The effects of two multipurpose reservoirs on the water temperature of the McKenzie River, Oregon

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4175




A one dimensional, unsteady-state temperature model using the equilibrium temperature approach (with air temperature used to estimate equilibrium temperature) is used to evaluate the effects of two Army Corps of Engineers dams and resulting reservoirs on the McKenzie River, from Delta Park (River Kilometer 99.9) to Leaburg Dam (River Kilometer 62.4). Both Corps of Engineers projects are on tributaries to the McKenzie River and at present have only bottom withdrawal capabilities. An effective top width parameter (ETW) was introduced into model calibrations to account for the high turbulence of the reach. Extensive data were collected from May to October, 1983 and 1984. Using these data, water temperatures were predicted to within 0.30 C mean absolute deviation (MAD) at Finn Rock (at River Kilometer 87.2, 4.5 km below the second tributary confluence) and near Vida (River Kilometer 76.8), and to within 0.40 C at Leaburg Dam (River Kilometer 62.4). Since these data represent hydrologic and meteorologic conditions over a very short period, analyses were extended to include three additional historic years and an average conditions year. The average conditions values were obtained by using the mean daily values for the period of record at key stations. Accuracy was lost when simulating historic years, since the only meteorological data available were collected outside the basin, and hence were less representative. Simulation of historic data showed that Corps of Engineers projects have little or no effect on water temperatures of the McKenzie River near Vida (River Kilometer 76.8) from the end of November to the end of May. Projects have a cooling effect from the beginning of June to the first part of September and a warming effect from the middle of September to the end of November. Warming and cooling effects average just over 1 C. There is little or no temperature effect during periods of flood control operation or reservoir filling. Cooling effects are due to conservation holding, when releases are cooler than inflows. Drafting of reservoirs in preparation for flood control causes a warming effect when heat stored in the upper water layers during conservation holding is released as reservoir water levels are lowered. (Author 's abstract)

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The effects of two multipurpose reservoirs on the water temperature of the McKenzie River, Oregon
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Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey,
v, 34 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.