Riverbed-Sediment Mapping in the Edwards Dam Impoundment on the Kennebec River, Maine By Use of Geophysical Techniques

Open-File Report 99-200




INTRODUCTION In July 1997, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement recommending that the 162-year-old Edwards Dam on the Kennebec River in Augusta, Maine, be removed. The impoundment formed by Edwards Dam extends about 15 mi to the city of Waterville, near the confluence of the Sebasticook River with the Kennebec River. The impoundment has a surface area of 1,143 acres, a gross storage of approximately 740 million ft3, and a usable storage of about 184 million ft3 (Stone and Webster, 1995a). According to FERC, removal of the 917-ft-long, 24-ft-high timber crib and concrete structure would restore 15 mi of riverine habitat, improve passage of ocean-migrating fish species native to the Kennebec River, and result in substantial recreational enhancements (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 1997). Because the removal of Edwards Dam would change the hydraulic characteristics of the river in the present-day impoundment, the potential transport of erodible, fine-grained sediment currently in the impoundment is a concern. Of particular concern is the erosion and transport of this sediment to areas downstream from the dam, a process that could introduce possible bacterial and chemical contamination and could impede river navigation as a result of sediment deposition. In an effort to build upon available information on the composition of the riverbed, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Maine State Planning Office, classified riverbed sediment types and mapped their areal extents in the lower (southern) half of the Edwards Dam impoundment. This report describes the methods used to collect and analyze the data used to create a map of sediment types in the Edwards Dam impoundment. The map is included with this report. Data used to map riverbed sediment types were also used to estimate the volume of observed mud and mud-containing sediment in the study area.

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USGS Numbered Series
Riverbed-Sediment Mapping in the Edwards Dam Impoundment on the Kennebec River, Maine By Use of Geophysical Techniques
Series title:
Open-File Report
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Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s):
Maine Water Science Center
7 p.; Plate