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Sedimentation in Whitewater Lake, Union County, east-central Indiana, 1959-88

Water-Resources Investigations Report 92-4113

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
By:

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Abstract

Sedimentation has had little effect on the storage capacity or surface area of Whitewater Lake. The lake was constructed by damming Silver Creek in 1949 and was dredged during 1978-81 and 1984-88. At the dam, the drainage area of Silver Creek is 19.2 square miles. Locations where the largest amount of sediment has accumulated for the 29-year period 1959-88 are in the upper part of the lake where Silver Creek enters. In general, except for the upper part of the lake, there has been little sediment accumulation in most of the lake. The surface area of the lake was 7,580,000 square feet (174 acres) in 1959 and 6,590,000 square feet (151 acres) in 1988.

In 1959, the volume of water in Whitewater Lake was 138,000,000 cubic feet; in 1988, the volume was 132,000,000 cubic feet. The amount of sediment that accumulated in the lake from 1959-88 was 6,000,000 cubic feet. In 1988, the volume of water remaining in the lake was 95.6 percent of the 1959 volume, and 4.4 percent of the 1959 lake volume had filled with sediment.

The total amount of sediment that accumulated in Whitewater Lake from 1959-88 (10,350,000 cubic feet) was determined by adding the amount of sediment that accumulated in the lake from 1959-88 (6,000,000 cubic feet) and the amount of sediment that was dredged from the lake during 1978-81 and 1984-88 (4,350,000 cubic feet). Thus, the annual rate of sediment accumulation in the lake from 1959-88 was 357,000 cubic feet per year.

Potential decreases in the storage capacity of Whitewater Lake based on whether dredging is continued or discontinued were estimated for the 29-year period 1989-2017. If dredging is continued, the potential for future decreases in the storage capacity of the lake is small. If dredging is discontinued, the volume of water in the lake in 2017 is estimated to be 88.2 percent of the 1959 volume; 11.8 percent of the 1959 volume of the lake would be filled with sediment.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Sedimentation in Whitewater Lake, Union County, east-central Indiana, 1959-88
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
92-4113
Year Published:
1993
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Indianapolis, IN
Contributing office(s):
Indiana Water Science Center
Description:
v, 60 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.
First page:
1
Last page:
60
Country:
United States
State:
Indiana
County:
Union County
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N