Five Feet High and Rising: Flood Impacts to Archaeological Sites and Response Efforts at Death Valley National Park

Summary

On 18 October 2015, a severe storm system stalled out over Death Valley National Park resulting in a massive flood. Rushing flood waters heavily damaged roads, utilities, archaeological sites, and buildings. Grapevine Canyon, a major canyon in the northwest portion of the park and home to the historic Scotty’s Castle, was among the areas hit hardest. Post-flood condition assessments on thirty  archaeological sites determined that within the canyon, pre-contact and historical archaeological sites were primarily impacted by flood waters  eroding stream banks. Once spatially and temporally discrete artifact clusters were translocated downstream or washed out of the canyon entirely. Historical refuse sites associated with the construction and occupation of Scotty’s Castle within Upper Tie Canyon are used as a case study in this paper to examine response strategies resource managers used and how actions can have critical management implications and the power to set precedent. 

Cite this Record

Five Feet High and Rising: Flood Impacts to Archaeological Sites and Response Efforts at Death Valley National Park. Juanita Bonnifield, Wanda Raschkow, Erin Dempsey, Elizabeth A. Horton, Elaine Dorset. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435424)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 362