Sediment Deposition in Jennings Randolph Reservoir, Maryland and West Virginia

by Margaret M. Burns, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, United States,
Robert C. MacArthur, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The watershed of the Jennings Randolph Reservoir covers 263 square miles of mountainous terrain in western Maryland and West Virginia. Sedimentation studies performed prior to impoundment predicted a long-term average sedimentation rate of 20 acre-feet per year, or 0. 08 acre-feet per square mile per year. After three years of operation, large volumes of sediment were observed in the headwaters of the reservoir. Field measurements showed that sediment was accumulating at a rate of three to four times that anticipated. Additional field measurements after the flood of record in 1985 showed that this one event has contributed approximately 600 acre-feet of sediment, or approximately 30 years of predicted sediment inflow. This study was initiated in response to the observed high rates of sedimentation in the reservoir, with the goal of predicting the average annual sediment yield to the reservoir. Several different sediment prediction techniques were used in combination to come up with a range of predicted annual average sediment yields of 0.23 to 0.50 acre-feet per square mile year,or from three to five times the original estimate.

Subject Headings: Sediment | Reservoirs | Mountains | Terrain | Water storage | Inflow | Sediment transport | Floods | Maryland | United States | West Virginia

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