Incredible Time-Lapse: Dams Built in the USA Since 1630

Each white dot represents one dam. The larger the dot, the more dams in that geographic area. Photo: Science on the Fly

Science on the Fly has just released a pretty jarring infographic showing the expansion of American dams being built over time since 1630. The growth rate starts out slow, but right around the turn of the 20th century, the expansion rate becomes hyperbolic. The impacts dams have on wild fish and their natural movements and migrations are apparent and are backed by science as well as observations of rivers that have been freed from dams, like Washington State’s Elwha Dam that came down in 2011. Check out the timelapse from our friends at Science at the Fly, below!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Science on the Fly (@scienceonthefly)

From Science on the Fly:

“Our Senior Geospatial Analyst, Greg Fisk (@greg.fiske), put together this insane map of all the dams built in the United States since 1630. His inspiration: DamNation.
All the data is from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Inventory of Dams.”

About Science on the Fly:

Founded by the Woodwell Climate Research Center and Fishpond, Science on the Fly seeks to further our understanding of changing watersheds around the world through long-term, world-class river science. With a growing list of partners and supporters, we aim to bridge the gap between science and public policy and to activate and inspire a broad community of river stewards to take ownership of that process.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.