RCMAP - Uncompahgre River at Ridgway, Colorado

Science Center Objects

The U.S. Geological Survey was engaged in a program to monitor and assess the long-term geomorphic behavior of selected river and stream reaches that previously had undergone some physical modification.  These modifications included natural channel adjustments to floods as well as intentional channel reconfigurations to alter the function or appearance of a river reach.

The Uncompahgre River carries a high bedload of coarse material and has a braided channel with unstable bed and banks and shallow flow depth. Alluvial gravel mining upstream and in the lower part of the study reach has contributed to instability.


Uncompahgre River at Ridgway, October 2003

Cross Section 7, looking upstream channel, from right hand bank, October 23, 2003.
Discharge: 180 cfs

Approximately 3,000 ft of the Uncompahgre River was reconfigured in phases, beginning near the bridge October 2003 and continuing downstream July 2004. A 3,400-ft reach was monumented, surveyed, and photographed by the USGS in October 2003 that included approximately 800 ft of recently reconfigured channel immediately below the Highway 62 bridge and 2,600 ft of unaltered channel downstream. A second USGS survey was made in July 2004 of the entire 3,400-ft reach after reconfiguration activities were completed. A third USGS survey was made in July 2005.


NW ¼ of Sec 16, T45N, R8W, Ouray County, Colo. The monitoring reach begins at the Highway 62 bridge in Ridgway and extends approximately 3,400 ft downstream. Streamflow gaging station 09146200 Uncompahgre River near Ridgway, Colo., is approximately 1.8 river miles downstream from the lower end of the monitoring reach, located at Lat 38o11'02", Long 107o44'43",on the right bank 15 ft downstream from County Road 24 bridge, 0.2 mi downstream from Dry Creek.

Streamflow Data:

Current streamflow: USGS 09146200 Uncompahgre River near Ridgway, CO

View peak streamflow: 09146200 Uncompahgre River near Ridgway, CO

Photographic History:

Sediment Surveys

See Sediment Distribution Charts for Uncompahgre River at Ridgway, Colorado

Channel Surveys

See Cross Section Data for sites on Uncompahgre River at Ridgway, Colorado