A Caltech Library Service

A Study of the Proposed Diamond Creek Reservoir


Cheng, Ching Yun (1924) A Study of the Proposed Diamond Creek Reservoir. Master's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/ZJ6X-1G98.


Politically the Colorado river is an interstate as well as an international stream. Physically the basin divides itself distinctly into three sections. The upper section from head waters to the mouth of San Juan comprises about 40 percent of the total of the basin and affords about 87 percent of the total runoff, or an average of about 15 000 000 acre feet per annum. High mountains and cold weather are found in this section. The middle section from the mouth of San Juan to the mouth of the Williams comprises about 35 percent of the total area of the basin and supplies about 7 percent of the annual runoff. Narrow canyons and mild weather prevail in this section. The lower third of the basin is composed of mainly hot arid plains of low altitude. It comprises some 25 percent of the total area of the basin and furnishes about 6 percent of the average annual runoff.

The proposed Diamond Creek reservoir is located in the middle section and is wholly within the boundary of Arizona. The site is at the mouth of Diamond Creek and is only 16 m. from Beach Spring, a station on the Santa Fe railroad. It is solely a power project with a limited storage capacity. The dam which creats the reservoir is of the gravity type to be constructed across the river. The walls and foundation are of granite. For a dam of 290 feet in height, the back water will be about 25 m. up the river.

The power house will be placed right below the dam perpendicular to the axis of the river. It is entirely a concrete structure. The power installation would consist of eighteen 37 500 H.P. vertical, variable head turbines, directly connected to 28 000 kwa. 110 000 v. 3 phase, 60 cycle generators with necessary switching and auxiliary apparatus. Each unit is to be fed by a separate penstock wholly embedded into the masonry.

Concerning the power market, the main electric transmission lines would extend to Prescott, Phoenix, Mesa, Florence etc. The mining regions of the mountains of Arizona would be the most adequate market. The demand of power in the above named places might not be large at present. It will, from the observation of the writer, rapidly increase with the wonderful advancement of all kinds of industrial development.

All these things being comparatively feasible, there is one difficult problem: that is the silt. At the Diamond Creek dam site the average annual silt discharge is about 82 650 acre feet. The geographical conditions, however, will not permit silt deposites right in the reservoir. So this design will be made under the assumption given in Section 4.

The silt condition and the change of lower course of the Colorado are much like those of the Yellow River in China. But one thing is different. On the Colorado most of the canyon walls are of granite, while those on the Yellow are of alluvial loess: so it is very hard, if not impossible, to get a favorable dam site on the lower part. As a visitor to this country, I should like to see the full development of the Colorado: but how about THE YELLOW!

Item Type:Thesis (Master's thesis)
Subject Keywords:Civil Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Civil Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Unknown, Unknown
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1924
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06162015-113550836
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9024
Deposited On:16 Jun 2015 19:45
Last Modified:16 Aug 2023 22:02

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page