Characteristics of suspended sediment in the San Juan River near Bluff, Utah

Water-Resources Investigations Report 82-4104




Fluvial-sediment data were collected for the San Juan River near Bluff beginning in 1914 and terminating in 1980. A double-mass curve showed a change in relationship between annual suspended-sediment discharge and annual stream discharge between the water years 1941-44 and 73. Possible causes for these changes in laboratory procedures, and unusually large runoff that occurred in 1941 and 1972. An unknown or unidentified factor may also be involved. The actual reason for this change in relationship may never be fully understood. Navajo Dam apparently has had no significant effect on fluvial sediment at the sampling site. Mean annual suspended sediment discharge in the San Juan River near Bluff was about 25,410,000 tons ranging from 3,234,000 tons in 1978 to 112,400,000 tons in 1941. The use of annual stream discharge to predict annual suspended-sediment discharge at the site will produce poor results because of size and diversity of the basin and the quality of records available. A positive correlation exists between sand concentration and stream discharge at this site, however, considerable variability is evident. This relationship does not exist when stream discharge exceeds 6,000 cubic feet per second. It is recommended that if collection of suspended-sediment records be resumed in this reach of the river an alternative sampling site should be selected and the use of pumping samplers considered because of the remoteness of the area. (USGS)

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USGS Numbered Series
Characteristics of suspended sediment in the San Juan River near Bluff, Utah
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
iv, 25 p. :ill., map ;28 cm.