Detroit Dam

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Detroit Dam
Detroit Dam Oregon Close.jpg
Detroit Dam on the North Santiam River
Detroit Dam is located in Oregon
Detroit Dam
Location of Detroit Dam in Oregon
CountryUnited States
LocationDetroit, Linn County/Marion County, Oregon
Coordinates44°43′15.44″N 122°14′59.27″W / 44.7209556°N 122.2497972°W / 44.7209556; -122.2497972Coordinates: 44°43′15.44″N 122°14′59.27″W / 44.7209556°N 122.2497972°W / 44.7209556; -122.2497972
PurposeFlood control, power, irrigation
Construction began1949
Opening date1953; 65 years ago (1953)
Owner(s)U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
Dam and spillways
Type of damConcrete gravity
ImpoundsNorth Santiam River
Height463 ft (141 m)
Length1,523.5 ft (464.4 m)
Elevation at crest1,580 ft (480 m)
CreatesDetroit Lake
Total capacity455,000 acre⋅ft (561,000,000 m3)
Active capacity321,000 acre feet (396,000,000 m3)
Catchment area437 sq mi (1,130 km2)
Surface area3,500 acres (14 km2)
Maximum length9 mi (14 km)
Normal elevation1,569 ft (478 m) (full)
Commission date1953
Turbines2 x 100 MW Francis-type[1]
Installed capacity100 MW

Detroit Dam is a gravity dam on the North Santiam River between Linn County and Marion County, Oregon. It is located in the Cascades, about 5 mi (8.0 km) west of the city of Detroit. It was constructed between 1949 and 1953 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The dam created 400-foot (120 m) deep Detroit Lake, more than 9 miles (14 km) long with 32 miles (51 km) of shoreline.[2][3][4]

The dam, dedicated on June 10, 1953,[5] was authorized for the purposes of flood control, power generation, navigation, and irrigation. Other uses are fishery, water quality, and recreation. It was built in concert with the Big Cliff Dam downstream.

Free-overflow spill test, 2013
Top of the Detroit Dam
  • Drainage area: 437 mi² (1,132 km²)
  • Maximum inflow: 63,200 ft³/s (1,790 m³/s) 1909
  • Lake Elevation
    • Maximum pool: 1,574 ft (480 m)
    • Full pool: 1,569 ft (478 m)
    • Minimum flood control pool: 1,450 ft (442 m)
  • Usable storage (1,425.0 to 1,563.5 ft) = 321,000 acre feet (396,000,000 m3)
  • Powerhouse
    • Number of units: 2
    • Nameplate capacity: 100 MW
    • Overload capacity: 115 MW
    • Hydraulic capacity: 5,340 ft³/s (151 m³/s)


  1. ^ JP Duncan, TJ Carlson (May 2011). "Characterization of Fish Passage Conditions through a Francis Turbine, Spillway, and Regulating Outlet at Detroit Dam, Oregon, Using Sensor Fish, 2009" (PDF). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Detroit Dam". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2006-05-03.
  3. ^ "The Detroit and Big Cliff Dams". North Santiam Water Council. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  4. ^ "Building Strong® at Detroit Dam and Reservoir". U.S. Army Corps or Engineers. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Detroit". North Santiam Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2011-06-10.

External links[edit]

Media related to Detroit Dam at Wikimedia Commons