Willamette River Basin Dissolved Gas Monitoring Network

Science Center Objects

USGS total dissolved gas (TDG) data help guide spill and discharge management from dams operated along tributaries of the Willamette River.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates several dams in tributaries to the Willamette River that fulfill needs for flood control, navigation, irrigation, recreation, hydropower production, fish and wildlife habitat, water-quality maintenance, and municipal and industrial water supply. When water is released through the spillways of these dam’s ambient air becomes entrained in the water, resulting in an increase in the concentration of dissolved gases in the water downstream of the dams. Concentrations of dissolved gases greater than 110 percent saturation can cause gas-bubble trauma in fish and adversely affect other aquatic organisms. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers uses real-time USGS data to regulate streamflow and spill from its dams to minimize the production of excess dissolved gases, while providing fish passage through the spillways.

Four dissolved gas monitoring stations are operated in the Willamette River Basin: North Santiam River, South Santiam River, South Fork McKenzie River, and Middle Fork Willamette River.