Special Issue "Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes "

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology and Hydrogeology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Patrick Belmont
Website
Guest Editor
Utah State University
Interests: watershed hydrology; geomorphology; river morphodynamics; sediment transport; sediment routing; high resolution topography analysis; sediment budgets; landscape evolution

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hydrology is changing in profound and pervasive ways in watersheds throughout the world, with important implications for erosion and sediment transport. Our ability to study linkages between hydrology and sediment dynamics has advanced considerably over the past few years. This Special Issue seeks to highlight innovative studies that utilize new monitoring, modeling, or analytical techniques to examine these linkages and predict the implications for water quality, river channel morphology, flood risk, human-built infrastructure, or land and water management, policy, and restoration. Contributions will preferably use a variety of techniques and will emphasize the innovative apects and generalizable insights derived from the study.

Prof. Patrick Belmont
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Water is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • watershed hydrology
  • non-stationarity
  • mathematical modeling
  • sediment dynamics
  • erosion
  • sediment transport
  • sediment routing
  • geomorphology
  • morphodynamics

Published Papers (12 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Open AccessArticle
The Use of River Flow Discharge and Sediment Load for Multi-Objective Calibration of SWAT Based on the Bayesian Inference
Water 2018, 10(11), 1662; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10111662 - 15 Nov 2018
Abstract
The soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) is widely used to quantify the spatial and temporal patterns of sediment loads for watershed-scale management of sediment and nonpoint-source pollutants. However few studies considered the trade-off between flow and sediment objectives during model calibration processes. [...] Read more.
The soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) is widely used to quantify the spatial and temporal patterns of sediment loads for watershed-scale management of sediment and nonpoint-source pollutants. However few studies considered the trade-off between flow and sediment objectives during model calibration processes. This study proposes a new multi-objective calibration method that incorporates both flow and sediment observed information into a likelihood function based on the Bayesian inference. For comparison, two likelihood functions, i.e., the Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient (NSE) approach that assumes model residuals follow the Gaussian distribution, and the BC-GED approach that assumes model residuals after Box–Cox transformation (BC) follow the generalized error distribution (GED), are applied for calibrating the flow and sediment parameters of SWAT with the water balance model and the variable source area concept (SWAT-WB-VSA) in the Baocun watershed, Eastern China. Compared with the single-objective method, the multi-objective approach improves the performance of sediment simulations without significantly impairing the performance of flow simulations, and reduces the uncertainty of flow parameters, especially flow concentration parameters. With the NSE approach, SWAT-WB-VSA captures extreme flood events well, but fails to mimic low values of river discharge and sediment load, possibly because the NSE approach is an informal likelihood function, and puts greater emphasis on high values. By contrast, the BC-GED approach approximates a formal likelihood function, and balances consideration of the high- and low- values. As a result, inferred results of the BC-GED method are more reasonable and consistent with the field survey results and previous related-studies. This method even discriminates the nonerodible characteristic of main channels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
FDOM Conversion in Karst Watersheds Expressed by Three-Dimensional Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Water 2018, 10(10), 1427; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101427 - 11 Oct 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
A karst system, formed by the dissolution of carbonate rocks, is usually susceptible to contamination. Little is known about the composition of natural dissolved organic matter (DOM) in groundwater systems, especially in karstic groundwater. To reveal the characteristics of DOM in a karst [...] Read more.
