Clarks Fork Yellowstone River Remote Sensing Study

by James F. Ruff, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Civ. Engrg., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO,
John W. Keys, III, (M.ASCE), Regional Hydro.; U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Billings, MT,
Morris M. Skinner, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Civ. Engrg., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 6, Pg. 719-729

Document Type: Journal Paper


The Clarks Fork Yellowstone River of Montana and Wyoming, known for its historical sediment and siltation problems, is investigated to locate points at which sediment loads enter the river and to estimate the relative magnitude of sediment concentrations in the tributary flows as compared to the river. Remote sensing techniques were selected for the study to provide adequate coverage of a large portion of the river and to evaluate its use in monitoring and studying sediment movements in a river system. The basic procedure for the investigation involved three phases of operation: (1) the ground-truth data program to collect physical information from the study area; (2) aerial flights to obtain the necessary color infrared photographs and thermal imagery; and (3) the interpretation and analysis of results from these data collection programs. Results of the study indicate that aerial color infrared photography and thermal infrared imagery are efficient and practical tools for locating and identifying inflow of sediment-laden water to a river system.

Subject Headings: High-rise buildings | Data collection | Rivers and streams | Remote sensing | River systems | Aerial photography | Thermal analysis | Silt | United States | Montana | Wyoming

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