Development of a national, dynamic reservoir-sedimentation database

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Abstract

The importance of dependable, long-term water supplies, coupled with the need to quantify rates of capacity loss of the Nation’s re servoirs due to sediment deposition, were the most compelling reasons for developing the REServoir- SEDimentation survey information (RESSED) database and website. Created under the auspices of the Advisory Committee on Water Information’s Subcommittee on Sedimenta ion by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the RESSED database is the most comprehensive compilation of data from reservoir bathymetric and dry-basin surveys in the United States. As of March 2010, the database, which contains data compiled on the 1950s vintage Soil Conservation Service’s Form SCS-34 data sheets, contained results from 6,616 surveys on 1,823 reservoirs in the United States and two surveys on one reservoir in Puerto Rico. The data span the period 1755–1997, with 95 percent of the surveys performed from 1930–1990. The reservoir surface areas range from sub-hectare-scale farm ponds to 658 km2 Lake Powell. The data in the RESSED database can be useful for a number of purposes, including calculating changes in reservoir-storage characteristics, quantifying sediment budgets, and estimating erosion rates in a reservoir’s watershed.


The March 2010 version of the RESSED database has a number of deficiencies, including a cryptic and out-of-date database architecture; some geospatial inaccuracies (although most have been corrected); other data errors; an inability to store all data in a readily retrievable manner; and an inability to store all data types that currently exist. Perhaps most importantly, the March 2010 version of RESSED database provides no publically available means to submit new data and corrections to existing data. To address these and other deficiencies, the Subcommittee on Sedimentation, through the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, began a collaborative project in November 2009 to modernize the RESSED database architecture; provide public online input capability; and produce online reports. The ultimate goal of the Subcommittee on Sedimentation is to build a comprehensive, quality-assured database describing capacity changes over time for the largest suite of the Nation’s reservoirs.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Development of a national, dynamic reservoir-sedimentation database
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Office of Surface Water
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the Joint Federal Interagency Conference 2010: Hydrology and Sedimentation for a Changing Future: Existing and Emerging Issues: Las Vegas, NV, June 27-July 1, 2010
Country United States;Puerto Rico