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Proceedings of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Sediment Workshop, February 4-7, 1997


Yang, Chih Ted and Young, Christi A.,
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
P.O. Box 25007, D-8540,
Denver, CO 80225


The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) conducts sediment management studies of river and reservoir responses, including changes in river flow, surface erosion and sediment supply, channel shape, and stream bank and shoreline erosion. Reclamation under takes technical studies to plan and design water resources facilities, to improve operation and maintenance of existing facilities, and to restore fish and wildlife habitat. Studies also include, but are not limited to, those related to dam breach and the resulting impacts on reservoir sedimentation and downstream channel erosion, sediment transport, computer model simulation, and laboratory physical model studies. This paper provides a brief summary of major sediment issues confronting Reclamation and research needs toward resolving them.

Laboratory studies: In all of the following areas Reclamation is presently conducting research or demonstration studies and would appreciate opportunities to work with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other agencies in the future:

Flushing flow criteria for tailwater rejuvenation of spawning gravels downstream of dams. (Working with USGS, biological division- Bob Millhouse)

Grade control structures as they relate to stream restoration, fish enhancement, fish passage.

Erosion associated with hydraulic structures. The movement of materials during breach initiation and development in hydraulic structures such as embankment dams is not well defined and needs more physical-based modeling to define the process for numerical code development. Reclamation is also very interested in foundation and abutment erosion associated with hydraulic structures.

Perceptions on how a union of USGS earth-science, biological, and ecological expertise may be instrumental in resolving those sediment-related issues: In this era of reinvention and belt-tightening, many of the issues addressed above may only be resolved through partnering not only within the USGS, but with other federal agencies, state and local governments, international interests, and private companies as well.

In addition, Reclamation could also consult the USGS ecological and biological services for an independent opinion on studies involving other agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Bibliographic Citations:

U.S. Interagency Committee on Water Resources, Subcommittee on Sedimentation (1957), Report no. 12, "Some Fundamentals of Particle Size Analysis."

Colby, B. R. (1964), "Practical Computations of Bed-Material Discharge," Journal of the Hydraulics Division, ASCE, vol. 90, no. HY2.

Yang, C. T., A. Molinas, B. Wu (1996), "Sediment Transport in the Yellow River," Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, vol. 122, no. 5, May 1996


Yang, Chih Ted, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO: currently serves as the Manager of Reclamation's Sedimentation and River Hydraulics Group. Dr. Yang has more than 20 years of experience in the study of erosion, sediment transport, computer modeling, river hydraulics and river morphology. He is the author of more than 100 publications, including the book Sediment Transport: Theory and Practice (McGraw-Hill, 1996)
Workshop Proceedings
Contributions from Other Federal Agencies
Contribution from the USGS