few times, and probably need to a few time more before it fully sinks in.

*photos and caption courtesy