Cheney Dam

The North Fork of Ninnescah River has eroded a broad shallow valley through sand and clay beds of the Tertiary Ogallala formation, which form the uplands. The valley lies in the lower part of the Permian "red beds" in the Ninnescah formation at the base of the Cimarron group. The "red beds" are underlain by shale, salt and anhydrite of the Wellington formation in the Big Blue group of the Permian series. The region is underlain by several thousand feet of marine sedimentaries. Soil and slopewash up to 15 feet thick blanket the sides of the valley. In places, alluvial terraces of gravelly sand up to 35 feet thick are present. Floodplain deposits of silty, clayey sand and gravelly sand range up to 40 feet thick. The upland on the right side of the valley is composed of sand and clay beds believed to constitute the lower part of the Ogallala formation. On the left side these beds are missing. The rock series, which forms the floor and sides of the reservoir basin, is composed principally of shale, the lower portion of which is gypsiferous. This shale series, about 100 feet thick, together with 20 feet of underlying shale, constitute parts of the Permian Ninnescah and Wellington formations. Beneath there are several thousand feet of sedimentaries including shale, limestone, salt and anhydrite. The Ninnescah shale formation, which crops out at a few places on the sides of the basin, appears to have regional dip at a slight angle to the southwest, modified in places by gentle monoclinal folds. No faulting is known. Jointing is common in the shale beds, probable a result of structural flexing.

RegionFacilities in Great Plains | Great Plains Home Page
CountyReno, Kingman, Sedgwick
Dam Type
WatercourseNF of Ninnescah R.
Original Construction1962-1965
Modified Construction
National ID NumberKS00017
Hydrologic Unit Code

Structural Height126.2 ft
Hydraulic Height (Normal Operating Depth at Dam)83.4 ft
Top Parapet (Elevation)
Spillway Crest Elevation1429.0 ft
Crest Elevation1454.0 ft
Crest Length24458.0 ft
Crest Width
Base Width
Volume of Dam Construction Materials
Streambed at Dam Axis1368.0 ft
Top of Exclusive Flood Control Pool (Elevation)
Top of Joint Use Pool (Elevation)
Top of Active Conservation Pool (Elevation)1421.6 ft
Top of Inactive Conservation Pool (Elevation)1392.9 ft
Top of Dead Storage Pool (Elevation)1378.5 ft

Hydraulics & Hydrology
Total Water Storage at Elevation
Maximum Water Surface Elevation
Normal Water Surface Elevation1421.6 ft
Spillway Type
Auxiliary Spillway
Spillway Capacity at Elevation3000 cfs at 1447.8 ft
Auxiliary Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Uncontrolled Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Outlet Works Capacity at Elevation4580 cfs at 1447.8 ft
Diversion Capacity at Elevation
Drainage Area1036.0 sq mi
Hydrometeorological Report (HMR)HMR 51 & 52
Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) Report

Contact Information
OwnerNo value defined
OrganizationOklahoma-Texas Area Office Federal Building
Address300 East 8th St., Room 801
CityAustin, TX
Phone (Office)512 916-5641

Last updated: Mar 29, 2013