Catalog Record

Report from S&T Project 20067: Evaluating Chirp Technology for Measuring Reservoir Sedimentation Thickness and Stratigraphy

The spatial distribution, volume, and relative grain size of sediment in reservoirs influences management plans through the operational lifespan and decommissioning stage of impounding dams. Reservoir sediment studies are infrequently conducted and historical data are lacking, however—leading to great uncertainty over how to manage infrastructure. Even if bathymetric surveys have been performed (often they have not) to estimate storage capacity, little may be known about the sediment characteristics. In August 2020, USACE and Reclamation jointly used a shallow acoustic chirp system to map the stratigraphy and pre-impoundment surface of two reservoirs in Colorado. Both reservoirs are rich with complementary data regarding the distribution of sediments and pre-impoundment surface, which provides for convenient assessment of chirp system capabilities. Qualitative comparisons suggest that the mapped sub-bottom surface elevations (from the chirp system) were consistent with known pre-impoundment surfaces prior to dam construction. Approximate volumes of accumulated sediment were calculated based on the mapping effort, and observations of the reflective surface were indicative of a gently sloping alluvial plane cut by numerous shallow fluvial channels. Overall, the results were useful in demonstrating the capability of the shallow acoustic technique in imaging pre-impoundment surfaces and assessing geomorphic conditions.
Generation Effort S&T Project 20067: Evaluating Chirp Technology for Measuring Reservoir Sedimentation Thickness and Stratigraphy
Location Western US
Themes Environmental
Tags Reservoir Sedimentation, Subsurface Investigation, Bathymetric Survey, Reservoir Survey, Reservoir Sustainability
Reclamation Project
Reclamation Program Science and Technology Program

Location Information

Location Name Western US
Location Description The 17 western states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona..
Location Tags Reclamation Domain
Location Parent
State(s) Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Unified Region(s) Missouri Basin, Arkansas-Rio Grande-Texas-Gulf, Upper Colorado Basin, Lower Colorado Basin, Columbia-Pacific Northwest, California-Great Basin
Timezone MT
Elevation [ N/A ]
Vertical Datum NAVD88
Coordinates (lat, long) See Location Details
Horizontal Datum WGS84