Lower Yampa Streamflow and Sediment Modeling

Science Center Objects

Water from the Yampa River basin continues to be sought for a number of municipal, industrial, and energy uses.  Water development in the Yampa River basin will alter the streamflow regime and, consequently, will lead to changes in the transport and storage of suspended and bedload sediment.  Changes in the Yampa River sediment budget could lead to changes in channel geometry, riparian vegetation, and aquatic habitat similar to those observed in the Green River following construction of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.  Knowledge of sediment dynamics in river reaches important to specific life-stages of endangered native fish, such as those that occur in the lower Yampa and Green Rivers, is critical to understanding the effects of altered streamflow on endangered fish.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Identify sediment source reaches of the Green River main stem upstream from Jensen, Utah, and its major tributaries, the Yampa and Little Snake Rivers;
  • Develop sediment-transport curves that account for the magnitude and timing of sediment delivery at five sites on the major tributaries and main stem; and
  • Evaluate the need for additional or long-term data collection to improve the utility of sediment transport curves at the five major tributary and main-stem sites.