Lake Sherburne Dam

Lake Sherburne Dam

Lake Sherburne Dam is a compacted earthfill structure 107 feet in height above its foundation with a crest length of 1,086 feet. The total volume of material in the dam is 242,000 cubic yards. In 1960, the intake tower structure was modified by adding a circumferential overflow spillway crest, and the weir-type overflow spillway at the left abutment of the dam was filled with compacted earth material extending the crest of the dam to the left abutment. Reservoir water surfaces are controlled by operation of the two 4- by 5-foot high-pressure gates, which permit a discharge of 2,100 cubic feet per second at an elevation of 4788.0 ft. At water surface elevations above 4788.0 ft, water flows over the crest of the overflow spillway and the discharge through the outlet works is then comprised of the water flowing over the spillway crest and through the 4- by 5-foot gates. Maximum discharge through the outlet works conduit at an elevation of 4809.2 ft is 4,200 cubic feet per second. A total storage capacity of 68,080 acre-feet is provided in Lake Sherburne. In 1982, the dam embankment was raised to crest elevation 4814.5 using the reinforced earth concept to provide additional surcharge to safely pass the inflow design flood.

RegionFacilities in Great Plains | Great Plains Home Page
ProjectMilk River
Dam TypeHomogeneous earthfill
ReservoirLake Sherburne
WatercourseSwiftcurrent Creek
LocationOn Swiftcurrent Creek in Glacier National Park, about 6 miles west of Babb, Montana.
Original Construction1914-1921
Modified Construction 1960: Original spillway closed; circumferential, uncontrolled, overflow, gloryhole spillway was constructed. Gates replaced with high pressure gates; new hydraulic operating system installed. Outlet tunnels repaired; new flip bucket outlet sill constructed at end of outlet works tunnel. New ventilation installed. Electrical system rehabilitated. 1984: Safety of Dams modification completed to enable facility to safely accommodate maximum probable flood event. Dam crest raised 13.5 feet; gate control house raised 9 feet. Ventilation system modified and electrical system rehabilitated.
National ID NumberMT00572
Hydrologic Unit Code

Structural Height116.50 ft
Hydraulic Height (Normal Operating Depth at Dam)99.00 ft
Top Parapet (Elevation)
Spillway Crest Elevation4,788.00 ft
Crest Elevation4,816.50 ft
Crest Length1,224.00 ft
Crest Width24.00 ft
Base Width460.00 ft
Volume of Dam Construction Materials 242,000.00 cu yd
Streambed at Dam Axis
Top of Exclusive Flood Control Pool (Elevation)
Top of Joint Use Pool (Elevation)
Top of Active Conservation Pool (Elevation)4,788.00 ft
Top of Inactive Conservation Pool (Elevation)
Top of Dead Storage Pool (Elevation) 4,729.30 ft

Hydraulics & Hydrology
Total Water Storage at Elevation64,793.00 acre-ft at 4,788.00 ft
Maximum Water Surface Elevation
Normal Water Surface Elevation
Spillway TypeOverflow crest (Morning-Glory type)
Auxiliary Spillway
Spillway Capacity at Elevation2,100.00 cfs at 4,788.00 ft
Auxiliary Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Uncontrolled Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Outlet Works Capacity at Elevation4,000.00 cfs at 4,793.00 ft
Diversion Capacity at Elevation
Drainage Area
Hydrometeorological Report (HMR)
Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) Report

Contact Information
TitleArea Manager
OrganizationMontana Area Office
AddressP.O. Box 30137
CityBillings, MT 59107-0137
Phone (Fax)406 247-7338
Phone (Office)406 247-7300
TitleArea Manager
OrganizationMontana Area Office
AddressP.O. Box 30137
CityBillings, MT 59107-0137
Phone (Fax)406 247-7338
Phone (Office)406 247-7300

Last updated: Apr 02, 2013