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Impact of St. Clair River Erosion on the Water Levels of Lake Michigan-Huron from 1962-2005 using Gauge Relationships and the Lake Erie Water Balance

Frank H. Quinn;
This study was designed to investigate potential erosion in the St. Clair River and its impact on Lake Michigan-Huron water levels, using the Lake Erie water balance, Detroit River coordinated flows, and Huron, Erie and the St. Clair-Detroit River system water level elevations. This eliminated the need to use the potentially problematic St. Clair River flow data. Water level gauge relationships between gauge pairs and a water balance analysis to determine Detroit and, subsequently, St. Clair River flows independent from the Coordinated flow estimates were used to estimate the timing, location and magnitude of changes in conveyance in the St. Clair River. This study concluded that the majority of erosion occurred in two reaches of the St. Clair River, that it occurred in the mid to late 1980s, and that the resulting impact on water levels of Lake Michigan-Huron was 5 to 7 cm.
St. Clair River Impacts on Lake Michigan-Huron Levels
Theoretical Derivation of Stage-Fall-Discharge Equations
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GLERL Monthly Component Net Basin Supplies
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Main Topics
St. Clair River
Questions We Asked
What's causing the declining head difference?
Has St. Clair conveyance changed, and if so, what were the causes?
Key Findings
St. Clair River has changed, accounting for 7-14 cm of total head decline
Evidence suggests St. Clair erosion is not ongoing, but causes remain unknown
Remedial measures should not be taken in the St. Clair
St. Clair River Hydraulics Analysis