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Article

An Empirical Analysis of Sediment Export Dynamics from a Constructed Landform in the Wet Tropics

1
Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry, Sustainable Minerals Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
2
School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
3
Geotechnical and Hydrological Engineering Research Group, Federation University Churchill, Churchill, VIC 3841, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Monica Papini
Water 2021, 13(8), 1087; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081087
Received: 9 March 2021 / Revised: 1 April 2021 / Accepted: 2 April 2021 / Published: 15 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Water Erosion and Sediment Transport)
Although plot-scale erosion experiments are numerous, there are few studies on constructed landforms. This limits the understanding of their long-term stability, which is especially important for planning mined land rehabilitation. The objective of this study was to gain insight into the erosion processes in a 30 × 30 m trial plot on a mine waste rock dump in tropical northern Australia. The relationships between rainfall, runoff and suspended and bedload sediment export were assessed at annual, seasonal, inter-event and intra-event timescales. During a five-year study period, 231 rainfall–runoff–sediment export events were examined. The measured bedload and suspended sediments (mainly represented in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU)) showed the dominance of the wet season and heavy rainfall events. The bedload dominated the total mass, although the annual bedload diminished by approximately 75% over the five years, with greater flow energy required over time to mobilise the same bedload. The suspended load was more sustained, though it also exhibited an exhaustion process, with equal rainfall and runoff volumes and intensities, leading to lower NTU values over time. Intra-event NTU dynamics, including runoff-NTU time lags and hysteretic behaviours, were somewhat random from one event to the next, indicating the influence of the antecedent distribution of mobilisable sediments. The value of the results for supporting predictive modelling is discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: suspended sediment; sediment load; wet tropics; mining; northern Australia suspended sediment; sediment load; wet tropics; mining; northern Australia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yavari, S.; McIntyre, N.; Baumgartl, T. An Empirical Analysis of Sediment Export Dynamics from a Constructed Landform in the Wet Tropics. Water 2021, 13, 1087. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081087

AMA Style

Yavari S, McIntyre N, Baumgartl T. An Empirical Analysis of Sediment Export Dynamics from a Constructed Landform in the Wet Tropics. Water. 2021; 13(8):1087. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081087

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yavari, Shahla; McIntyre, Neil; Baumgartl, Thomas. 2021. "An Empirical Analysis of Sediment Export Dynamics from a Constructed Landform in the Wet Tropics" Water 13, no. 8: 1087. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13081087

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