Mt. Nusatsum

Mt. Nusatsum

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flood Plains

When you start looking at the formations on the Bella Coola Valley bottom, you realize that most of the valley bottom is or was a flood plain at some time in the past.  It's just a question of how recently it was flooded, whether it's from the time 10,000 years ago of glacial melt or the more recent seasonal freshets and the occasional moderately serious flood like October 2009. 

Looking at some of the areas where the Bella Coola River 'spilled' over a wee bit last fall and deposited silt, sand and gravel, it's apparent only 6 months later how fast things start to look normal.  Lots of areas had whole gravel bars removed and added in other places.  Some of the spill over areas seem unusual now that the water is so low; it's hard to picture how material could have been deposited way up there.  But in any case, it doesn't take long for plants to start colonizing the new areas which are rich with nutrients and the competition is minimal at this point, so the early season plants don't waste any time getting ahead.   

It was a pleasant day in the Bella Coola Valley today, although our high of 13 C didn't quite make the 16 C that Tamara from CTV news said we would see.  It was plenty to make it nice and push the various plants and animals along a little further.  We had a large butterfly around this afternoon which seemed peculiar for so early in the year, but maybe it's a sign of more nice weather to come.  Grizzly

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