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Yellowstone River Hydrographic Survey


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers desired to have a hydrographic survey of the Yellowstone River completed so that the data could be used in conjunction with LiDAR mapping data for hydrologic and hydraulic modeling and studies of the river system.  Our firm was engaged as a Subconsultant under a contract with the St. Louis District Corps of Engineers to perform the work.

The project area included the Yellowstone River from river mile 0 to 121.4 as well as the Missouri River from RM 1552.6 to 1586.6.  A total of 155 miles was to be surveyed with cross sections to be collected from water’s edge to water’s edge on a one-thousand (1000) foot interval.  The survey was to extend as close to the bank lines as possible. Soundings in the back channels and chutes were also to be obtained whenever possible.  The degree of difficulty and effort on this project was greatly impacted by the remote location of the river reaches to be surveyed and the site conditions encountered during the course of the field survey.  Access to the cross sections was challenging and time consuming.  Our survey personnel provided the necessary mission planning to determine the location of all required transects.  Two survey crews worked together to complete the project data collection using two of the firm’s custom built hydro survey boats with jet propulsion.  The Missouri River portion of the project was completed during the fall months with the Yellowstone River portion being completed the following spring during a period of higher flows.  Boat ramp access was very limited on the Yellowstone River, so it was necessary in some of the most remote reaches to moor the boats in the river overnight.

Despite the challenging river conditions, the survey was successfully completed within the project time frame.  Our engineers and technicians processed the data and provided all of the deliverables to the Corps of Engineers for use in their study.

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Hydrographic Surveys