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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: TECHNOLOGIES FOR ASSESSING SEDIMENT MOVEMENT & THE INTEGRITY OF FLOOD CONTROL STRUCTURES, STREAMBANKS, & EARTHEN POND-LEVEES & EMBANKMENTS Title: Assessing sedimentation issues within aging of flood-control reservoirs

Authors
item Bennett, Sean -
item Dunbar, John -
item Rhoton, Fred -
item Allen, Peter -
item Bigham, Jerry -
item Davidson, Gregg -
item Wren, Daniel

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2011
Publication Date: January 1, 2013
Citation: Bennett, S.J., Dunbar, J.A., Rhoton, F.E., Allen, P.M., Bigham, J.M., Davidson, G.R., Wren, D.G. 2013. Assessing sedimentation issues within aging of flood-control reservoirs. Book Chapter. 21:25-44 doi:10.1130/2013.4121(03).

Interpretive Summary: Flood control reservoirs designed and built by federal agencies have been extremely effective in reducing the ravages of floods nationwide. Yet some structures are being removed for a variety of reasons, while other structures are aging rapidly and require either rehabilitation or decommissioning. The focus of the current paper is to summarize collaborative research activities to assess sedimentation issues within aging flood control reservoirs and to provide federal agencies guidance on such tools and technologies. Ten flood control reservoirs located in OK, MS, and WI have been examined using a vibrating coring device, stratigraphic, geochronologic, geophysical, chemical, and geochemical techniques and analyses. These techniques and analyses facilitated (1) the demarcation of the original soil surface that existed before the reservoir was built within the reservoir impoundment, (2) defining the sizes of sediment particles and the shape of the reservoir bottom over time and space, (3) the accurate determination of the remaining reservoir storage capacity, (4) the quantification of sediment quality with respect to agrichemicals and environmentally-important trace elements over both time and space, and (5) the determination of geochemical conditions within the reservoir sediments and assessment of the mobility of associated elements. The techniques employed and discussed here have proven to be exemplary in the assessment of sediment impounded within aging flood control reservoirs, and it is envisioned that these same technologies and approaches will be adopted by agencies as part of their national reservoir management programs.

Technical Abstract: Flood control reservoirs designed and built by federal agencies have been extremely effective in reducing the ravages of floods nationwide. Yet some structures are being removed for a variety of reasons, while other structures are aging rapidly and require either rehabilitation or decommissioning. The focus of the current paper is to summarize collaborative research activities to assess sedimentation issues within aging flood control reservoirs and to provide federal agencies guidance on such tools and technologies. Ten flood control reservoirs located in OK, MS, and WI have been examined using vibracoring, stratigraphic, geochronologic, geophysical, chemical, and geochemical techniques and analyses. These techniques and analyses facilitated (1) the demarcation of the pre-impoundment surface within the reservoir impoundment, (2) defining the textural and stratigraphic characteristics of the sediment over time and space, (3) the accurate determination of the remaining reservoir storage capacity, (4) the quantification of sediment quality with respect to agrichemicals and environmentally-important trace elements over both time and space, and (5) the determination of geochemical conditions within the reservoir sediments and assessment of the mobility of associated elements. The techniques employed and discussed here have proven to be exemplary in the assessment of sediment impounded within aging flood control reservoirs, and it is envisioned that these same technologies and approaches will be adopted by agencies as part of their national reservoir management programs.

Last Modified: 11/28/2014
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