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A Reservoir Morphology Database for the Conterminous United States


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Rodgers, K.D., 2017, A Reservoir Morphology Database for the Conterminous United States: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Reservoir Fisheries Habitat Partnership, combined multiple national databases for the purpose of calculating new morphological metrics for 3,828 reservoirs over 250 acres in surface area. These new metrics include, but are not limited to, shoreline development index, index of basin permanence, development of volume and other descriptive metrics based on established morphometric formulas. The new database also contains modeled chemical metrics from the SPARROW model and physical metrics such as surface area, storage, hydraulic height, etc. Because of the nature of the existing databases used to compile the Reservoir Morphology Database the inherent missing data, some metrics were not [...]


Point of Contact :
Bill Wolfe
Metadata Contact :
Kirk D Rodgers
Originator :
Kirk D Rodgers
Publisher :
U.S. Geological Survey
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
USGS Mission Area :
Water Resources
SDC Data Owner :
Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center
Contributor :
Reservoir Fish Habitat Partnership

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RFHP_Database_Final.xlsx 2.48 MB application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet


Understanding conditions and trends in the Nation’s lakes and reservoirs requires information on reservoir morphology and water chemistry. Data pertaining to different aspects of reservoir morphology and water chemistry are contained in databases developed by multiple agencies for different purposes. In particular, the National Inventory of Dams (NID) (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1998), the National Hydrography Dataset (NHD) (Simley and Carswell, 2009), the Enhanced River Reach File (ERF1_2) (Nolan and others, 2002), the SPAtially Referenced Regressions on Watershed (SPARROW) model (Schwarz and others, 2006) collectively comprise datasets, which combined would support national and broad regional analysis of reservoirs in the United States. In 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began an effort to compile a national database containing physical, modeled chemical, and morphological metrics for reservoirs with surface areas of at least 250 acres. The resulting database, hereafter known as the Reservoir Morphology Database (RMD), can be used by natural resource managers in assessing reservoir characteristics throughout the conterminous United States.



  • National Fish Habitat Partnership
  • USGS Lower Mississippi-Gulf Water Science Center


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DOI doi:10.5066/F7GF0RQZ

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