Estimation of Suspended Sediment at a Discontinued Streamgage on the Lower Minnesota River at Fort Snelling State Park, Minnesota

Open-File Report 2021-1005
Prepared in cooperation with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Lower Minnesota River Watershed District
By: , and 

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Abstract

In the spring of 2019, ice sheets transported down-stream during a large streamflow rise event in the lower Minnesota River destroyed an index-velocity streamgage at the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling State Park, Minnesota (U.S. Geological Survey station 05330920; hereafter referred to as “Ft. Snelling”). The streamgage previously used an acoustic Doppler velocity meter to provide instantaneous streamflow and suspended-sedimentation concentration (SSC) data in backwater conditions caused by the confluence with the Mississippi River. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey cooperated with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Lower Minnesota River Watershed District to develop linear regression models that estimate SSCs and suspended-sand concentrations (sand) at the destroyed streamgage using streamflow data from an upstream site Minnesota River near Jordan, Minn. (U.S. Geological Survey station 05330000, hereafter referred to as “Jordan”).

Simple linear regression models were developed for selected positions on the streamflow hydrograph to estimate SSC and sand at Ft. Snelling from the streamflow at Jordan. Statistically significant models could not be developed for estimating SSC at low streamflows and sand at high streamflows. Models developed to estimate sand were more uncertain than models used to estimate SSC, and models using streamflow to predict SSC and sand were more uncertain than models using acoustic backscatter to predict SSC. Annual loads of SSC and sand estimated from these models show the dynamic nature of sediment transport and storage in this section of the lower Minnesota River. These models and the associated ancillary data can help with management decisions that are crucial in managing aquatic habitat, supporting power production, and commercial navigation.

Suggested Citation

Groten, J.T., Hendrickson, J.S., and Loomis, L.R., 2021, Estimation of suspended sediment at a discontinued streamgage on the lower Minnesota River at Fort Snelling State Park, Minnesota: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1005, 12 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211005.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Methods of Data Collection and Analysis
  • Models to Estimate Suspended-Sediment and Sand Concentrations
  • Suspended-Sediment Concentration Models
  • Suspended-Sand Concentration Models
  • Estimation of Suspended-Sediment Loads
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Estimation of suspended sediment at a discontinued streamgage on the lower Minnesota River at Fort Snelling State Park, Minnesota
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2021-1005
DOI 10.3133/ofr20211005
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Minnesota Water Science Center, Upper Midwest Water Science Center
Description Report: vi, 12 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State Minnesota
Other Geospatial Fort Snelling State Park
Online Only (Y/N) Y
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