RUNOFF EVENT IMPACTS ON A WATER SUPPLY RESERVOIR: SUSPENDED SEDIMENT LOADING, TURBID PLUME BEHAVIOR, AND SEDIMENT DEPOSITION1

Authors

  • Steven W. Effler,

    1. Respectively, Director of Research (Effler) and Research Scientists (Matthews, Kaser, and Prestigiacomo), Upstate Freshwater Institute, P.O. Box 506, Syracuse, New York 13214; and Research Scientist (Smith), New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Valhalla, New York 10595 (E-Mail/Effler: sweffler@upstatefieshwater.org).
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  • David A. Matthews,

    1. Respectively, Director of Research (Effler) and Research Scientists (Matthews, Kaser, and Prestigiacomo), Upstate Freshwater Institute, P.O. Box 506, Syracuse, New York 13214; and Research Scientist (Smith), New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Valhalla, New York 10595 (E-Mail/Effler: sweffler@upstatefieshwater.org).
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  • Josef W. Kaser,

    1. Respectively, Director of Research (Effler) and Research Scientists (Matthews, Kaser, and Prestigiacomo), Upstate Freshwater Institute, P.O. Box 506, Syracuse, New York 13214; and Research Scientist (Smith), New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Valhalla, New York 10595 (E-Mail/Effler: sweffler@upstatefieshwater.org).
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  • Anthony R. Prestigiacomo,

    1. Respectively, Director of Research (Effler) and Research Scientists (Matthews, Kaser, and Prestigiacomo), Upstate Freshwater Institute, P.O. Box 506, Syracuse, New York 13214; and Research Scientist (Smith), New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Valhalla, New York 10595 (E-Mail/Effler: sweffler@upstatefieshwater.org).
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  • David G. Smith

    1. Respectively, Director of Research (Effler) and Research Scientists (Matthews, Kaser, and Prestigiacomo), Upstate Freshwater Institute, P.O. Box 506, Syracuse, New York 13214; and Research Scientist (Smith), New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Valhalla, New York 10595 (E-Mail/Effler: sweffler@upstatefieshwater.org).
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  • 1

    Paper No. 05049 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) (Copyright © 2006). Discussions are open until June 1,2007.

Abstract

Abstract: The impacts of runoff events on external suspended solids loading to Schoharie Reservoir, New York, and patterns of light scattering and sediment deposition in this reservoir are assessed. The assessment is based on monitoring of suspended solids concentrations in the reservoir's primary tributary, detailed vertical profiles of optical backscattering (a surrogate measure of light scattering) in the reservoir water column, and analysis of sediment trap collections, over a seven-month interval of high runoff. These impacts are reported to be tightly temporally coupled and strongly positively related to the magnitude of runoff events. The primary tributary entered the reservoir as a plunging inflow during runoff events, causing conspicuous subsurface peaks in light scattering, with vertical patterns that varied strongly for different events. Deposition quantified by near-bottom trap deployments is reported to be more representative than results from metalimnetic deployments that were generally within, rather than below, the turbid layers. Direct inputs of sediment, transported by density currents, are found to drive deposition, rather than resuspension/redeposition. More than 50 percent of the reported deposition occurred in less than 15 percent of the study period, associated with the four largest runoff events.

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