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Water 2018, 10(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10020034

Near-Bed Monitoring of Suspended Sediment during a Major Flood Event Highlights Deficiencies in Existing Event-Loading Estimates

1
School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
2
The Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd., Brisbane, QLD 4178, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 November 2017 / Revised: 16 December 2017 / Accepted: 17 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
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Abstract

Rates of fluvial sediment discharge are notoriously difficult to quantify, particularly during major flood events. Measurements are typically undertaken using event stations requiring large capital investment, and the high cost tends to reduce the spatial coverage of monitoring sites. This study aimed to characterise the near-bed suspended sediment dynamics during a major flood event using a low-cost approach. Monitoring nodes consisted of a total suspended sediment (TSS) logger, a single stage sampler, and a time-lapse camera for a total cost of less than US$420. Seven nodes were deployed across an elevation gradient on the stream bank of Laidley Creek, Queensland, Australia, and two of these nodes successfully characterised the near-bed suspended sediment dynamics across a major flood event. Near-bed TSS concentrations were closely related to stream flow, with the contribution of suspended bed material dominating the total suspended load during peak flows. Observed TSS concentrations were orders of magnitude higher than historical monitoring data for this site collected using the State government event station. This difference was attributed to the event station pump inlet screening the suspended bed material prior to sample collection. The ‘first flush’ phenomenon was detected and attributed to a local resuspension of muddy crusts immediately upstream of the study site. This low-cost approach will provide an important addition to the existing monitoring of fluvial sediment discharge during flood events. View Full-Text
Keywords: low-cost monitoring; instrumentation; suspended sediment dynamics; downstream and upstream effects low-cost monitoring; instrumentation; suspended sediment dynamics; downstream and upstream effects
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Grinham, A.; Deering, N.; Fisher, P.; Gibbes, B.; Cossu, R.; Linde, M.; Albert, S. Near-Bed Monitoring of Suspended Sediment during a Major Flood Event Highlights Deficiencies in Existing Event-Loading Estimates. Water 2018, 10, 34.

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