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Reservoir sedimentation

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Reservoir sedimentation is filling of the reservoir behind a dam with sediment carried into the reservoir by streams. The flow of water from the catchment upstream of a reservoir is capable of eroding the catchment area and of depositing material either upstream of the reservoir, or in the still water of the reservoir. The nature of the material in the catchment area and the slope of the catchment area and the inlet streams are a factor, as is the nature of the ground cover. Heavy rainfall falling on erodible material on a steep slope with little ground cover resulting from overgrazing or wildfire is a recipe for substantial sediment transport and significant reservoir sedimentation. The formation of gullies can also be anticipated if streambed conditions are suitable.

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