Carmel River

Carmel River

The Carmel River is a river, 36 miles long, on the central coast of Monterey County, California. It is often considered as the northern boundary of Big Sur. It originates in the Santa Lucia Mountains, flows northwest through the Carmel Valley and empties into the Pacific Ocean south of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The river drains about 255 square miles (660 km²). It was discovered in 1602 by Sebastian Vizcaino, whose written account greatly exaggerated its proportions, confusing later explorers.

The Carmel River has two dams used for drinking water, with severe sediment buildup. The San Clemente Dam, built in 1921, is located 18 miles (29 km) upstream from the ocean. It had an original capacity of 1,450 acre-feet (1,790,000 m³), but as of 2002, the capacity had fallen to less than 150 acre-feet (185,000 m³). It is no longer used to store water, but is employed to divert high flows. It has been determined that the dam may not survive an earthquake of 6.5 or greater.Fact|date=March 2007 The Los Padres Dam, built in 1949, is located 25 miles (40 km) upstream from the ocean. Its original capacity was 3,030 acre-feet (3,740,000 m³), but as of 2000, its capacity was only 2,000 acre-feet (2,500,000 m³).


* [ California Department of Boating and Waterways] (PDF)
* [ Carmel River Watershed]
* [ Coastal Conservancy]

ee also

*Hydrology transport model

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