Suspended- and bedload-sediment transport in the Snake and Clearwater rivers in the vicinity of Lewiston, Idaho, August 1976 through July 1978

Open-File Report 79-417

Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District



Impoundment of water in the Snake River and Clearwater River arms behind Lower Granite Dam (see cover map) began in June 1975. At this time, Lower Granite Reservoir and Lock facilities, constructed by the USACE (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), Walla Walla District, became operational. Construction and operation of this facility necessitated collection of hydrologic data that did not exist prior to construction. The USACE requested the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) to collect hydraulic- and channel-geometry data and describe sediment-transport characteristics, beginning in the spring of 1972.

This report summarizes information collected during August 1976 through July 1978 and is the fifth in a series of reports designed to release hydrologic data on a timely basis. Although some of the data were collected during the late summer and fall periods (August through December) of 1976 and 1977, most were collected during the spring runoff periods of 1977 and 1978. Therefore, for convenience, data contained in this report will be referred to as the 1977-78 data. Because this is primarily a basic-data report, no interpretation of the data is provided.

This report presents tables of selected data collected and computations compiled since the 1976 report (Seitz, 1976). Most of the tabular data are also presented on graphs. Some of the graphs show plots of data since 1972~ others show plots of only the 1977-78 data.

Relatively minor amounts of bedload were transported during the 1977 drought period. Therefore, regular scheduled sampling of the bedload was impractical. Only two bedload samples were collected from the Clearwater River in 1977. The resultant data are included in tables 10, 12, and 14, and figure 6. All bedload data in this report should be considered tentative, pending completion of sampler-calibration studies and possible adjustment of the data to correct for sampler efficiency.

An analysis of the middle Snake River streamflow record was made during 1977. The streamflow rating for the Snake River near Anatone, Washington, gage was found to be in error at high stages. The streamflow record for water years 1974 and 1975 was revised and published with 1976 water-year data (Water Resources Data for Idaho, Water Year 1976). The revised Snake River near Anatone streamflow rating was used to recompute the sediment-discharge rating curve (fig. 3).

This study program is funded by the USACE through a cooperative agreement with the USGS. All field work, laboratory analysis, and compilation of data are being conducted by the USGS.

Data collection is scheduled to terminate at the end of the 1979 runoff season. A reanalysis of all data collected since the start of the program will correct all provisional records since 1972, including the 1974, 1975, and 1976 years for the Snake River near Anatone station.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Suspended- and bedload-sediment transport in the Snake and Clearwater rivers in the vicinity of Lewiston, Idaho, August 1976 through July 1978
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Boise, ID
87 p.
Time Range Start:
Time Range End:
United States
Other Geospatial:
Clearwater River;Snake River