Water Center


Date of this Version



Proceedings of the SEDHYD 2019 Conference on Sedimentation and Hydrologic Modeling, June 24-28, 2019, Reno, Nevada, USA


United States government work


Pawnee Dam is one of the ten Salt Creek Dams designed and built in the 1960s to mitigate flooding in Lincoln, Nebraska. This short paper illustrates the update of the Pawnee Dam inflow design flood (IDF) through calibration to recent high flow events and the development of its stage-frequency or hydrologic loading curve with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Risk Management Center Reservoir Frequency Analysis (RMC-RFA) model. The IDF update follows Engineering Regulation 1110-8-2, Inflow Design Flood for Dams and Reservoirs, including unit hydrograph peaking and two antecedent pool elevations. Background information on the original design of the dam is presented and the original and updated unit hydrographs are compared. Some sensitivity analyses related to the influence of volume duration parameters and RFA inputs are also illustrated. This short paper is based on a more detailed report written for the Pawnee Dam periodic assessment in 2018. Note that this site was very data-limited in that it did not have a stream gauge at the site, historic data particular to the dam, or paleoflood data.