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Old 09-22-2010   #11
BoscoBoater's Avatar
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Time. Given enough time water will dissolve anything.

The New river is one of the oldest in the world and the Gauley isn't much younger.

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Old 09-22-2010   #12
Provo, Utah
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Time is definitely the answer... We have the Grand Canyon out here in the west which took significant amounts of time to carve. I just wondered why the undercuts seem to be so much more prevalent out east. Maybe it has something to do with the geology... actually it probably has everything to do with the geology.

Sorry to hijack this thread a little... I am done now.

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Old 09-22-2010   #13
westminster, Colorado
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anyone know when the dam was created?
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Old 09-22-2010   #14
Kingston, New York
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Originally Posted by spiderguide View Post
anyone know when the dam was created?
Google knows everything. The dam was dedicated on 9/3/66 by LBJ, on the same day he dedicated the new Summersville post office. Interesting trivia: Dams are typically named for the nearest town when they're not named for a person. Summersville wasn't the closest town, but after a bit of consideration the ACOE decided they didn't want to call it Gad Dam.
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Old 09-23-2010   #15
Kampala, Virginia
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Originally Posted by afaust View Post
How in the world did so much of the river get undercut?! The rivers in utah don't seem to be undercut like this at all.
Like someone said age has a lot to do with it, the new is the second old river in the world. But I think the main reason is that our riverbeds out east are formed by different types of rocks which wear down differently (at least thats what I hear i'm not a geologist)
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Old 09-23-2010   #16
Charleston, West Virginia
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The new has very few undercuts though
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Old 09-23-2010   #17
Kampala, Virginia
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Not as much as the gauley but I can think of at least 7 fairly serious undercuts just in the lower gorge. There is also Manns Creek that feeds into the New which is ridiculously undercut and the Meadow which has rapids such as double undercut and sieve city. The main minerals in the area are sandstone, shale, and coal with the last 2 being relatively soft and prone to weathering hence undercuts
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Old 09-23-2010   #18
Charleston, West Virginia
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The Meadow has got to be about the most undercut run in the country
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Old 09-23-2010   #19
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Boulder, Colorado
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This is second hand so consider it that.

4 people tried to run finger nail rock from left to right in a Super Puma and hit the rock. 2 climbed onto the rock and 2 went under and only 1 flushed.
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Old 09-24-2010   #20
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Denver, Colorado
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All, the reason that there are undercuts in large quantities in the east as opposed to the west is exactly the geology. Limestone, sandstone and shale are sedimentary rock and as such, weather very differently than igneous rocks such as granite and basalt. Both rocks react differently to the effects of water - sedimentary rocks have a high carbon content from the organic material that was compressed to form the rock and may cleave easily depending on the density and composition of the rock. Igneous rocks generally are highly compressed from the internal pressures of the earth and have no layering of materials that cause cleaving in sedimentary rocks. A great example of this is the granite all throughout the rockies - far less cleaving and undercutting. Also, the dramatically increased precipitation in the east as opposed to the west causes a much increased weathering of the eastern rocks. The eastern appalachian mountains are also far older and more weathered than the rockies and cascades of the west and obviously have a different composition that encourages undercutting.
That said,
I have worked on rivers throughout the country and I can tell you, knowledge is power. Study the rivers that you run, learn the hazards, keep your safety training current and keep your gear and your wits in good shape. There was a post on the buzz talking about a cook who came from Aspen and claimed that the people in West Virginia are ignorant. Just like anywhere else, if you take the time to think about the world that we live in, you'll find the knowledge that will help you along in this life. Like the old saying goes, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. If you don't educate yourself and manage the risks that you take, then you will end up like many people - in West Virginia or West Africa for that matter - ignorant of the world around you and therefore unprepared.

My deepest condolences go out to the families of the river runners that have died on the Gauley, as much as I love the canyon, I was sure upset on Sunday with the news of the fatality and even more upset to learn that a fellow Ocoee guide died on Monday after I was off the river and on the road. Y'all take good care out there and be well!

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