Escalante Barometer Calculation Inside... - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-28-2008   #1
 
Denver, Colorado
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Escalante Barometer Calculation Inside...

Yo Buzzards... I'll start with the answers. Use Robideau creek guage as a barometer for escalante. General flows for the data I looked at

Escalante Level Robideau Gauge
Minimum

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Old 03-28-2008   #2
 
Denver, Colorado
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buzz posted accidentally... ooops!

Yo Buzzards... I'll start with the answers.

Use Robideau creek guage as a barometer for escalante. Detail Graph

General flows for the data I looked at

Escalante Level: Corresponding Robideau Gauge reading
Minimum: 150 cfs
Low: 150- 300 cfs
Medium: 300 - 500 cfs
High: 500+ cfs

Looking at topos and gauges, I noticed that robideau creek is the next drainage to the south of escalante with similar drainage, elevation, and aspect, and it has a gauge. I downloaded robideau gauge data for 2005 (high water) and 2007 (low water) and compared daily robideau creek cfs readings to historical escalante visual updates from a buzz search. The data correlates fairly well. I read through the escalante visuals and assigned 1= min flow, 2 = low, 3 = medium, 4 = medium/high, and 5 = high. This was very subjective as many visuals are noted as painfully low, juicy, roostertail kickin over the fin etc. I did the best I could with the varying information. Here is a chart that shows robideau flows vs. the escalante visuals using the number system. Note that the min levels are clustered around the same flows. The medium and medium highs are clustered around the same flow levels, and the highe are around the same flow levels. Pretty good correlation over two different years of data sets from min flow to high flow.



Of course this won't replace a bonafide visual, but it can help fill in the gaps between visual reports. If you get a bare minimum visual two days before you are thinking of going, and the robideau is rising the next couple of days, you can expect escalante to be responding the same. We all look at the weather, but its hard to judge if snow is hitting the plateau vs. rain, and if it freezes how much impact will it have etc. I think that the similar location of the robideau will allow for seeing how a barometer gauge is reacting to changing weather and help inform boaters coming from far away about potential levels. Its also very easy for the creek to get shut down, so this could help prevent getting skunked.

My two cents... If escalante hasn't been running, and the robideau gets over 150 cfs, I'd go check it out expecting min to low flows. If the robideau is in the 300-500 cfs levels, I'd expect nice medium flows. If the robideau is raging at 800 cfs, I'm bringing the video camera for to get the carnage on tape safe on the shore.

Of course there is scatter in the data, and its not perfect, but the R-squared is 85% meaning its a fairly tight correlation.

A final thought is that if we get lots of detailed visuals this year, I can update and improve the correlation with new data. The more data I get, the better the correlation will be.

If you want to help me with this, post your visuals and include the date, what the level felt like (min, low, med, med/high, high), and post what the fin looked like. Two problems that I encounter is that a high level may be perfect on the upper, but scary on the lower gorge. I'd say rating flow on the upper section would give the best consistency. Also be as descriptive of the fin as you can. The more visuals I get the better I can make the correlation.

A final comment is that I got this idea from what Rob Maxwell does in the southeast. He has years of correlations for rainfed drainages in the southeast and set up some really cool correlations to help boaters figure out what is running.

Enjoy.
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Old 03-28-2008   #3
 
Durango, Colorado
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Ian- you are a friggin genius with too much time on your hands. Next task- PacNW flows. Got a link for Rubidub Creek?
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Old 03-28-2008   #4
 
Durango, Colorado
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Just saw the link. Not this weekend then.
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Old 03-28-2008   #5
 
Denver, Colorado
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Map showing escalante headwaters location vs. roubideau headwaters location in case you wanted to know. PS canyons look very cool on sat images on google earth.



Josh, PacNW is on the to do list. Lots of data to digest up there.

Free time is in short supply, but you got to have your priorities straight don't you? With twin babies at home, I'll likely get a single shot for a one day mission to escalante this year. I'm not gonna blow my window!

This has been on my mind since my trip out last year at low water with no good visual, little info, and pray for flow attitude. Hate to drive 5 hrs to get skunked.
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Old 03-28-2008   #6
 
KVBA TV8 Vail weatherman/Colorado Kayaker, Colorado
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This is one of the best post I have read. So, think it goes this week?


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Old 03-28-2008   #7
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Word. If the graph is telling us the truth, we need quite a few more days of warm weather to get it going eh? Currently at about 60 cfs and rising, but needs 400-500 to hit medium flows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobie View Post
This is one of the best post I have read. So, think it goes this week?


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Old 03-28-2008   #8
 
placerville, Colorado
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who's going exploring on rubideau this year?
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Old 03-28-2008   #9
 
Durango, CO
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T--- Canyon is better. One of my favorite places in Colorado. Except for all the poison ivy.
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Old 03-28-2008   #10
 
Denver, Colorado
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Not sure if it will go this week, but its close. As soon as the robideau cracks 150ish, it should be good to go.

Forecast for this weekend looks like potential for rain, then snow on the plateau, so I think the snow will hold it off. Need some warm days to get it going. Rain on snowpack could set it off though. Thats the beauty of the robideau barometer is that you can see what the weather is doing to the creeks.

As for the levels 300-500 is probably the range from med to high. I'd guess 300 on the robideau would be med. I put the ranges in the initial post but perhaps it makes more sense as follows with a more detailed breakdown:

min = 150
low = 200
med = 300
med/high = 400 - 500
high = 500+


Does make you wonder whats up the roubideau canyon?
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