Drilling test wells at the bottom of the Grand Canyon requires a great deal of planning, logistics, and of course the right equipment and expertise. Yellow Jacket Drilling Services, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, was selected by the US National Park Service to do just that. The NPS is planning the replacement of their trans-canyon pipeline that provides water to the entire South Rim. This 14-minute video shows the logistics involved in installing several test wells to evaluate the potential yield of wells along Bright Angel Creek near Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It’s fascinating to watch the mobilization and demobilization of all equipment by Chinook helicopter, managing mule trains, and dealing with some very challenging drilling conditions.
There have been a number of reports on the flooding in Supai Canyon, near the Grand Canyon this past weekend. I think the best description of the event and the subsequent rescues was from the AZ211 website which I found by way of the Arizona Geology Blog (quoted after the break). The flood was impressive. I hope the areas near Havassu Falls and Mooney Falls were not too heavily damaged. I was fortunate enough to hike and camp that location back in College, the travertine is just amazing and makes the water so green. Mooney Falls and the area downstream are particularly breathtaking. [Photo credit: National Parks Service]
Many reports I’ve seen attribute the flood the result of the failure of the Redlands Dam. But again, the Arizona Geology Blog quotes the National Park Service as saying that the dam is a minor one meant to create a pond for livestock and wasn’t a significant factor in the flooding. The latest reports I saw was that 11 hikers who were missing were located today (by way of Geology.com)