Where rivers enter Lake Powell, large amounts of sediment are deposited. Near Hite, where the Colorado River enters the lake, approximately 150 feet of sediment has accumulated. The dynamics of the sedimentation processes in Lake Powell are being explored lake-wide through cooperation with Duke University, University of New Brunswick, Northern Arizona University, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Surveys of the lake bottom have recently been completed for the main channel and the San Juan channel of the lake.
As the elevation of the lake surface fluctuates, sediment that has accumulated at the inflow deltas can be re-suspended into the water and impact water quality. A cooperative study between the U.S. Geological Service and the National Park Service was conducted to monitor for a wide range of potential contaminates. Results indicated only very low levels of contaminates.