Sediment Transport in the Lower Yampa River, Northwestern Colorado

Water-Resources Investigations Report 84-4141

Prepared in cooperation with the National Park Service
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Discharge measurements and sediment samples were taken at streamflow-gaging station 09260050 Yampa River at Deerlodge Park in 1982 and 1983 to determine the annual sediment supply to the Yampa Canyon in Dinosaur National Monument. Forty-three years of discharge records at two tributary sites were combined to determine the historic discharge of the Yampa River at Deerlodge Park. A mean annual hydrograph and flow-duration curve were derived from these data. Sediment-transport equations were derived for total sediment discharge, suspended-sediment discharge, bedload dischagre, and the discharge of sediment in several particle-sizes. Annual sediment discharge were determined by the flow-duration, sediment-rating-curve method and indicated annual total sediment discharge was approximately 2.0 million tons per year of which 0.8 million tons per year was sand-sized material. Bedload was almost entirely sand, and annual bedload discharge was 0.1 million tons per year. Development of water resources in the Yampa River basin could effect the geomorphic character of the Yampa River at Deerlodge Park and the Yampa Canyon. Several scenarios of altered streamflow frequency distribution, reduced streamflow volume, and reduced sediment supply are examined to estimate the effect on the sediment budget at Deerlodge Park. (USGS)

Study Area

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Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Sediment Transport in the Lower Yampa River, Northwestern Colorado
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
U.S. Geological Survey
vi, 44 p.