Cedar Bluff Dam

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

RegionFacilities in Great Plains | Great Plains Home Page
ProjectPSMBP-Cedar Bluff
Dam Type
WatercourseSmoky Hill River
Original Construction1949-1951
Modified Construction
National ID NumberKS00019
Hydrologic Unit Code

Structural Height202.0 ft
Hydraulic Height (Normal Operating Depth at Dam)102.0 ft
Top Parapet (Elevation)
Spillway Crest Elevation2166.0 ft
Crest Elevation2198.0 ft
Crest Length12560.0 ft
Crest Width
Base Width
Volume of Dam Construction Materials
Streambed at Dam Axis2064.0 ft
Top of Exclusive Flood Control Pool (Elevation)
Top of Joint Use Pool (Elevation)
Top of Active Conservation Pool (Elevation)2144.0 ft
Top of Inactive Conservation Pool (Elevation)2107.8 ft
Top of Dead Storage Pool (Elevation)2090.0 ft

Hydraulics & Hydrology
Total Water Storage at Elevation
Maximum Water Surface Elevation
Normal Water Surface Elevation2144.0 ft
Spillway Type
Auxiliary SpillwayNo
Spillway Capacity at Elevation91000.0 cfs at 2192.0 ft
Auxiliary Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Uncontrolled Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Outlet Works Capacity at Elevation800 cfs at 2144.0 ft
Diversion Capacity at Elevation
Drainage Area5338.7 sq mi
Hydrometeorological Report (HMR)HMR 51 & 52
Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) Report

Contact Information
TitleArea Office Manager
OrganizationNebraska-Kansas Area Office
Address1706 West Third
CityMcCook, NE 69001
Phone (Office)308-345-4400
Phone (Fax)308-345-6470
TitleArea Office Manager
OrganizationNebraska-Kansas Area Office
Address1706 West Third
CityMcCook, NE 69001
Phone (Office)308-345-4400
Phone (Fax)308-345-6470

Last updated: Mar 29, 2013