Bureau of Reclamation Banner

Cedar Bluff Dam

Photo of Cedar Bluff Dam and Reservoir
Related Projects & Facilities
Cedar Bluff Unit
Related Links
Schedule of Proposed NEPA Actions
Printable View
Overview General Dimensions Hydraulics & Hydrology Contact Information
In general, the geologic section exposed in the area consists of surface alluvium, dune sand and terrace deposits of Quaternary age. The older Ogallala (Tertiary) limestones and sandstones lie below these deposits and the yet older Fort Hays Chalk and the Carlisle Shale, both of Cretaceous age. The Smokey Hill River and its main tributaries have cut to a maximum depth 300 feet into nearly horizontal beds of limestone, sandstone, chalk and shale in the vicinity of Cedar Bluff Dam. This ancient river valley is about six miles long. The horizontal formations refereed tops differ in their resistance to erosion, which causes a step-like or bench topography. Cliffs or steep slopes are formed by the more resistant beds and the less resistant beds form gentle slopes. The higher lands bordering the river valley are kept by relatively resistant limestone of the Ogallala formation. This limestone and an underlying section of loosely cemented sand, "Mortar Beds", appear as predominate white outcrops. These outcrops mark the edge of the "Ogallala Upland".

The Smoky Hill River establishes three separate flood plains and cut three different channels at the dam site. The channels are designated as the "preglacial channel", "sand terrace channel", and "present channel". The oldest channel, preglacial, was cut into the shale bedrock to a point north of the present position of the river

Last updated: Mar 29, 2013