A karst system, formed by the dissolution of carbonate rocks, is usually susceptible to contamination. Little is known about the composition of natural dissolved organic matter (DOM) in groundwater systems, especially in karstic groundwater. To reveal the characteristics of DOM in a karst aquifer, the Yufuhe River Basin, a typical karst watershed in northern China, was selected. DOM fluorescence (FDOM) was measured with the excitation-emission matrices (EEMs) spectroscopy technique. Parallel factor analysis (PARAFAC) was used to analyze the karst hydrogeological factors that affect FDOM biogeochemical behavior. Three fluorescent components, i.e., tyrosine-like, tryptophan-like, and ultraviolet fulvic acid were found. Their fluorescence properties were closely related to human activity and subterranean hydrology. Fluorescence properties suggested that FDOM in the Yufuhe River karst aquifer was predominant from anthropogenic activity. In addition, due to the effect of karstic heterogeneous hydrological conditions, FDOM showed obvious differentiation in the recharge, flow path, and discharge systems. The FDOM fluorescence intensity (FI) was weak in surface water and groundwater at the upper reaches (recharge area). In the middle of the flow path area, the percentage of tyrosine-like and tryptophan-like substances degraded and fulvic acid rose gradually. However, after infiltrating into the lower reaches (discharge area) of the deep karst aquifer system, the fulvic acid matter was consumed and protein-like matter accumulated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Suspended Sediment Concentrations and Loads from a Relatively Undisturbed Agroforested Catchment in the Northwest of the Iberian Peninsula
Water 2018, 10(10), 1302; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10101302 - 21 Sep 2018
Abstract
The suspended sediment dynamics in small catchments are difficult to estimate accurately because they result from the coupling of complex processes occurring at different scales. In this study, the dynamics of suspended sediment concentrations (SSC) and loads were assessed in an agroforested humid [...] Read more.
The suspended sediment dynamics in small catchments are difficult to estimate accurately because they result from the coupling of complex processes occurring at different scales. In this study, the dynamics of suspended sediment concentrations (SSC) and loads were assessed in an agroforested humid catchment in NW Spain, based on a long-term rainfall, discharge and suspended sediment dataset (12 hydrological years) from high-frequency monitoring. The results highlight the episodic nature of sediment transport in the study area, given that about 78% of SS was exported over 10% of the study period. The SS transport was related to runoff generation and flooding, although sediment availability also played an important role in SS transport. The SS load was mainly driven by high-magnitude rainfall events, while intense rainfall episodes generated high SSC peaks. The mean annual suspended sediment yield was relatively low from a quantitative stand point (10 Mg km−2 y−1); however, during 11% of the monitoring, SS concentrations exceeding the threshold threatened surface water quality (Freshwater Fish Directive 78/659/EEC and Directive 75/440/EEC), mainly during runoff events, indicating the need to adopt management practices in order to reduce or mitigate sediment loss during such episodes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Trend and Change-Point Analysis of Streamflow and Sediment Discharge of the Gongshui River in China during the Last 60 Years
Water 2018, 10(9), 1273; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091273 - 18 Sep 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The Gongshui River basin exhibits one of the most serious soil erosion areas in southern China, and has always been the key control area of national soil and water conservation programs. This study used daily precipitation, streamflow, and sediment concentration data collected from [...] Read more.
The Gongshui River basin exhibits one of the most serious soil erosion areas in southern China, and has always been the key control area of national soil and water conservation programs. This study used daily precipitation, streamflow, and sediment concentration data collected from 1957 to 2015 from the main hydrological stations of the Gongshui River to investigate streamflow and sediment discharge variations and their responses to precipitation and human activities. The Mann-Kendall and Pettitt’s test were used for trend and change-point detection. The double mass curve (DMC) method was employed to quantify the effects of precipitation change and human activities on hydrological regime shifts. The results showed insignificant trends of both annual precipitation and streamflow for all stations, while the sediment discharge of most stations exhibited significant decreasing trends. Change-point analyses revealed that all hydrologic stations except Mazhou had transition years. The estimation via DMC indicated that after the change point years, there was a rapid reduction in sediment discharge at Hanlinqiao, Fengkeng, Julongtan, Xiashan, and Chawu stations, but not at Mazhou, Ruijin, and Yangxinjian stations. Human activity provided a significantly greater contribution to sediment discharge than precipitation. The evidence clearly indicates that the degree and extension of conservation or destruction measures and the construction of large- and medium-sized reservoirs were the major factors significantly decreasing or increasing annual sediment discharge of the Gongshui River. This work could serve as the basis for decision making regarding river basin water resources management to estimate the effects of anthropogenic impacts on water and sediment discharge variations during the last few decades, thereby guiding adaptation and protection of the water resources of the Gongshui River flowing into the Poyang Lake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Reducing High Flows and Sediment Loading through Increased Water Storage in an Agricultural Watershed of the Upper Midwest, USA
Water 2018, 10(8), 1053; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081053 - 08 Aug 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Climate change, land clearing, and artificial drainage have increased the Minnesota River Basin’s (MRB) stream flows, enhancing erosion of channel banks and bluffs. Accelerated erosion has increased sediment loads and sedimentation rates downstream. High flows could be reduced through increased water storage (e.g., [...] Read more.
