Volume Weight of Reservoir Sediment in Forested Areas

by Walter F. Megahan, Hydrologist; USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ogden, UT,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1972, Vol. 98, Issue 8, Pg. 1335-1342

Document Type: Journal Paper


Samples for the determination of the volume-weight ratio of deposited sediment were collected from small sediment-retention reservoirs in a number of forested watersheds in Idaho during 1969 and 1970. Volume weights varied considerably among the various watersheds and within a given impoundment. The percentage of organic matter by weight in the samples provided a reliable basis for estimating sediment volume weight, better than the more conventional approach of relating volume weight to sediment particle size. The organic content of sediment can result in a substantial loss of storage volume for reservoirs on forested watersheds and has important ecological implications as well.

Subject Headings: Watersheds | Reservoirs | Sediment | Water storage | Organic matter | Particle size distribution | Ecosystems | Wells (water) | Idaho | United States

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