- Sep 22, 2015
- Reaction score
Expect Accidental Beach to look different after its first winter, water monitor says
A water expert who monitors the North Saskatchewan River said what Edmonton’s Accidental Beach will look like when the ice melts is anyone’s guess.
The beach, which formed downstream from a construction berm last spring and captivated Edmontonians last summer, is beneath a layer of snow and ice for the first time in its brief existence. Parts of the beach appeared to be submerged in the icy river earlier this month.
Hans Asfeldt, manager of water literacy with North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper, said Friday the beach won’t undergo many changes during the winter.
“What’s really going to be important is the spring freshet,” he said, referring to the peak flows that accompany the snow melt.
“It’s going to be very interesting to see what that does to the beach as water levels lower into the summer months.”
Accidental Beach formed off a riverbank in Edmonton’s Cloverdale neighbourhood this past spring, thanks to a berm built for the Tawatina LRT bridge. The berm slowed the silty river during the high spring flows, allowing sand to accumulate downstream in the North Saskatchewan River.
Water levels tend to be lower during the winter, Asfeldt said. Releases from the Bighorn Dam near Nordegg keep the river artificially high during the winter months to maintain electricity production.