Climate change, land clearing, and artificial drainage have increased the Minnesota River Basin’s (MRB) stream flows, enhancing erosion of channel banks and bluffs. Accelerated erosion has increased sediment loads and sedimentation rates downstream. High flows could be reduced through increased water storage (e.g., wetlands or detention basins), but quantifying the effectiveness of such a strategy remains a challenge. We used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to simulate changes in river discharge from various water retention site (WRS) implementation scenarios in the Le Sueur watershed, a tributary basin to the MRB. We also show how high flow attenuation can address turbidity issues by quantifying the impact on near-channel sediment loading in the watershed’s incised reaches. WRS placement in the watershed, hydraulic conductivity (K), and design depth were varied across 135 simulations. The dominant control on site performance is K, with greater flow reductions allowed by higher seepage rates and less frequent overflowing. Deeper design depths enhance flow reductions from sites with low K values. Differences between WRS placement scenarios are slight, suggesting that site placement is not a first-order control on overall performance in this watershed. Flow reductions exhibit power-law scaling with exceedance probability, enabling us to create generalized relationships between WRS extent and flow reductions that accurately reproduce our SWAT results and allow for more rapid evaluation of future scenarios. Overall, we show that increasing water storage within the Le Sueur watershed can be an effective management option for high flow and sediment load reduction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Temporal and Spatial Flow Variations over a Movable Scour Hole Downstream of a Grade-Control Structure with a PIV System
Water 2018, 10(8), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10081002 - 28 Jul 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Weirs or grade-control structures (GCSs) are frequently adopted to protect bridges or control riverbed degradation. Scour holes may develop downstream of these hydraulic structures. Laboratory experiments have been performed in this study, using sophisticated equipment and newly developed procedures. The purpose was to [...] Read more.
Weirs or grade-control structures (GCSs) are frequently adopted to protect bridges or control riverbed degradation. Scour holes may develop downstream of these hydraulic structures. Laboratory experiments have been performed in this study, using sophisticated equipment and newly developed procedures. The purpose was to investigate important characteristics of the turbulent flow in the movable scour hole. The results of these experiments demonstrated the significance of instantaneous shear stress in the scouring process. The measured Reynolds stress can be fitted with the theoretical equation reasonably well. Furthermore, the results revealed that the normalized mean vertical velocity profiles in the diffusion region of the scour hole can be fitted with a Gaussian curve. An analysis of the turbulence intensity measurements showed that the turbulent flow is anisotropic in the scour hole. The turbulence intensities also decreased with time as the scour hole gradually approached equilibrium. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Detection of Sediment Trends Using Wavelet Transforms in the Upper Indus River
Water 2018, 10(7), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10070918 - 11 Jul 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Sediment load trends play a key role in modelling either river morphology or reservoir sedimentation. In this study, suspended sediment concentration (SSC) series of four representative gauging stations of the Upper Indus Basin (Yugo, Dainyor, Bunji and Besham Qila) were selected and updated [...] Read more.
Sediment load trends play a key role in modelling either river morphology or reservoir sedimentation. In this study, suspended sediment concentration (SSC) series of four representative gauging stations of the Upper Indus Basin (Yugo, Dainyor, Bunji and Besham Qila) were selected and updated from a vast network of hydro-meteorological stations being operated and maintained by Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) of Pakistan from the 1960s up to now. The temporal variations in the series were analysed using the wavelet transform (WT) method. The WT method disclosed the temporal and frequency information for trend estimation analysis by decomposing data on several levels. The results of the combined methods, WT and Mann–Kendall (MK) trend tests, revealed that the annual sediment time series, available since the 1960s for some stations, exhibited a statistically insignificant trend due to statistically significant intra-annual (monthly) shifts. Generally increasing trends in the winter months and decreasing trends in summer months for major sub-catchments of Upper Indus Basin (UIB) were detected. However, the study also proved that the identified intra-annual or monthly shifts in upper sub-catchments were being neutralized as the sediment progressed downstream. This study of variations in sediment trends was required for constructing sediment budgets and sustainable operations of existing and planned future water storage along the tributaries and the main stem of the Upper Indus River. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Changes and Driving Forces of the Water-Sediment Relationship in the Middle Reaches of the Hanjiang River
Water 2018, 10(7), 887; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10070887 - 03 Jul 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Riverine sediment transport plays an important role in the global geochemical cycle. With a growing interest in global riverine environmental changes, a better understanding of water-sediment relationship dynamics and their driving forces is crucial for basin management, which is particularly associated with cascade [...] Read more.
Riverine sediment transport plays an important role in the global geochemical cycle. With a growing interest in global riverine environmental changes, a better understanding of water-sediment relationship dynamics and their driving forces is crucial for basin management, which is particularly associated with cascade dam construction. In this contribution, a simple and effective sediment load reduction factor analysis is used to attribute the changes in river sediment load to different drivers. The Mann–Kendall (MK) trend test and the double-mass curve (DMC) method were combined to reveal the trends and causes of change in the water-sediment relationship from 1965 to 2015 in the middle reaches of the Hanjiang River. We found that sediment load trend decreased significantly, which was caused by a decrease in water yield (5.05%), and the relative contributions of precipitation decrease (1.66%). Furthermore, only one mutation could be identified in 1974 at Huangzhuang station. Evapotranspiration and vegetation coverage had slight decreasing effects on sediment load. The impact of human activities on the water-sediment relationship has intensified over the past 15 years. We therefore propose the establishment of an integrated basin-wide ecosystem and optimized reservoir operation rule for sustainable water use and sediment regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Time-Lapse Photography of the Edge-of-Water Line Displacements of a Sandbar as a Proxy of Riverine Morphodynamics
Water 2018, 10(5), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10050617 - 09 May 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
A simple methodology to track the displacements of a sandbar from a fixed video camera, extracting its morphological features and deriving the associated fluvial morphology is presented, using a small reach of the Po River in Italy as a case study. A camera [...] Read more.
A simple methodology to track the displacements of a sandbar from a fixed video camera, extracting its morphological features and deriving the associated fluvial morphology is presented, using a small reach of the Po River in Italy as a case study. A camera fixed on a bridge pier acquired images every twelve hours while hourly water levels are derived from a radar hydrometer located upstream of the study area. The quantification of the fluvial bathymetry is achieved by mapping multiple edge-of-water lines of a sandbar before and after high flow conditions in December 2017. Both from video information and 2-D numerical simulations, it is evident that flooding waves can easily remove sediments that accumulated on bars during low flow conditions in this area, redistributing them across the river channel. This video-based methodology—which confirms to be economically attractive if compared to more traditional monitoring systems—proves to be a valuable system to monitor long-term fluvial processes providing detailed indications on how to better plan river management activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Hydrodynamic Characteristics of the Formation Processes for Non-Homogeneous Debris-Flow
Water 2018, 10(4), 452; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040452 - 09 Apr 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Non-homogeneous debris flows are characterized by a wide grain size gradation, high volumetric weight and sediments not uniformly distributed along the vertical direction of the flow depth. These flows usually occur in the southwestern mountainous area of China during the rainy season, causing [...] Read more.
Non-homogeneous debris flows are characterized by a wide grain size gradation, high volumetric weight and sediments not uniformly distributed along the vertical direction of the flow depth. These flows usually occur in the southwestern mountainous area of China during the rainy season, causing tangible and non-tangible damages; therefore, it is crucial to study their dynamic characteristics. An experimental campaign was conducted to replicate three processes typical of debris flows: (i) formation; (ii) propagation; and (iii) accumulation. Different flow rates, soil composition and flume slopes were applied. Multiple experimental parameters were quantified for each test conducted such as pore water pressure and velocity and a series of regression analyses were used to determine the relative impact of each experimental variable on these recorded parameters. The results showed that the flowrate and the vertical grading coefficient associated with the soil composition have the maximum and the minimum influence on the formation of debris flows and propagation velocities measured, respectively. This result is significant and needs to be considered when planning or designing control measures to reduce the impacts of debris flows. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
High Resolution Monitoring of River Bluff Erosion Reveals Failure Mechanisms and Geomorphically Effective Flows
Water 2018, 10(4), 394; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040394 - 28 Mar 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Using a combination of Structure from Motion and time lapse photogrammetry, we document rapid river bluff erosion occurring in the Greater Blue Earth River (GBER) basin, a muddy tributary to the sediment-impaired Minnesota River in south central Minnesota. Our datasets elucidated dominant bluff [...] Read more.
Using a combination of Structure from Motion and time lapse photogrammetry, we document rapid river bluff erosion occurring in the Greater Blue Earth River (GBER) basin, a muddy tributary to the sediment-impaired Minnesota River in south central Minnesota. Our datasets elucidated dominant bluff failure mechanisms and rates of bluff retreat in a transient system responding to ongoing streamflow increases and glacial legacy impacts. Specifically, we document the importance of fluvial scour, freeze–thaw, as well as other drivers of bluff erosion. We find that even small flows, a mere 30% of the two-year recurrence interval flow, are capable of causing bluff erosion. During our study period (2014–2017), the most erosion was associated with two large flood events with 13- and 25-year return periods. However, based on the frequency of floods and magnitude of bluff face erosion associated with floods over the last 78 years, the 1.2-year return interval flood has likely accomplished the most cumulative erosion, and is thus more geomorphically effective than larger magnitude floods. Flows in the GBER basin are nonstationary, increasing across the full range of return intervals. We find that management implications differ considerably depending on whether the bluff erosion-runoff power law exponent, γ, is greater than, equal to, or less than 1. Previous research has recommended installation of water retention sites in tributaries to the Minnesota River in order to reduce flows and sediment loading from river bluffs. Our findings support the notion that water retention would be an effective practice to reduce sediment loading and highlight the importance of managing for both runoff frequency and magnitude. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Physical Model-Based Investigation of Reservoir Sedimentation Processes
Water 2018, 10(4), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040352 - 22 Mar 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Sedimentation is a serious problem in the operations of reservoirs. In Taiwan, the situation became worse after the Chi-Chi Earthquake recorded on 21 September 1999. The sediment trap efficiency in several regional reservoirs has been sharply increased, adversely affecting the operations on water [...] Read more.
Sedimentation is a serious problem in the operations of reservoirs. In Taiwan, the situation became worse after the Chi-Chi Earthquake recorded on 21 September 1999. The sediment trap efficiency in several regional reservoirs has been sharply increased, adversely affecting the operations on water supplies. According to the field record, the average annual sediment deposition observed in several regional reservoirs in Taiwan has been increased. For instance, the typhoon event recorded in 2008 at the Wushe Reservoir, Taiwan, produced a 3 m sediment deposit upstream of the dam. The remaining storage capacity in the Wushe Reservoir was reduced to 35.9% or a volume of 53.79 million m3 for flood water detention in 2010. It is urgent that research should be conducted to understand the sediment movement in the Wushe Reservoir. In this study, a scale physical model was built to reproduce the flood flow through the reservoir, investigate the long-term depositional pattern, and evaluate sediment trap efficiency. This allows us to estimate the residual life of the reservoir by proposing a modification of Brune’s method. It can be presented to predict the lifespan of Taiwan reservoirs due to higher applicability in both the physical model and the observed data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Hydrology, Erosion and Sediment Transport Processes )
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop