Sediment impacts from the Savage Rapids Dam removal, Rogue River, Oregon
Published:January 01, 2013
Jennifer A. Bountry, Yong G. Lai, Timothy J. Randle, 2013. "Sediment impacts from the Savage Rapids Dam removal, Rogue River, Oregon", The Challenges of Dam Removal and River Restoration, Jerome V. De Graff, James E. Evans
Download citation file:
Before a dam removal project is implemented, engineers are often asked to estimate the potential for impacts from the release of reservoir sediment. Field measurements, numerical models, and physical models are typically used to develop sediment impact estimates. This information helps decision makers to make informed decisions about when and how to remove the dam, whether to allow the river to erode the reservoir sediment, or to remove or stabilize the reservoir sediment prior to dam removal, or whether mitigation of the effects is needed. Although numerous dams have been removed, mostly small in size, few case studies on sediment impacts have been documented. Because there are limited case studies, dam removal regulators and stake-holders often err on the side of caution when selecting the level of pre removal analysis or determining whether the reservoir sediment needs to be removed prior to dam removal.
The purpose of this paper is to increase our knowledge base for application to future dam removals. The chapter discusses sediment impacts associated with the removal of the 11.9-m-high Savage Rapids Dam on the Rogue River near Grants Pass, Oregon. A unique factor to the Savage Rapids project was the construction and operation of a new diversion facility and water intake located immediately downstream of the dam, which introduced additional consequences associated with the release of reservoir sediment.
Figures & Tables
The Challenges of Dam Removal and River Restoration
River restoration is a societal goal in the United States. This collection of 14 research papers focuses on our current understanding of the impacts of removing dams and the role of dam removal in the larger context of river restoration. The chapters are grouped by topic: (1) assessment of existing dams, strategies to determine impounded legacy sediments, and evaluating whether or not to remove the dams; (2) case studies of the hydrologic, sediment, and ecosystem impacts of recent dam removals; (3) assessment of river restoration by modifying flows or removing dams; and (4) the concept of river restoration in the context of historic changes in river systems.