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Scientific Investigations Report 2014–5062

Prepared in cooperation with the Nebraska Department of Roads

Repeated Multibeam Echosounder Hydrographic Surveys of 15 Selected Bridge Crossings Along the Missouri River from Niobrara to Rulo, Nebraska, During the Flood of 2011

By Benjamin J. Dietsch, Brenda K. Densmore, and Kellan R. Strauch

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (26.3 MB)Abstract

In 2011, unprecedented flooding in the Missouri River prompted transportation agencies to increase the frequency of monitoring riverbed elevations near bridges that cross the Missouri River. Hydrographic surveys were completed in cooperation with the Nebraska Department of Roads, using a multibeam echosounder at 15 highway bridges spanning the Missouri River from Niobrara to Rulo, Nebraska during and after the extreme 2011 flood.

Evidence of bed elevation change near bridge piers was documented. The greatest amount of bed elevation change during the 2011 flood documented for this study occurred at the Burt County Missouri River Bridge at Decatur, Nebraska, where scour of about 45 feet, from before flooding, occurred between a bridge abutment and pier. Of the remaining sites, highway bridges where bed elevation change near piers appeared to have exceeded 10 feet include the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Bridge at Blair, Nebr., Bellevue Bridge at Bellevue, Nebr., and Nebraska City Bridge at Nebraska City, Nebr.

Hydrographic surveys at 14 of the 15 sites were completed in mid-July and again in early October or late-November 2011. Near three of the bridges, the bed elevation of locations surveyed in July increased by more than 10 feet, on average, by late October or early November 2011. Bed elevations increased between 1 and 10 feet, on average, near six bridges. Near the remaining four bridges, bed elevations decreased between 1 and 4 feet, on average, from July to late October or early November.

First posted July 28, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, Nebraska Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
5231 South 19th Street
Linclon, Nebraska 68512-1271

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Suggested citation:

Dietsch, B.J., Densmore, B.K., and Strauch, K.R., 2014, Repeated multibeam echosounder hydrographic surveys of 15 selected bridge crossings along the Missouri River from Niobrara to Rulo, Nebraska, during the flood of 2011: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investiations Report 2014–5062, p. 153,

ISSN 2328-0328 (online)




Methods of Study

Hydrographic Surveys of the Missouri River at Selected Bridges


References Cited

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Page Last Modified: Friday, July 25, 2014, 01:07:06 PM