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.
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