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article imageOp-Ed: Gateway to Glacier National Park begins at Hungry Horse dam Special

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By Elizabeth Batt     Apr 23, 2012 in Travel
Hungry Horse - A rare summer day in springtime provided an early opportunity to snap an area of NW Montana considered one of the gateways to Glacier National Park, Hungry Horse dam.
This 564-foot-high chunk of concrete is located on the South Fork of the Flathead River. A popular recreation area, the dam was constructed at variable-thicknesses. With an arch structure that has a crest length of 2,115 ft, both the dam and appurtenant works contain 3,086,200 cubic yards of concrete.
Siyeh limestone in regular beds range from a few inches to several feet thick and are made highly in...
Siyeh limestone in regular beds range from a few inches to several feet thick and are made highly insoluble by impurities.
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On one side of the dam, outlet tubes are currently releasing 1,000 cfs of water. The dam is planning to release 11,200 cfs in total, both generation and spill.
Water from the reservoir spills into the South Fork of the Flathead River.
Water from the reservoir spills into the South Fork of the Flathead River.
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In opposition, on the reservoir side of the dam, all is serene and calm.
Majestic beauty  but some of the critters are questionable.
Majestic beauty, but some of the critters are questionable.
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Looking down the dam is a disorientating experience.
Looking down the dam is a disorientating experience.
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The morning-glory spillway is the highest morning-glory structure in the world, and has a capacity of 50,000 cubic feet per second.
Water cascading over the spillway rim drops a maximum distance of 490 feet.
Water cascading over the spillway rim drops a maximum distance of 490 feet.
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Buttressed on either side by layers of geological history, the dam was originally constructed between 1948-1953. It was the third largest and second highest concrete dam in the world when it was first completed.
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Located 9 miles SE of Columbia Falls, according to the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), the dam serves two purposes, hydroelectric power generation and flood control. Further down the South Fork of the Flathead River, the spillway output continues to add to the river's rage.
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"Downstream power benefits are of major importance," explains the USBR, "since more than five times as much power can be produced from water releases downstream than is produced at Hungry Horse Powerplant."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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