Sediment characteristics of small streams in southern Wisconsin, 1954-59

Water Supply Paper 1669-B

Prepared in cooperation with the Wisconsin Conservation Department through the Wisconsin Committee on Water Pollution



The results of investigations of the sediment and water discharge characteristics of Black Earth Creek, Mount Vernon Creek, and Yellowstone River from 1954 to 1959 and Dell Creek for 1958 and 1959 indicate large differences in annual runoff and sediment yields. The suspended-sediment discharge of Black Earth Creek averaged 3,260 tons per year or 71 tons per square mile : the annual yields ranged from 27 to 102 tons per square mile. The annual suspended-sediment yield of Mount Vernon Creek ranged from 48 to 171 tons per square mile and averaged 96 tons per square mile. The maximum daily discharge was 1,120 tons on April 1, 1960, during a storm which produced 67 percent of the suspended load for that water year and exceeded the discharge for the preceding 3 years. The sediment discharge of the Yellowstone River averaged 6,870 tons per year or 236 tons per square riffle. The maximum daily sediment discharge, 3,750 tons on April 1, 1959, occurred during a 14-day period of high flow during which the sediment discharge was 15,480 tons. In 1958 and 1959, Dell Creek had suspended-sediment yields of 4.7 and 26 tons per square mile of drainage area. The suspended sediment transported by Black Earth and Mount Vernon Creeks is about two-thirds clay and one-third silt. For Yellowstone River the particle-size distribution of the suspended sediment ranged from three-fourths clay and one-fourth silt during periods of low sediment discharge to one-third clay and two-thirds silt during high sediment discharges. For Dell Creek nearly all of the suspended sediment is clay, but the bed load is sand. The mean sediment concentration of storm runoff averaged two to three times more in the summer than in the winter. No significant changes with time occurred in the relation between storm runoff and sediment yield.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Sediment characteristics of small streams in southern Wisconsin, 1954-59
Series title:
Water Supply Paper
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Wisconsin Water Science Center
iv, 34 p.
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title:
Contributions to the hydrology of the United States
United States
Other Geospatial:
Black Earth Creek, Dell Creek, Mount Vernon Creek, Yellowstone River
Online Only (Y/N):
Additional Online Files (Y/N):