Text / Case Study of Fluvial Modeling of River Responses to Dam Removal

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Case Study of Fluvial Modeling of River Responses to Dam Removal
Alternative Title
Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, March 2008, vol. 134, issue 3, pp. 295-302
Howard H. Chang
Date Created and/or Issued
Publication Information
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Contributing Institution
UC Riverside, Library, Water Resources Collections and Archives
Clearinghouse for Dam Removal Information (CDRI)
Rights Information
Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Scope/Content: Abstract: A plan was made to remove Matilija Dam on the Ventura River. With dam removal, the delta in the reservoir and the downstream channel were expected to undergo major changes in morphology. The FLUVIAL-12 model was employed to simulate reservoir and river channel responses after dam removal. As a first step, the model was calibrated using the Ventura River data to establish its validity. In calibration, the model was used to simulate the fluvial processes starting from the time of dam completion. The simulated sediment deposition above the Matilija Dam matches closely with the deposits measured by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. A large amount of sediment was stored in the reservoir; some of the stored sediment would be transported downstream after dam removal. An important consequence of dam removal is the major increase of sediment release to the river channel downstream. The sediment supply to the downstream reach is not only from the stored sediment in the reservoir but also from natural sediment inflow from the upstream watershed. Therefore, sediment supply to the downstream reach will exceed the natural sediment flow before the dam presence. This situation tends to overload the downstream reach with sediment, resulting in excessive deposition. The amount of sediment release from the area above the removed dam is closely related to the changes in reservoir morphology. It is necessary to model changes in the channel bed profile and channel width during erosion in order to determine the amount of sediment removal. The amount of sediment release may not be simulated using an erodible-bed model but it may be determined using an erodible boundary model.
Scope/Content: Dam type: arch
Scope/Content: Dam type: concrete
Scope/Content: Dam type: gravity
Scope/Content: Reservoir size: 700 Height: 190 Length: 620
Scope/Content: Date constructed: 1947.
digital copy
Sediment and channel dynamics
Dam retirement
Ventura River, CA
Matilija Dam
United States

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