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Preliminary estimate of possible flood elevations in the Columbia River at Trojan Nuclear Power Plant due to failure of debris dam blocking Spirit Lake, Washington

January 1, 1984

Failure of the debris dam, blocking the outflow of Spirit Lake near Mount St. Helens, could result in a mudflow down the Toutle and Cowlitz Rivers into the Columbia River. Flood elevations at the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant on the Columbia River, 5 mi upstream from the Cowlitz River, were simulated with a hydraulic routing model. The simulations are made for four Columbia River discharges in each of two scenarios, one in which Columbia River floods coincide with a mudflow and the other in which Columbia River floods follow a mudflow sediment deposit upstream from the Cowlitz River. In the first scenario, Manning 's roughness coefficients for clear water and for mudflow in the Columbia River are used; in the second scenario only clear water coefficients are used. The grade elevation at the power plant is 45 ft above sea level. The simulated elevations exceed 44 ft if the mudflow coincides with a Columbia River discharge that has a recurrence interval greater than 10 years (610,000 cu ft/sec); the mudflow is assumed to extend downstream from the Cowlitz River to the mouth of the Columbia River, and Manning 's roughness coefficients for a mudflow are used. The simulated elevation is 32 ft if the mudflow coincides with a 100-yr flood (820,000 cu ft/sec) and clear-water Manning 's coefficients are used throughout the entire reach of the Columbia River. The elevations exceed 45 ft if a flow exceeding the 2-yr peak discharge in the Columbia River (410,000 cu ft/sec) follows the deposit of 0.5 billion cu yd of mudflow sediment upstream of the Cowlitz River before there has been any appreciable scour or dredging of the deposit. In this simulation it is assumed that: (1) the top of the sediment deposited in the Columbia River is at an elevation of 30 ft at the mouth of the Cowlitz River, (2) the surface elevation of the sediment deposit decreases in an upstream direction at a rate of 2.5 ft/mi, and (3) clear water Manning 's coefficients apply to the entire modeled reach of the Columbia River. (Author 's abstract)

Publication Year 1984
Title Preliminary estimate of possible flood elevations in the Columbia River at Trojan Nuclear Power Plant due to failure of debris dam blocking Spirit Lake, Washington
DOI 10.3133/wri834197
Authors D. L. Kresch, Antonius Laenen
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 83-4197
Index ID wri834197
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse