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Open AccessArticle

Sediment Supply and Hydrogeological Hazard in the Quebrada de Humahuaca (Province of Jujuy, Northwestern Argentina)—Rio Huasamayo and Tilcara Area

1
Department of Physics and Geology, University of Perugia, 06125 Perugia, Italy
2
Ex Escuela de Geologia, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Salta A4400, Argentina
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Viale Zefferino Faina 4, 06125 Perugia, Italy.
Geosciences 2019, 9(11), 483; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9110483
Received: 30 October 2019 / Revised: 6 November 2019 / Accepted: 11 November 2019 / Published: 16 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Natural Hazards)
This paper describes the hydrogeological hazard in a reach of Quebrada de Humahuaca, (Upper Valley of Rio Grande de Jujuy, in the Argentine Andes), elected a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003. Along the Quebrada, the Rio Huasamayo, flowing into the Rio Grande, formed a large alluvial fan where the village of Tilcara was built. The final reach of Rio Huasamayo is an artificial channel, embanked by unconsolidated material removed from the riverbed. The village is located in an area at a lower elevation with respect to the riverbed, still in aggradation; so it is affected by an evident hydrogeological hazard. The main cause of the riverbed aggradation is the enormous sediment supply from the slopes of the Rio Huasamayo basin. The aim of the paper is to estimate the soil loss on the slopes and the consequent sediment supply to the main stream, identifying the areas of the basin mostly affected by erosion processes that cause the aggradation of the Rio Huasamayo riverbed. In this case, due to the lack of hydrometeorological stations (monitoring rainfalls, temperature, flow rates, etc.), soil loss and sediment supply to the main stream cannot be estimated through the application of commonly used models in the literature (e.g., USLE, RUSLE, USPED). Here the Gavrilovic method (EPM) was applied in combination with the data of the CORINE Project, allowing the estimation of the volume of material exiting from the catchment. So the main supplying areas (sub-basins of the Rio Huasamayo) can be identified where focused interventions for the control of solid transport could be realized, to mitigate the process of riverbed aggradation. View Full-Text
Keywords: Argentine Andes; hydrogeological hazard; sediment supply; CORINE method; EPM method Argentine Andes; hydrogeological hazard; sediment supply; CORINE method; EPM method
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MDPI and ACS Style

Poggetti, E.; Cencetti, C.; De Rosa, P.; Fredduzzi, A.; Rivelli, F.R. Sediment Supply and Hydrogeological Hazard in the Quebrada de Humahuaca (Province of Jujuy, Northwestern Argentina)—Rio Huasamayo and Tilcara Area. Geosciences 2019, 9, 483.

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