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Sediment discharge in the Santa Clara River Basin, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, California

Water-Resources Investigations Report 79-78

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Abstract

Sediment data collected in the Santa Clara River in California basin, during the 1967-75 water years were analyzed to determine the particle size and quantity of sediment transported past three gaging stations. The total sediment discharge of the basin , computed from records of Santa Clara River at Montalvo for water years 1968-75, was 63.5 million tons, of which 59.5 million tons was carried in suspension and an estimated 4 million tons was transported as unsampled sediment discharge. About 17.7 million tons, or 28 percent of the total sediment discharge, was coarse sediment (particles larger than 0.062 millimeter). Most of the sediment was transported during only a few days of floodflow each year. During the 1968-75 water years, approximately 55 percent of the total sediment was transported in 2 days and 92 percent was transported in 53 days. The long-term (1928-75) average annual sediment discharge of the Santa Clara River at Montalvo is estimated at 3.67 million tons. Of that quantity, 2.58 million tons consisted of fine sediment and 1.09 million tons consisted of coarse sediment. A sediment budget for the Santa Clara River basin was estimated for sediment discharges under both natural and actual conditions. The major difference between natural and actual sediment discharges of the Santa Clara River basin is the sediment intercepted upstream from Lake Piru. The combined trap efficiency of Lake Piru and Pyramid Lake approaches 100 percent. Sediment deposited in these reservoirs resulted in about a 6-percent reduction of sediment to the Santa Clara River basin during the historical period (1928-75) and a 12-percent reduction during the period most affected by dams (1953-75). Sediment losses to the basin by gravel mining, diversion of flows, and interception of sediment in the Castaic Creek basin resulted in additional reductions of 2 percent during the period 1928-75 and 4 percent during the period 1953-75. (Kosco-USGS)

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Sediment discharge in the Santa Clara River Basin, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, California
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
79-78
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1979
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division,
Description:
v, 51 p. :ill., maps ;27 cm.