Bull Run Reservoirs Hydrographic Surveys

Project Completed: November 2022

Portland Water Bureau

The Bull Run Watershed, located approximately 30 miles east of Portland, is an essential source of drinking water for Portland metropolitan area residents. The City of Portland and the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) requested high-resolution multibeam echosounder (MBES) bathymetric data for Reservoirs 1 and 2 in the Bull Run Watershed. These detailed underwater maps will help the City and PWB plan future maintenance, monitor sediment, and protect the reservoirs as a valuable resource.


Our hydrographic survey team completed a bank-to-bank survey of both reservoirs within the Bull Run Watershed in May 2022. This included providing full bottom coverage, high-resolution MBES survey, and single-beam echosounder (SBES) infill survey, where water depth and submerged hazards, like tree stumps, prevented safe MBES data collection.


After data collection, our geographic information systems (GIS) team collaborated with our hydrographers to combine the bathymetric data with high-resolution topographic lidar data recently collected by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI). After pairing the data, our GIS specialists created a seamless topographic and bathymetric digital elevation model (DEM) for each reservoir.