Sedimentation Survey of Lago Icacos, Puerto Rico, March 2004

Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5033

Prepared in cooperation with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority



The Lago Icacos, a small reservoir built in 1930 and owned by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, is part of the Rio Blanco Hydroelectric Power System. The reservoir is located in Naguabo, within the Caribbean National Forest in eastern Puerto Rico. The original storage capacity of the reservoir was 19,119 cubic meters in 1930. The bathymetric survey conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in March 2004 indicates a storage capacity of 7,435 cubic meters or 39 percent of the original storage capacity, and a maximum depth of 5.3 meters. The reservoir has been dredged several times to restore lost storage capacity caused by high sediment loads and the frequent landslides that occur upstream from the dam, which have partially or completely filled the Lago Icacos. Because sediment removal activities have not been documented, sedimentation rates could not be determined using storage volume comparisons. A reservoir sedimentation rate was calculated using the daily sediment load data gathered at the U.S. Geological Survey Rio Icacos streamflow station upstream of the reservoir, the estimated Lago Icacos sediment trapping efficiency, and the estimated sediment yield of the Lago Icacos basin extrapolated from the Rio Icacos sediment load data. Using these properties, the Lago Icacos sedimentation rate was estimated as 71 cubic meters per year, equivalent to about 1 percent of the original storage capacity per year. The Lago Icacos 7.47-square-kilometer drainage area sediment yield was estimated as 7,126 tonnes per year or about 954 tonnes per square kilometer per year. Based on the current estimated sedimentation rate of 71 cubic meters per year, Lago Icacos has a useful life of about 105 years or to year 2109.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Sedimentation Survey of Lago Icacos, Puerto Rico, March 2004
Series title:
Scientific Investigations Report
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Year Published:
Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s):
Water Resources of the Caribbean
Report: viii, 19 p.; Plate: 11 x 17 inches
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Time Range End:
Lambert conformal conic
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