Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Assessing Sedimentation Issues Within Usda-Nrcs Flood Control Dams, Oklahoma

Authors
item Bennett, Sean
item Cooper, Charles

Submitted to: Laboratory Publication
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: March 2, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Since 1948, the USDA-NRCS has constructed over 10,000 upstream flood control dams in 2000 watersheds in 47 states, over two-thirds of these dams have a design life of 50 years. Because of population growth, land use changes, and time, sediment pools are filling, some structural components have deteriorated, safety regulations are stricter, and the hazard classification has changed for some dams. This report represents technologies for the cost-effective characterization of the sediment impounded by these embankments. Three field sites were chosen for this project: Sugar Creek #12 and #14 located near Hinton, OK, and Sergeant Major #4 located near Cheyenne, OK. Geophysical equipment was used to obtain profiles of the reservoir sediment, and a number of subsurface layers were identified. Continuous, undisturbed cores of the lake sediment showed that most of the deposited sediment is composed of silt and clay. Analysis of this sediment showed no significant findings of contaminants or agrichemicals. By determining the concentration of a radioactive element in the sediment, rates of sedimentation were determined for two of the lakes. This investigation will be used as a model for the assessment of the nearly 2000 USDA-NRCS flood control dams currently in need of rehabilitation.

Technical Abstract: Since 1948, the USDA-NRCS has constructed over 10,000 upstream flood control dams in 2000 watersheds in 47 states, over two-thirds of these dams have a design life of 50 years. Because of population growth, land use changes, and time, sediment pools are filling, some structural components have deteriorated, safety regulations are stricter, and the hazard classification has changed for some dams. This report represents the completion of a demonstration project designed to evaluate technologies for the cost-effective characterization of the sediment impounded by these embankments. Three field sites were chosen for this project: Sugar Creek #12 and #14 located near Hinton, OK, and Sergeant Major #4 located near Cheyenne, OK. Geophysical equipment was used to obtain profiles of the reservoir sediment, and a number of subsurface layers were identified. Continuous, undisturbed cores of the lake sediment showed that most of the deposited sediment is composed of silt and clay. Analysis of this sediment showed no significant findings of contaminants or agrichemicals. By determining the concentration of a radioactive element in the sediment, rates of sedimentation were determined for two of the lakes. This investigation will be used as a paradigm for the assessment of the nearly 2000 USDA-NRCS flood control dams currently in need of rehabilitation.

Last Modified: 4/21/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page