Simulated monthly hydrologic data and estimated flood characteristics for Cherry Creek at a proposed reservoir site near Terry, Montana

Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4230
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Abstract

Methods used to simulate a monthly hydrologic budget for water years 1937-92 for the proposed Cherry Creek Reservoir (maximum volume about 14,100 acre-feet) are described and monthly results of the simulation are presented. The budget is based on recorded and estimated streamflow, precipitation, evaporation, and estimated reservoir seepage. The budget also includes water diversions from the Yellowstone River whenever the reservoir depth was less than 20 feet (minimum operating level of 2,260 feet) and outflows whenever the reservoir elevation exceeded a maximum operating level of 2,290 feet. Monthly suspended sediment and dissolved-solids concentrations in the reservoir were estimated from regression relations between logarithms of concentration and streamflow for Cherry Creek and for the Yellowstone River near Sidney, Montana.

The results of the reservoir simulation indicate that flows from Cherry Creek, an intermittent stream having a drainage area of about 360 square miles, generally were adequate to maintain the reservoir elevation above the minimum operating level if no seepage loss occurred. With a seepage loss of 3 cubic feet per second, flow diversions from the Yellowstone River were required for 34 percent of the months to maintain the reservoir elevation at minimum operating level. The reservoir elevation generally was maintained near maximum operating level for a seepage loss of 0 cubic feet per second, but generally was close to minimum operating level for a seepage loss of 3 cubic feet per second. Cumulative sediment deposition for the 56-year period was estimated to be about 138 acre-feet from Cherry Creek alone and only slightly more (149 acre-feet) when additional water was imported from the Yellowstone River.

The simulated concentration of dissolved solids in the reservoir showed a slightly increasing trend over time, interrupted by several large decreases, for no reservoir seepage loss. The maximum concentration for no seepage loss reached a maximum value of about 2,500 milligrams per liter in 1982. For a seepage loss of 3 cubic feet per second, water was imported from the Yellowstone River, and the concentration generally ranged from about 500 to about 1,200 milligrams per liter throughout the period.

Flood hydrographs and volumes for flood discharges having 25-, 50-, and 100-year recurrence intervals were estimated from synthetic 24-hour duration storms having total storm depths with recurrence intervals of 25, 50, and 100 years. These synthetic storms were used in a rainfall-runoff model (HEC-1) based on the Clark unit-hydrograph method to develop flood hydrographs from which volumes were computed. The peak discharges of the 25-, 50-, and 100-year flood hydrographs determined from the rainfallrunoff model compared closely to the 25-, 50-, and 100-year peak discharges determined from regional equations developed by the U. S. Geological Survey. The volume of the 100-year hydrograph developed from the HEC-1 model was about 11,250 acre-feet.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Simulated monthly hydrologic data and estimated flood characteristics for Cherry Creek at a proposed reservoir site near Terry, Montana
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 94-4230
DOI 10.3133/wri944230
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Description iv, 25 p.
Country United States
State Montana
County Prairie County
City Terry
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