This paper discusses the joint impact of catchment complexity in topography, tectonics, climate, landuse patterns, and lithology on the suspended sediment yield (SSY, t km−2
) in the Caucasus region using measurements from 244 gauging stations (GS). A Partial Least Square Regression (PLSR) was used to reveal the relationships between SSY and explanatory variables. Despite possible significant uncertainties on the SSY values, analysis of this database indicates clear spatial patterns of SSY in the Caucasus. Most catchments in the Lesser Caucasia and Ciscaucasia are characterized by relatively low SSY values (<100–150 t km−2
), the Greater Caucasus region generally have higher SSY values (more than 150–300 t km−2
). Partial correlation analyses demonstrated that such proxies of topography as height above nearest drainage (HAND) and normalized steepness index (Ksn
) tend to be among the most important ones. However, a PLSR analysis suggested that these variables’ influence is likely associated with peak ground acceleration (PGA). We also found a strong relationship between land cover types (e.g., barren areas and cropland) and SSY in different elevation zones. Nonetheless, adding more gauging stations into analyses and more refined characterizations of the catchments may reveal additional trends.
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