Skip to main content

Text / The Benefits of Computational Sedimentation Modeling when Planning for Dam Removal

Have a question about this item?

Item information.

The Benefits of Computational Sedimentation Modeling when Planning for Dam Removal
Alternative Title
Managing Watersheds for Human and Natural Impacts: Engineering, Ecological, and Economic Challenges, EWRI and ASCE 2005 Watershed Management Conference, Williamsburg, Virginia, July 19-22, 2005
William A. Thomas
Mobile Boundary Hydraulics, PLLC, Clinton, MS
Date Created and/or Issued
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: Not all dam removals will need detailed sedimentation studies. There are cases where the evolution of the channel upstream is predictable using other approaches. However, sedimentation processes are significant in all dam removal studies, and in many cases it is very difficult to assess how significant they might be without devoting some attention to them. When there is a substantial volume of sediment stored in the reservoir and when the energy to erode that sediment is appreciable, one needs to predict the channel and flood plain evolution in the reservoir area and to predict the delivery of the eroded sediment through the river system downstream of the dam site. Computational modeling provides a framework for making such predictions. I do not consider existing computational models to be expert systems. However, by coupling a computational sedimentation model with principles of river morphology, one who is skilled in river processes can discover much about the evolution of the channel and flood plain that will follow the removal of a dam. This a simulation approach. Plans for removing a dam can be formulated based criteria established for the projection by observing the model's response to initial conditions, boundary conditions and sedimentation processes. Criteria can consider the rate of erosion of sediment from the reservoir, and the transportation and deposition of the eroded sediments in the river downstream. Simulations will include sedimentation processes over time and changes during extreme events.
digital copy
Sediment and channel dynamics
Dam retirement

About the collections in Calisphere

Learn more about the collections in Calisphere. View our statement on digital primary resources.

Copyright, permissions, and use

If you're wondering about permissions and what you can do with this item, a good starting point is the "rights information" on this page. See our terms of use for more tips.

Share your story

Has Calisphere helped you advance your research, complete a project, or find something meaningful? We'd love to hear about it; please send us a message.

Explore related content on Calisphere: