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Hydrologic effects of hypothetical earthquake-caused floods below Jackson Lake, northwestern Wyoming

January 1, 1994

Jackson Lake, located in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, is in an area of seismic instability. There is a possibility of flooding in the Snake River downstream from Jackson Lake Dam in the event of a severe earthquake. Hypothetical floods were routed 38 miles (61 kilometers) downstream from the dam for three cases: (1) Instantaneous destruction of the dam outlet structure, (2) instantaneous destruction of the entire dam, and (3) for waves overtopping the dam without failure of the dam. In each case, a full reservoir was assumed. Hydrographs for outflow from the reservoir for the two cases of dam failure were developed utilizing an accelerated discharge due to the travel of a negative wave through the reservoir, and Muskingum storage routing. For the case of waves overtopping the dam, a 10-foot (3-meter) wave was assumed to be propagated from the upstream end of the reservori. A multiple-linearization technique was used to route the flow through the reach. The model was calibrated from U.S. Geological Survey streamflow records. Most extensive flooding and largest water velocities would occur if the entire dam were destroyed; floods for the other two cases were smaller. An inundation map was prepared from channel conveyance curves and profiles of the water surface. (Woodard-USGS)