Historical Hydrologic and Geomorphic Conditions on the Black River and Selected Tributaries, Arkansas and Missouri

Scientific Investigations Report 2021-5067
Prepared in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
By: , and 



The Black River flows through southeast Missouri and northeast Arkansas to its confluence with the White River in Arkansas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates Clearwater Dam on the Black River and a series of dams in the White River Basin primarily for flood control. In this study, the hydrology and geomorphology of the Black River are examined through an analysis of annual mean and peak discharges at streamgages, a specific stage analysis of stage and discharge at streamgages, and an examination of bathymetric data and aerial imagery. Five streamgages on the Black River were analyzed, in addition to four streamgages on Black River tributaries and one streamgage on the White River, located just downstream from the Black River confluence. The analyses indicated that regulation of discharges at the flood-control dams caused a decrease in the magnitude and variability of the peak discharges at several of the analyzed gages on the Black and White Rivers. Conversely, peak discharges on the Black River have been increasing since water year 2000, though this is not matched by an increase in peak discharges on the White River for the same time period. The specific stage analyses and the available morphologic data generally did not indicate pronounced changes in stage-discharge relations at streamgages on the Black River, with the exception of the gages nearest to Clearwater Dam.

Suggested Citation

LeRoy, J.Z., Huizinga, R.J., Heimann, D.C., Lindroth, E.M., and Doyle, H.F., 2021, Historical hydrologic and geomorphic conditions on the Black River and selected tributaries, Arkansas and Missouri: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5067, 72 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20215067.

ISSN: 2328-0328 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Description of Study Area
  • Methods
  • Annual Discharge Statistics
  • Flow-Duration Curves
  • Assessment of Morphologic Change at Streamgages
  • Longitudinal Profile of the Black River
  • Summary and Conclusions
  • References Cited
  • Appendix
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Historical hydrologic and geomorphic conditions on the Black River and selected tributaries, Arkansas and Missouri
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2021-5067
DOI 10.3133/sir20215067
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Central Midwest Water Science Center
Description Report: ix, 72 p.; Appendix; Dataset
Country United States
State Arkansas, Missouri
Other Geospatial Black River and selected tributaries
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details