An increasing number of scientific studies are tackling the management of discharges downstream of dams for environmental objectives. Such management is generally complex, and experiments are required for proper implementation. This article present the main lessons from a silt sand removal experiment on a bypassed reach of a dam on the Selves River (164 km²), France. Three four-hour operational tests at maximum discharge (10, 15, and 20 m3
/s) were carried out in September 2016 to determine the discharge required for transporting as much silt and sand as possible without remobilizing coarser sediments. In September 2017, an additional flow release was performed over 34 h at 15 m3
/s. Suspended sediment concentration and water level were recorded throughout the releases. Monitoring at the reach scale was supplemented by morphological measurements. The results demonstrate that a discharge of approximately 10 m3
/s enables significant transport of suspended sediments (SS), whereas a discharge of 15 m3
/s enables significant sand transport. The results provide operational information on silt and sand transport applicable to other small rivers. This study represents an important contribution to the relatively sparse existing body of literature regarding the effects of water releases and sediment state. Our study also demonstrates that it is possible to successfully undertake water releases in small rivers with an adaptive management approach.
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