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Prepared in cooperation with the the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Sediment Characteristics and Configuration within Three Dam Impoundments on the Kalamazoo River, Michigan, 2000

U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4098

By S. J. Rheaume, C. M. Rachol, D. L. Hubbell, and Andreanne Simard

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http://mi.water.usgs.gov/pubs/WRIR/WRIR02-4098/WRIR02-4098LW.html

Table of Contents including Figures, Tables, Appendix, Conversion Factors and Abbreviations.
http://mi.water.usgs.gov/pubs/WRIR/WRIR02-4098/WRIR02-4098TOC.html


Abstract

The removal of the remnants of three hydroelectric dams on the Kalamazoo River near Plainwell, Otsego, and Allegan, Michigan, has been proposed. The benefits of this removal include returning the Kalamazoo River to its pre-dam flow, increasing recreational use and safety on the river, and improving aquatic habitat. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated this reach of the Kalamazoo River as a Federal Superfund site because of the historical discharge of papermill waste containing polychlorinated biphenyls. Much of this waste material remains concentrated in organic sediment and kaolinite clay deposited upstream from the three dam foundations. Sediment containing up to 150 milligrams per kilogram polychlorinated biphenyls could move if dam foundations are removed; therefore, it is necessary to estimate the characteristic and configuration of the sediment before work begins.

 

Data collected from augered sections and sediment cores show that impoundment sediments were deposited in two distinctly different sedimentary environments. Interbedded lacustrine sediments that overlie the pre-dam channel surface consist of organic-rich silt and clay, fine to medium sand, and some gravel. These materials were deposited in a repetitive, cyclic fashion related to former stream velocities when the impoundment water levels were 5-10 feet higher. Lowering of these water levels and demolition of the superstructures of these dams resulted in erosion of much of these instream lacustrine sediments and subsequent deposition of coarse-grained alluvium in the impounded channel behind the remaining dam foundations.

 

The composite thicknesses of the lacustrine deposits and overlying alluvium was determined from sediment cores collected from each impoundment. The volume of instream sediment contained in each impoundment is estimated to be about 77,600 cubic yards at the Plainwell impoundment; 268,900 cubic yards at the Otsego impoundment; and 1,192,600 cubic yards at the Trowbridge impoundment. Estimates do not include bank or flood-plain deposits.


Citation:

Rheaume, S. J., C. M. Rachol, D. L. Hubbell and Andreanne Simard, 2002, Sediment Characteristics and Configuration within Three Dam Impoundments on the Kalamazoo River, Michigan, 2000, Date Posted: May 8, 2006: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4098.
[https://pubs.water.usgs.gov/WRIR/WRIR02-4098/]

Contents

Abstract
Introduction
Purpose and scope
Acknowledgments
Hydrologic setting
Methods of investigation
Selection of transects and data points
Collection of data points and sediment cores
Estimation of sediment volume
Sediment characteristics within the impoundments
Pre-dam outwash and alluvium
Dam lacustrine deposits
Post-superstructure alluvium
Sediment configuration within the impoundments
Impoundment bathymetry and delineation of pre-dam river channel
Sediment thickness and volume in the impoundments
Summary
References cited
Appendixes

Figures

1. Location of the Kalamazoo River Watershed and study sites in Michigan

2A. Location of data-collection points in the Plainwell impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

2B. Location of data-collection points in the Otsego impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

2C. Location of data-collection points in the Trowbridge impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

3A. Bathymetry of the Plainwell impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

3B. Bathymetry of the Otsego impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

3C. Bathymetry of the Trowbridge impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

4A. Depth to pre-dam alluvium in the Plainwell impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

4B. Depth to pre-dam alluvium in the Otsego impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

4C. Depth to pre-dam alluvium in the Trowbridge impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

5A. Combined thickness of post-dam lacustrine deposits and post-superstructure alluvium in

the Plainwell impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

5B. Combined thickness of post-dam lacustrine deposits and post-superstructure alluvium in

the Otsego impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

5C. Combined thickness of post-dam lacustrine deposits and post-superstructure alluvium in

the Trowbridge impoundment on the Kalamazoo River

Tables

1. Characteristics of stream bottom and sediments at sediment-core sites in three impoundments on the Kalamazoo River, Michigan

2. Estimates of the instream-sediment volume and root mean squared error of sediment thickness in three impoundments on the Kalamazoo River, Michigan

3. Volume of sediment between transects in three impoundments on the Kalamazoo River,

Michigan

Appendix A

Tables A1-A3. Date, location, water velocity, altitude of surfaces, and total thickness of sediment at transect data points in three impoundments on the Kalamazoo River, Michigan

Appendix B

Tables B1-B3. Lithologic descriptions of sediment cores collected in three impoundments on the Kalamazoo River, Michigan

Appendix C

Tables C1-C3. Particle size of selected sediment samples from cores collected in three impoundments on the Kalamazoo River, Michigan


For additional information, contact:

U.S. Geological Survey
Michigan Water Science Center
6520 Mercantile Way, Suite 5
Lansing, MI 48911-5991
GS-W-MIlns_DC@usgs.gov
or visit our Web site at:
http://mi.water.usgs.gov

 


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