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Sedimentation Survey of Lago Icacos, Puerto Rico, March 2004

May 22, 2007

The Lago Icacos, a small reservoir built in 1930 and owned by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, is part of the Rio Blanco Hydroelectric Power System. The reservoir is located in Naguabo, within the Caribbean National Forest in eastern Puerto Rico. The original storage capacity of the reservoir was 19,119 cubic meters in 1930. The bathymetric survey conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in March 2004 indicates a storage capacity of 7,435 cubic meters or 39 percent of the original storage capacity, and a maximum depth of 5.3 meters. The reservoir has been dredged several times to restore lost storage capacity caused by high sediment loads and the frequent landslides that occur upstream from the dam, which have partially or completely filled the Lago Icacos. Because sediment removal activities have not been documented, sedimentation rates could not be determined using storage volume comparisons. A reservoir sedimentation rate was calculated using the daily sediment load data gathered at the U.S. Geological Survey Rio Icacos streamflow station upstream of the reservoir, the estimated Lago Icacos sediment trapping efficiency, and the estimated sediment yield of the Lago Icacos basin extrapolated from the Rio Icacos sediment load data. Using these properties, the Lago Icacos sedimentation rate was estimated as 71 cubic meters per year, equivalent to about 1 percent of the original storage capacity per year. The Lago Icacos 7.47-square-kilometer drainage area sediment yield was estimated as 7,126 tonnes per year or about 954 tonnes per square kilometer per year. Based on the current estimated sedimentation rate of 71 cubic meters per year, Lago Icacos has a useful life of about 105 years or to year 2109.

Publication Year 2007
Title Sedimentation Survey of Lago Icacos, Puerto Rico, March 2004
DOI 10.3133/sir20075033
Authors Luis R. Soler-López
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2007-5033
Index ID sir20075033
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Water Resources of the Caribbean