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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Assessing Sedimentation Issues Within Aging Flood Control Reservoirs: Examples from Oklahoma

Authors
item Bennett, Sean
item Cooper, Charles
item Ritchie, Jerry
item Caldwell, Larry - USDA-NRCS
item Mcgee, T - UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI

Submitted to: Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 20, 2002
Publication Date: October 15, 2002
Citation: Bennett, S.J., Cooper, C.M., Ritchie, J.C., Dunbar, J.A., Allen, P.M., Caldwell, L.W., McGee, T.M. Assessing sedimentation issues within aging flood control reservoirs in Oklahoma. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 2002. v. 38(5), p. 1307-1322.

Interpretive Summary: Since 1948, the USDA-NRCS has constructed nearly 11,000 flood control dams across the U.S., and many of the reservoirs are filling with sediment. To rehabilitate these structures, the sediment impounded by these dams must be assessed in terms of the structure's efficiency to regulate floodwaters and the potential hazard the sediment may pose if reintroduced into the environment. Results are presented of a demonstration project evaluating technologies for the rapid and cost-effective characterization of impounded sediment. For two reservoirs in Oklahoma, continuous sediment cores were extracted using a coring system, chemical analysis was performed to assess sediment quality and rates of sedimentation, and geophysical surveys were conducted to define the subsurface distribution of sediment. These techniques are shown to be effective in the assessment of sedimentation issues necessary for watershed management. These methodologies will be used dby the USDA-NRCS in their evaluation of the several thousand USDA-NRCS flood control dams currently in need of rehabilitation due to excessive sedimentation.

Technical Abstract: Since 1948, the USDA-NRCS has constructed nearly 11,000 flood control dams across the U.S., and many of the reservoirs are filling with sediment. To rehabilitate these structures, the sediment impounded by these dams must be assessed in terms of the structure's efficiency to regulate floodwaters and the potential hazard the sediment may pose if reintroduced into the environment. Results are presented of a demonstration project evaluating technologies for the rapid and cost- effective characterization of impounded sediment. For two reservoirs in Oklahoma, continuous sediment cores were extracted using a vibracoring system, chemical analysis was performed to assess sediment quality and rates of sedimentation, and geophysical surveys were conducted to define the subsurface distribution of sediment. These techniques are shown to be effective in the assessment of sedimentation issues necessary for watershed management.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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