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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Characterizing the Sediment Impounded by Usda-Nrcs Flood Control Dams, Oklahoma

Authors
item Bennett, Sean
item Cooper, Charles
item Ritchie, Jerry
item Caldwell, L. - USDA, NRCS

Submitted to: Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 15, 2000
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Since 1948, the USDA-NRCS has constructed over 10,450 upstream flood control dams in 2000 watersheds in 47 states, over two-thirds of these dams have a design life of 50 years. For many of these dams, the reservoirs are filling with sediment. A demonstration project was designed to evaluate technologies, methodologies, and protocols for the cost-effective characterization of sediment impounded by these structures. Preliminary results for the sediment sampling activities at two locations are presented and discussed. Radioactive dating techniques permitted sedimentation rates to be accurately determined. Most of the sediment deposited within the pool was composed of silt and clay, and several of these sediment beds could be traced across the reservoir. These methodologies will be used by the USDA-NRCS in their assessment of the 2000 USDA-NRCS flood control dams currently in need of rehabilitation.

Technical Abstract: Since 1948, the USDA-NRCS has constructed over 10,450 upstream flood control dams in 2000 watersheds in 47 states, over two-thirds of these dams have a design life of 50 years. For many of these dams, the reservoirs are filling with sediment. A demonstration project was designed to evaluate technologies, methodologies, and protocols for the cost-effective characterization of sediment impounded by these structures. Preliminary results for the vibracoring activities at Sugar Creek #12, Hinton, OK and Sergeant Major #4, Cheyenne, OK are presented and discussed. Sedimentation rates determined through radioactive Cesium-37 techniques ranged from 0.017 to 0.067 mm/ha-yr. Stratigraphic analyses showed that at Sugar Creek #12 (1) stratigraphic correlation of some lithologies and time lines across the basin were possible, (2) silt and clay dominate the depositional history of the reservoir, and (3) deposition of sand was limited to areas near its tributary source. This stratigraphic information will be combined with on-going activities to completely address sedimentation issues within these aging flood control dams.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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