USACE Tulsa District is responsible for monitoring and maintenance activities at numerous lakes in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. Understanding silt content and its impacts on reservoir capacity for flood control management is critical for the District to meet its objectives. The District has proactive monitoring programs to ensure their stability and longevity of the reservoirs for flood control, recreation, maintaining drinking water, habitat, hydropower, and navigation.

Continental Mapping, a USACE Tulsa District IDIQ holder for surveying and mapping services, was contracted to perform hydrographic surveys across Oologah, Hulah and Kaw lakes (over 46,000 acres in total) in order to derive an understanding of sediment loads within each reservoir. All hydrographic data collection was done when the reservoirs were at or above normal pool elevations.

Attaining the necessary information required sophisticated technology including a reliable sensor, GPS lock, and navigation software. Each was traversed via boat at 500’ intervals while XYZ coordinates of the bottom of the lake were collected at intervals of 4 to 5 feet. This process enabled the computation of acre feet into an exact volume of the lake. Data was collected and managed in the North American Vertical Datum (NAVM) 1988. Results were helpful in that they showed the differences in volume and to understand the possible consequences of change in volumes.

This black and white map highlights the three lakes in this piece with blue

Lake Hulah

Tracing its roots to the Flood Control Act of 1936, Lake Hulah is not only a product of the desires to control devastating floods, but also to supply water, perform low-flow regulation and conservation. For over 60 years (since completion in 1951) Lake Hulah is the smallest of the three lakes but has been a notable place for recreation as well. Continental Mapping invested a total of 311 man hours to complete the survey at this lake.

Lake Kaw

Lake Kaw is an important habitat for fish and other wildlife while also being a key source for flood control, water supply, and water quality control. Lake Kaw covers approximately 17,000 acres. Continental Mapping required just over 700 man hours to fully survey the entire lake.

Lake Oologah

Lake Oologah is around the corner from Oologah, OK — the birthplace of the iconic American actor Will Rogers.

Lake Oologah is located 27 miles northeast of Tulsa, OK, and was created as a result of Flood Control Act enacted by congress in 1938. The 137 foot dam that is responsible for its creation is a rolled earth-filled embankment dam that also supports State Highway 88. As the largest of the three lakes in the project area, Continental Mapping needed ~1,000 hours to finish all project aspects for Lake Oologah.

Key Points:

  • 46,000 acres of lake
  • Cross sections every 500 feet
  • XYZ coordinates every 4 to 5 feet
  • References made to NAVD 88

For more on our work with the US Army Corps of Engineers, Tulsa District:

Thank you for reading!

Survey Matters

This is a collection of survey stories and case studies that highlight the importance of the vocation.

Continental Mapping

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Continental Mapping Consultants, Inc. is a leading small business provider of high-quality, innovative, and comprehensive geospatial services.

Survey Matters

This is a collection of survey stories and case studies that highlight the importance of the vocation.

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