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In Fairbanks, navigation on the Chena River gets tougher

Bill Roth

Crews of larger boats that use the Chena River in Fairbanks area are finding navigation tougher  as the mouth of the river near the airport  is affected by changing flows in the larger Tanana River, writes Dermot Cole of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The mouth of the river is no longer as clearly defined as it once was because the Tanana River, eternally wandering in its bed, has moved toward the south. A large sandbar at the mouth of the Chena has grown into a significant land mass.

There are different explanations offered for this change in the current, with one school of thought saying it was caused by ice jams that redirected a powerful flow of water away from the northward course near the end of the airport and another school of thought saying that the placement of large amounts of rip rap to protect a house downstream from the Chena did it.

Read more in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:  Chena River grows with the flow, as mouth meanders toward the south