AVLT Floodgate Slide Interpretive Hike – Thank you to all that enjoyed a terrific day with us in July, 2016. It was a unique opportunity to have Julie Bawcom join us to visit the site of the landslide, being one of the key individuals on-site immediately following the event and documenting it from a geological perspective. We are grateful to the folks at Mendocino Redwood Co. for access and guiding us through this remote section of the Navarro River. Stay tuned for more outings in the coming year.
During the morning of March 24, 1995, two State Park employees canoeing and kayaking the main fork of the Navarro River noticed a dramatic drop in flow and a widening of the river. They continued paddling downstream until they reached a landslide that had dammed the river. They could hear trees breaking as they portaged across the wall of debris along the east side of the channel. The dam had recently breached, and the channel of the swollen river was a third its normal width. This made the water so turbulent at the downstream end of the dam, that upon re-entering, the experienced boaters struggled nearly 20 minutes to successfully escape.
This landslide was named the Floodgate, for the confluence of Floodgate Creek and the Navarro River. The landslide occurred following the heavy rains of January and March 1995. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration precipitation station 3.5 miles north of the landslide is near Camp Navarro along the Masonite (now MRC) logging road. It recorded 17.7 inches of rain in January, none in February, and 18.7 inches during the 23 days before the failure, including more than 6 inches the week before the event.
Save the date for a walk with geologist Julie Bawcom along the Floodgate section of the Navarro River to learn about the geology of our watershed, and view photos of the Floodgate slide then and now.
Reference “California Geology, September/October 1996.