2.3.6 CASE STUDY - RICHARD B. RUSSELL LAKE
This case study combines nearly every element of assessment mentioned in this section.
Completed in 1983, Richard B. Russell Lake (RBR) impounded the Savannah River downstream from
Lake Hartwell (HW) and upstream from J. Strom Thurmond Lake (JST). Studies were initiated by
USACEWES sponsored by USACESAS in order to examine the early development of the new lake.
Historical data was available and this was added to the new database formed of in situ measurements
and laboratory analyses. In addition, biological studies of many kinds were initiated by several
cooperating agencies and universities. The database was managed on a minicomputer using SAS. As
the desktop computer gained power, this management migrated to the desktop and many of the
programs mentioned here were used to examine the results of these studies. In addition, the agencies
and universities employed incompatible platforms and software and methods of compatibility had to be
Throughout the project and to the present time there has been a continuous effort to monitor
outflows for the purpose of water quality description. In addition, a large-scale lake oxygenation
system at RBR is managed using the data produced by the continuous monitoring effort as well as the
Specialized studies of sediment deposition provided important insight to the processes in which
iron and manganese were released or deposited under certain conditions in RBR and JST and how
these processes were influenced by oxygenation in RBR. Other studies of inflows provided model input
for loading estimates. ADCP surveys (water current profiling) provided knowledge of lake and outflow
water movement patterns under different conditions. These surveys also provided comparison to
physical model predictions for specialized situations.
The construction project continued into the 1990's and by that time, the database outgrew the
ability to easily manage it from the desktop. By this time, studies of loading, in-lake oxygenation, lake
aging, productivity, zooplankton, phytoplankton, fisheries, etc. had been added as datasets. What had
been originally conceived within a single comprehensive structure had necessarily evolved to numerous
databases, some very large. Continuous monitors and in situ logging created 100's of megabytes of
data while conventional profiling contributed more modest datasets. A new construction project
(pumped storage) was initiated in the 1990's. The field facility incorporated a Novell network (fiber
optic base) and ultimately maintained two servers primarily for data management. Gigabytes of data
were tracked and managed. Smaller portions (<650 megabytes) were disseminated or archived on
CDROM's. And the main database was moved to a workstation at WES and is still manipulated with
SAS. However, the analyses are mostly addressed using desktop applications and graphic software,
some of which were listed earlier.
The final phase of assessment of the effects of large-scale pumped storage in the presence of
upstream and downstream reservoirs and in-lake oxygenation employed every aspect of these studies.