Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Bathymetric contour maps, surface area and capacity tables, and bathymetric change maps for selected water-supply lakes in northwestern Missouri, 2019 and 2020

April 12, 2022

Bathymetric data were collected at 12 water-supply lakes in northwestern Missouri by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and in collaboration with various local agencies, as part of a multiyear effort to establish or update the surface area and capacity tables for the surveyed lakes. Ten of the lakes were surveyed from July to September 2019, one of the original 10 was resurveyed in March 2020, and two lakes of high interest near Maryville were surveyed in June 2020. Six of the lakes had been surveyed by the U.S. Geological Survey before, and the recent surveys were compared to the earlier surveys to document the changes in the bathymetric surface and capacity of the lake and to produce a bathymetric change map.

Bathymetric data were collected using a high-resolution multibeam mapping system mounted on a boat. Supplemental depth data were collected in shallow areas with an acoustic Doppler current profiler on a remote-controlled boat. At Hamilton Reservoir, a Global Navigation Satellite System survey receiver was used to collect additional bathymetric data at several points across four transects and around the perimeter of a substantial shallow area filled with aquatic vegetation upstream from a low-clearance bridge on the northern arm.

Data points from the various sources were exported at a gridded data resolution appropriate to each lake. Data outside the multibeam echosounder survey extent and greater than the surveyed water-surface elevation generally were obtained from data collected using aerial light detection and ranging point cloud data, 1/9 arc-second National Elevation Dataset data based on aerial light detection and ranging data, or both. A linear enforcement technique was used to add points to the dataset in areas of sparse data (the upper ends of coves where the water was shallow or aquatic vegetation precluded data acquisition) based on surrounding multibeam and upland data values. The various point datasets were used to produce a three-dimensional triangulated irregular network surface of the lake-bottom elevations for each lake. A surface area and capacity table was produced from the three-dimensional surface showing surface area and capacity at specified lake water-surface elevations. Various quality-assurance tests were conducted to ensure quality data were collected with the multibeam, including beam angle checks and patch tests. Additional quality-assurance tests were conducted on the gridded bathymetric data from the survey, the bathymetric surface created from the gridded data, and the contours created from the bathymetric survey.

If data from a previous bathymetric survey existed at a given lake, a bathymetric change map was generated from the elevation difference between the previous survey and the 2019 bathymetric survey data points. After applying any vertical elevation changes to the previous survey data to ensure a match to the 2019 survey datum, coincident points between the surveys were found, and a bathymetric change map was generated using the coincident point data.

A decrease in capacity was observed at all the lakes for which a previous survey existed. The decrease in capacity at the primary spillway or intake elevation ranged from 0.8 percent at Lake Viking to 21.4 percent at Middle Fork Grand River Reservoir. The mean bathymetric change ranged from 0.33 foot at Willow Brook Lake to 1.18 feet at Middle Fork Grand River Reservoir. The computed sedimentation rate generally ranged from 0.54 to 4.19 acre-feet per year at Maysville Lake and Middle Fork Grand River Reservoir, respectively; however, Lake Viking had the largest sedimentation rate of 14.9 acre-feet per year, despite having the smallest decrease in capacity at the spillway elevation of only 0.8 percent and a mean bathymetric change of only 0.4 foot. Evidence of dredging was observed in the bathymetric surface for Lake Viking. Some changes observed in some bathymetric change maps are hypothesized to result from the difference in data collection equipment and techniques between the previous and present bathymetric surveys. Certain erosional features around the perimeter of certain lakes may be the result of wave action during low-water years.