Battle Creek River (Michigan)
Status: modeling is complete
The Battle Creek River is located in southwestern lower Michigan and
serves as a large tributary to Lake Michigan, entering the lake via
the Kalamazoo River at Saugatuck, Michigan. The drainage basin of the
Battle Creek River is 241 square miles and is found within three different
counties: Barry, Calhoun and Eaton. The watershed is 68% agricultural
and also contains 13% forest and 10% wetland areas. The city of Saugatuck
has a federally maintained harbor.
The soils found within the
watershed range from well-drained sandy loams to mucky areas with poor
drainage. Many of the soil erosion and sedimentation concerns in this
area stem from agricultural practices. For instance, areas of the upstream
portion of the river tend to be heavily channelized and tile-drained.
These practices have significant sediment production potential. Other
concerns stem from the removal or possible removal of dams along the
A watershed hydrology and sedimentation model was built using the Soil
and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to provide a quantitative
and physically based estimate of total sediment yield by sources for
the Battle Creek River watershed. SWAT was chosen to
account for the region's agricultural practices, soil conservation practices,
artificial watershed drainage and degradation of channel beds. This
information was then used to develop a sediment budget for the watershed
to identify major contributors of sediment.
The model was created by
compiling data from many sources with an Arcview interface of SWAT
called AVSWAT and was calibrated with daily flow data
from the U.S. Geological Survey gage at Battle Creek. The tributary
model is composed of aerial imagery data, land use data, dams data,
soils data, terrain data and climate data.
Modeling for the Battle Creek
River project was completed in September 2008, along with a training
workshop for state and local partners to learn to utilize the modeling
tool for various planning scenarios.
The watershed hydrology and sedimentation model created has been used
to develop a sediment budget that may be used by local and regional
stakeholders and regulatory authorities to facilitate the identification,
prioritization, and implementation of sediment reduction strategies.
Baird & Associates
County Conservation District
Department of Environmental Quality
Department of Natural Resources
For more informationóor
to obtain digital data for advanced modeling purposesócontact:
James P. Selegean, P.E., Ph.D.
Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
477 Michigan Avenue
Detroit, MI 48226
Office: (313) 226-6791
Fax: (313) 226-2398