In May of 2019, Loch Lomond Reservoir was surveyed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the city of Santa Cruz to assess the current storage capacity and sedimentation rates in the reservoir. Survey methods combined sonar soundings to measure bathymetry and lidar scans with GPS data to measure near-shore topography and sediment bed samples to understand reservoir bed-material
size. The survey data produced a bare-earth digital elevation model (DEM) of the reservoir at a resolution of 1 square meter or better to elevations at or above the reservoir spillway elevation, providing the coverage needed to estimate storage capacity. Additionally, the USGS compared the current survey to storage estimates from historical surveys—particularly the most recent survey in 2009—to evaluate storage capacity trends. Lastly, a hindcast estimate of scaled sediment yield using sediment yields from the San Lorenzo River (USGS station 11160500)—where the San Lorenzo River watershed encompasses the Loch Lomond Reservoir watershed—were used to compare indirect estimates of storage loss to direct storage loss.
The 2019 survey resulted in a measured storage capacity of 8,770±50 acre-feet. The differences in storage between 2009 and 2019 varied substantially by depth. In shallow areas with depths less than 30 ft (at full reservoir), such as the very upstream end of the reservoir, storage loss (sediment deposition) dominated with a loss of about 68 acre-feet from 2009 to 2019. In areas deeper than 30 ft, persistent small storage gains over a wide range of depths totaled 82 acre-feet from 2009 to 2019.
Storage loss estimates derived from estimated watershed sediment yields and reservoir characteristics were similar to storage losses computed from past surveys. This hindcasting produced an estimate of about 500 acre-feet of total storage loss for the history of the reservoir, or an average of about 8–9 acre-feet/year during the 60-year period. For the period 2009–2019, the hindcast produced an estimated total storage loss of 42 acre-feet, which is broadly consistent with the 68 acre-feet of storage loss computed for shallow areas based on the repeat surveys.
|Title||Storage capacity and sedimentation characteristics of Loch Lomond Reservoir, California, 2019|
|Authors||Daniel R. Whealdon-Haught, Scott A. Wright, Mathieu Marineau|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||California Water Science Center|
Loch Lomond Reservoir 2019 Survey Data
Dan Haught, Ph.D.
Scott A Wright
Program Chief, Watersheds, Ecology, and Integrated Hydrologic Modeling (Acting)
Loch Lomond Reservoir 2019 Survey DataThis dataset contains the digital elevation model from the bathymetric survey, along with the sediment samples, stage-area table, stage-storage table, and 20-ft contours of the reservoir.
Dan Haught, Ph.D.
Scott A WrightProgram Chief, Watersheds, Ecology, and Integrated Hydrologic Modeling (Acting)