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Evaluation of Sediment Sources and Transport in the Yampa and Green River


Evaluation of Sediment Sources and Transport in the Yampa and Green River

Study Area: Yampa and Green River Basins, NW Colorado
Period of Project: April 1998-September 2002
Project Number: CO400
Project Chief: John G. Elliott
Cooperator: Colorado Division of Wildlife


The water resources of the Upper Colorado River Basin have been extensively developed for water supply, irrigation, and power generation. The net effect of the development has been to significantly modify the predevelopment annual hydrograph by water storage in upstream reservoirs during spring runoff and subsequent releases during the remainder of the year. Another effect has been a change in the amount of sediment delivery from the basin to the main-stem reaches of the watershed. Hydrograph modification and sediment trapping by Flaming Gorge Dam on the Green River and land-use changes and water development in the Yampa and Little Snake River Basins have affected, and are likely to continue to affect, the habitat characteristics of the Yampa and Green Rivers. Changes in the hydrograph and in sediment delivery may have an effect on the suitability of spawning and other life-stage habitat for endangered fish


  1. To identify sediment source reaches of the Green River main stem upstream from Jensen, Utah, and its major tributaries, the Yampa and Little Snake Rivers;
  2. To develop sediment-transport curves that account for the magnitude and timing of sediment delivery at five sites on the major tributaries and main stem; and
  3. To evaluate the need for additional or long-term data collection to improve the utility of sediment transport curves at the five major tributary and main-stem sites.

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