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Channel-Morphology Data for the Tongue River and Selected Tributaries, Southeastern Montana, 2001-02

By Katherine J. Chase

U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2004-1260

In cooperation with the
Bureau of Land Management


Abstract

Coal-bed methane exploration and production have begun within the Tongue River watershed in southeastern Montana. The development of coal-bed methane requires production of large volumes of ground water, some of which may be discharged to streams, potentially increasing stream discharge and sediment load. Changes in stream discharge or sediment load may result in changes to channel morphology through changes in erosion and vegetation. These changes might be subtle and difficult to detect without baseline data that indicate stream-channel conditions before extensive coal-bed methane development began. In order to provide this baseline channel-morphology data, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, collected channel-morphology data in 2001-02 to document baseline conditions for several reaches along the Tongue River and selected tributaries.

This report presents channel-morphology data for five sites on the mainstem Tongue River and four sites on its tributaries. Bankfull, water-surface, and thalweg elevations, channel sections, and streambed-particle sizes were measured along reaches near streamflow-gaging stations. At each site, the channel was classified using methods described by Rosgen. For six sites, bankfull discharge was determined from the stage- discharge relation at the gage for the stage corresponding to the bankfull elevation. For three sites, the step-backwater computer model HEC-RAS was used to estimate bankfull discharge. Recurrence intervals for the bankfull discharge also were estimated for eight of the nine sites. Channel-morphology data for each site are presented in maps, tables, graphs, and photographs.

Contents

Glossary
Abstract
Introduction
   Purpose and scope
   Methods
Summary of channel-morphology data used for determination of channel type
References cited
Channel-morphology data
         A.  Tongue River at State Line, near Decker, Mont.
         B.  Tongue River at Tongue River Dam, near Decker, Mont
         C.  Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge, near Birney, Mont.
         D.  Tongue River below Brandenberg Bridge, near Ashland, Mont.
         E.   Tongue River at Miles City, Mont.
         F.   Prairie Dog Creek near Birney, Mont.
         G.  Hanging Woman Creek near Birney, Mont.
         H.  Otter Creek at Ashland, Mont.
          I.   Pumpkin Creek at mouth, near Miles City, Mont.
Appendixes 1-3.   HEC-RAS model input data for:
         1.   Prairie Dog Creek near Birney, Mont.
         2.   Otter Creek at Ashland, Mont.
         3.   Pumpkin Creek at mouth, near Miles City, Mont.

FIGURES

         1.   Map showing location of study reaches along Tongue River and selected tributaries,
               southeastern Montana
A1-A8.   Tongue River at State Line, near Decker, Mont.:
               Al.   Aerial photograph showing location of representative study reach, streamflow-
                       gaging station, cross section, and reference marks for Tongue River at State Line,
                       near Decker, Mont.
               A2.  Photograph showing Tongue River at State Line site from right bank looking
                       upstream from cross section
               A3.  Graph showing surveyed profiles of representative reach for Tongue River at
                       State Line site
               A4.   Photograph showing Tongue River at State Line site gaging station looking upstream
               A5.   Graph showing cross section at Tongue River at State Line site
               A6.   Photograph showing Tongue River at  State Line site from left bank looking downstream from cross section
               A7.   Photograph showing representative reach for Tongue River at State Line site
                        looking downstream
               A8.   Graph showing distribution of streambed-material particle size for Tongue
                        River at State Line site
B1-B8.   Tongue River at Tongue River Dam, near Decker, Mont.:
               B1.   Aerial photograph showing location of representative study reach, streamflow-
                        gaging station, cross section, reference mark, and bench marks
                        and control points for Tongue River at Tongue River Dam, near Decker, Mont.
               B2.   Photograph showing Tongue River at Tongue River Dam site from left bank near
                        gaging station looking upstream
               B3.    Graph showing surveyed profiles of representative reach for Tongue River at Tongue
                         River Dam site
                B4.   Photograph showing Tongue River at Tongue River Dam site from left bank looking downstream
                B5.   Graph showing cross section at Tongue River at Tongue River Dam site
                B6.   Photograph showing Tongue River at Tongue River Dam site at mid-stream of cross section looking downstream
                B7.   Photograph showing Tongue River at Tongue River Dam site from left bank looking upstream at cross section
                B8.   Graph showing distribution of streambed-material particle size for Tongue River at Tongue River Dam site
C1-C10.  Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge, near Birney, Mont.:
                C1.   Aerial photograph showing location of representative study reach,
                         streamflow-gaging station, cross sections, and reference marks for Tongue
                         River at Birney Day School Bridge, near Birney, Mont.
                C2.   Graph showing surveyed profiles of representative reach for Tongue River at Birney
                         Day School Bridge site
                C3.   Photograph showing Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge site from left
                         bank near cross section 1
                C4.   Graph showing cross section 1 at Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge site
                C5.   Photograph showing Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge site from left
                         bank near cross section 1
                C6.   Graph showing cross section 2 at Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge site
                C7.   Photograph showing Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge site from right bank
                         at cross section 2 looking downstream at cross section 1
                C8.   Graph showing cross section 3 at Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge site
                C9.   Photograph showing Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge site from left bank
                         looking downstream
               C10.  Graph showing distribution of streambed-material particle size for Tongue
                         River at Birney Day School Bridge site
D1-D8.    Tongue River below Brandenberg Bridge, near Ashland, Mont.:
                 D1.  Aerial photograph showing location of representative study reach,
                         streamflow-gaging station, cross section, and reference marks for Tongue River
                         below Brandenberg Bridge, near Ashland, Mont.
                 D2.  Photograph showing Tongue River below Brandenberg Bridge site from bridge
                         looking upstream
                 D3.  Graph showing surveyed profiles of representative reach for Tongue River below
                         Brandenberg Bridge site
                 D4.  Photograph showing Tongue River below Brandenberg Bridge site from right bank
                         at gaging station and cross section
                 D5.  Graph showing cross section at Tongue River below Brandenberg Bridge site
                 D6.  Photograph showing Tongue River below Brandenberg Bridge site from bridge looking downstream
                 D7.  Photograph showing Tongue River below Brandenberg Bridge site from bridge
                         looking downstream at right bank, gaging station, and irrigation diversion
                 D8.  Graph showing distribution of streambed-material particle size for Tongue River below
                         Brandenberg Bridge site
 E1-E8.     Tongue River at Miles City, Mont.:
                 E1.  Aerial photograph showing location of representative study reach, streamflow-gaging
                        station, cross section, reference marks, and survey bench mark for Tongue River at
                        Miles City, Mont.
                 E2.  Photograph showing Tongue River at Miles City site from bridge looking downstream
                 E3.  Graph showing surveyed profiles of representative reach for Tongue River at Miles
                        City site
                 E4.  Photograph showing Tongue River at Miles City site from right bank at cross section
                 E5.  Graph showing cross section at Tongue River at Miles City site
                 E6.  Photograph showing Tongue River at Miles City site from middle of cross section
                        looking upstream
                 E7.  Photograph showing Tongue River at Miles City site from left bank at cross section
                 E8.  Graph showing distribution of streambed-material particle size for Tongue River at
                         Miles City site
F1-F10.    Prairie Dog Creek near Birney, Mont.:
                 F1.  Map and schematic diagram showing location of representative study reach,
                        staff gage, cross sections, and reference mark for Prairie Dog Creek near
                        Birney, Mont.
                 F2.  Graph showing surveyed profiles of representative reach for Prairie Dog Creek near
                        Birney site
                 F3.  Photograph showing Prairie Dog Creek near Birney site looking upstream at
                        cross section 1
                 F4.  Graph showing cross section 1 at Prairie Dog Creek near Birney site
                 F5.  Photograph showing bankfull elevation at Prairie Dog Creek near Birney site
                        between cross sections 1 and 2
                 F6.  Graph showing cross section 2 at Prairie Dog Creek near Birney site
                 F7.  Photograph showing Prairie Dog Creek near Birney site near mid-channel looking
                        downstream at cross section 2
                 F8.  Graph showing cross section 3 at Prairie Dog Creek near Birney site
                 F9.  Photograph showing Prairie Dog Creek near Birney site from right bank looking
                        upstream at cross sections 2 and 3
               F10. Graph showing distribution of streambed-material particle size for Prairie Dog Creek
                        near Birney site
G1-G8.  Hanging Woman Creek near Birney, Montana:
                G1.  Map and schematic diagram showing location of representative study reach,
                       discontinued streamflow-gaging station, and cross sections for Hanging Woman
                       Creek near Birney, Mont.
                G2.  Graph showing surveyed profiles of representative reach for Hanging Woman Creek
                        near Birney site
                G3.  Graph showing cross section 1 at Hanging Woman Creek near Birney site
                G4.  Photograph showing Hanging Woman Creek near Birney site from left bank
                        near discontinued gaging station
                G5.  Graph showing cross section 2 at Hanging Woman Creek near Birney site
                G6.  Photograph showing Hanging Woman Creek near Birney site looking upstream
                        at discontinued gaging station intake and cross section 2
                G7.  Graph showing cross section 3 at Hanging Woman Creek near Birney site
                G8.  Graph showing distribution of streambed-material particle size for Hanging Woman
                        Creek near Birney site
  H1-H8.  Otter Creek at Ashland, Montana:
                H1.   Map and schematic diagram showing location of representative study reach,
                       discontinued streamflow-gaging station, and cross sections for Otter Creek
                       at Ashland, Mont.
               H2.  Graph showing surveyed profiles of representative reach for Otter Creek at Ashland
                       site
               H3.  Graph showing cross section 1 at Otter Creek at Ashland site
               H4.  Graph showing cross section 2 at Otter Creek at Ashland site
               H5.  Photograph showing Otter Creek at Ashland site from right bank at cross section
                       2 looking upstream at gaging station and bridge
               H6.  Graph showing cross section 3 at Otter Creek at Ashland site
               H7.  Photograph showing Otter Creek at Ashland site from bridge looking downstream
                       at study reach
               H8.  Graph showing distribution of streambed-material particle size for Otter Creek
                       at Ashland site
  I1-I8.    Pumpkin Creek at mouth, near Miles City, Mont.:
                I1.   Map and schematic diagram showing location of representative study reach
                       and cross sections for Pumpkin Creek at mouth, near Miles City, Mont.
                I2.  Graph showing surveyed profiles of representative reach for Pumpkin Creek at
                       mouth site
                I3.   Photograph showing Pumpkin Creek at mouth site from left bank looking upstream
                       at cross section 3
                I4.  Graph showing cross section 1 at Pumpkin Creek at mouth site
                I5.  Photograph showing Pumpkin Creek at mouth site from mid-stream at cross
                       section 3 looking downstream at cross sections 2 and 1, and bridge at Montana
                       Highway S-332
                I6.  Graph showing cross section 2 at Pumpkin Creek at mouth site
                I7.  Graph showing cross section 3 at Pumpkin Creek at mouth site
                I8.  Graph showing distribution of streambed-material particle size for Pumpkin Creek at
                       mouth site

Tables

A1-A2.   Tongue River at State Line, near Decker, Mont.:
               A1.  Stream- and channel-morphology data for Tongue River at State Line site
               A2.  Distance and elevation data for cross section at Tongue River at State Line site
B1-B2.   Tongue River at Tongue River Dam, near Decker, Mont.:
               B1.  Stream- and channel-morphology data for Tongue River at Tongue River Dam site
               B2.  Distance and elevation data for cross section at Tongue River at Tongue River Dam site
C1-C4.  Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge, near Birney, Mont.:
              C1.  Stream- and channel-morphology data for Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge site
              C2.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 1 at Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge site
              C3.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 2 at Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge site
              C4.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 3 at Tongue River at Birney Day School Bridge site
D1-D2.  Tongue River below Brandenberg Bridge, near Ashland, Mont.:
              D1.  Stream- and channel-morphology data for Tongue River below Brandenberg Bridge site
              D2.  Distance and elevation data for cross section at Tongue River below Brandenberg Bridge site
E1-E2.   Tongue River at Miles City, Mont.:
              E1.  Stream- and channel-morphology data for Tongue River at Miles City site
              E2.  Distance and elevation data for cross section at Tongue River at Miles City site
F1-F4.   Prairie Dog Creek near Birney, Mont.:
              F1.  Stream- and channel-morphology data for Prairie Dog Creek near Birney site
              F2.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 1 at Prairie Dog Creek near Birney site
              F3.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 2 at Prairie Dog Creek near Birney site
              F4.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 3 at Prairie Dog Creek near Birney site
G1-G4.  Hanging Woman Creek near Birney, Mont.:
              G1.  Stream- and channel-morphology data for Hanging Woman Creek near Birney site
              G2.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 1 at Hanging Woman Creek near Birney site
              G3.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 2 at Hanging Woman Creek near Birney site
              G4.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 3 at Hanging Woman Creek near Birney site
H1-H4.  Otter Creek at Ashland, Mont.:
              H1.  Stream- and channel-morphology data for Otter Creek at Ashland site
              H2.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 1 at Otter Creek at Ashland site
              H3.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 2 at Otter Creek at Ashland site
              H4.  Distance and elevation data for cross section 3 at Otter Creek at Ashland site
I1-I4.     Pumpkin Creek at mouth, near Miles City, Mont.:
              I1.   Stream- and channel-morphology data for Pumpkin Creek at mouth site
              I2.   Distance and elevation data for cross section 1 at Pumpkin Creek at mouth site
              I3.   Distance and elevation data for cross section 2 at Pumpkin Creek at mouth site
              I4.   Distance and elevation data for cross section 3 at Pumpkin Creek at mouth site

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View or download the report OFR 2004-1260 (3,324 kb PDF)

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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