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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INTEGRATED ASSESSMENT AND ANALYSIS OF PHYSICAL LANDSCAPE PROCESSES THAT IMPACT THE QUALITY AND MANAGEMENT OF AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit

Title: Reservoir sedimentation research at the National Sedimentation Laboratory

Authors
item WREN, DANIEL
item Davidson, Gregg - UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI
item Bennett, Sean - UNIVERSITY @ BUFFALO
item Hickey, Craig -

Submitted to: National Sedimentaton Laboratory (NSL)- 50 Years of Soil & Water Research in a Changing Agricultural Environment
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 20, 2009
Publication Date: September 26, 2009
Citation: Wren, D.G., Davidson, G.R., Bennett, S.J., Hickey, C. 2009. Reservoir sedimentation research at the National Sedimentation Laboratory. National Sedimentaton Laboratory (NSL)- 50 Years of Soil & Water Research in a Changing Agricultural Environment. 113-133.

Interpretive Summary: Researchers at the National Sedimentation Laboratory have made important contributions to reservoir sedimentation research for most of the 50 years that the laboratory has existed. Early publications from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s reported work on the development of gamma ray sediment measurement instrumentation, surveys of lakes, and the use of Cs-137 for sediment dating. During the late 1970s, the focus of the work was on the use of reservoir sedimentation data to identify relationships between drainage areas and erosion, sediment trapping efficiency, and continued work with radionuclides. During the 1980s, ecological aspects of reservoir sedimentation were studied, with a main focus on contamination of stored sediments being an important topic for research. Sedimentation work in 1990s shifted toward examining sediment impairment in aging man-made structures in a variety of scales. Recent work has focused on the reconstruction of watershed erosion history by using a combination of physical, chemical and radiochemical techniques to glean information from ancient sediment deposits in natural lakes. In partnership with the National Center for Physical Acoustics, ongoing research is seeking to improve the use of acoustic techniques for quantifying the volume of sediment deposits in lakes. The current paper will consist of a brief summary of the contributions made by scientists at the National Sedimentation Laboratory to reservoir sedimentation research.

Technical Abstract: Researchers at the National Sedimentation Laboratory have made important contributions to reservoir sedimentation research for most of the 50 years that the laboratory has existed. Early publications from the mid 1960s to the mid 1970s reported work on the development of gamma ray sediment measurement instrumentation, surveys of lakes, and the use of Cs-137 for sediment dating. During the late 1970s, the focus of the work was on the use of reservoir sedimentation data to identify relationships between drainage areas and erosion, sediment trapping efficiency, and continued work with radionuclides. During the 1980s, ecological aspects of reservoir sedimentation were studied, with a main focus on contamination of stored sediments being an important topic for research. Sedimentation work in 1990s shifted toward examining sediment impairment in aging man-made structures in a variety of scales. Recent work has focused on the reconstruction of watershed erosion history by using a combination of physical, chemical and radiochemical techniques to glean information from ancient sediment deposits in natural lakes. In partnership with the National Center for Physical Acoustics, ongoing research is seeking to improve the use of acoustic techniques for quantifying the volume of sediment deposits in lakes. The current paper will consist of a brief summary of the contributions made by scientists at the National Sedimentation Laboratory to reservoir sedimentation research.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014
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