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Hydraulic alterations resulting from hydropower development in the Bonneville Reach of the Columbia River

July 1, 2010

We used a two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic model to simulate and compare the hydraulic characteristics in a 74-km reach of the Columbia River (the Bonneville Reach) before and after construction of Bonneville Dam. For hydrodynamic modeling, we created a bathymetric layer of the Bonneville Reach from single-beam and multi-beam echo-sounder surveys, digital elevation models, and navigation surveys. We calibrated the hydrodynamic model at 100 and 300 kcfs with a user-defined roughness layer, a variable-sized mesh, and a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers backwater curve. We verified the 2D model with acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) data at 14 transects and three flows. The 2D model was 88% accurate for water depths, and 77% accurate for velocities. We verified a pre-dam 2D model run at 126 kcfs using pre-dam aerial photos from September 1935. Hydraulic simulations indicated that mean water depths in the Bonneville Reach increased by 34% following dam construction, while mean velocities decreased by 58%. There are numerous activities that would benefit from data output from the 2D model, including biological sampling, bioenergetics, and spatially explicit habitat modeling.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2010
Title Hydraulic alterations resulting from hydropower development in the Bonneville Reach of the Columbia River
DOI 10.3955/046.084.0301
Authors James R. Hatten, Thomas R. Batt
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Northwest Science
Index ID 70179289
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Fisheries Research Center

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