Watershed Sediment Process

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2017) | Viewed by 49917

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Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology, Norwegian university of science and technology, NTNU NO-7491 Trondheim, Norway
Interests: Environmental hydraulics; sediment transport; scale models; flow-vegetation interaction; flow-roughness interaction; experimental methods
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Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty of Engineering, NTNU, 7491 Trondheim, Norway
Interests: numerical modelling; sediment transport; river engineering; incipient motion; plan form development; hydraulic structures; hydro power development; ecohydraulics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sediment transport processess govern fluvial environments and play thus an essential role for the development of sustainable water resources management strategies. Natural streams and rivers are, in general, in a delicate hydraulic-sedimentological equilibrium. This equilibrium has often been disturbed by anthropogenic influences whose effects may be amplified by climate change effects. The disturbances create a range of problems for many different ecological and engineering applications, such as flood-control, water quaility, habitat, navigation, infrastructure, reservoir sedimentation, etc. The development of adequate and sustainable management strategies for sediment processes in watersheds, thus, requires the assessment of catchment-wide sediment processes, considering the potential natural state of the watershed based on its geomorphological and hydrological characteristics, as well as the determination of complexity and cause for the modifications, which were carried out in the past using morphological, biological, and ecological indicators. This Special Issue of Water is designed to contribute to this challenging topic by including papers related to both watershed sediment processes and sediment transport mechanics in light of the aforementioned tasks. The information and analyses are intended to contribute to the development of novel watershed-wide sediment management strategies.

Prof. Dr. Jochen Aberle
Dr. Nils Ruther
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Sediment transport mechanics
  • Sediment transport processes
  • Sediment transport measurements
  • Bed load
  • Suspended load
  • Wash load
  • Surface erosion
  • Soil-loss equation
  • Scouring
  • Erosion
  • Deposition

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

5574 KiB  
Article
3D CFD Modeling of Local Scouring, Bed Armoring and Sediment Deposition
by Gergely T. Török, Sándor Baranya and Nils Rüther
Water 2017, 9(1), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9010056 - 17 Jan 2017
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 7131
Abstract
3D numerical models are increasingly used to simulate flow, sediment transport and morphological changes of rivers. For the simulation of bedload transport, the numerical flow model is generally coupled with an empirical sediment transport model. The application range of the most widely used [...] Read more.
3D numerical models are increasingly used to simulate flow, sediment transport and morphological changes of rivers. For the simulation of bedload transport, the numerical flow model is generally coupled with an empirical sediment transport model. The application range of the most widely used empirical models is, however, often limited in terms of hydraulic and sedimentological features and therefore the numerical model can hardly be applied to complex situations where different kinds of morphological processes take place at the same time, such as local scouring, bed armoring and aggradation of finer particles. As a possible solution method for this issue, we present the combined application of two bedload transport formulas that widens the application range and thus gives more appropriate simulation results. An example of this technique is presented in the paper by combining two bedload transport formulas. For model validation, the results of a laboratory experiment, where bed armoring, local scouring and local sediment deposition processes occurred, were used. The results showed that the combined application method can improve the reliability of the numerical simulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Sediment Process)
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2377 KiB  
Article
Potential Impact of Climate Change on Suspended Sediment Yield in NW Spain: A Case Study on the Corbeira Catchment
by M. Luz Rodríguez-Blanco, Ricardo Arias, M. Mercedes Taboada-Castro, Joao Pedro Nunes, Jan Jacob Keizer and M. Teresa Taboada-Castro
Water 2016, 8(10), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8100444 - 12 Oct 2016
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 6269
Abstract
Soil losses and the subsequent sediment delivery constitute significant environmental threats. Climate change is likely to have an impact on the availability of water and therefore on sediment yield in catchments. In this context, quantifying the sediment response to an increased atmospheric CO [...] Read more.
Soil losses and the subsequent sediment delivery constitute significant environmental threats. Climate change is likely to have an impact on the availability of water and therefore on sediment yield in catchments. In this context, quantifying the sediment response to an increased atmospheric CO2 concentration and climate change is of utmost importance to the proper management of rural catchments. However, quantitative assessment of climate change impact remains a complex task. In this study, the potential medium (2031–2060) and long-term (2069–2098) impacts of projected changes of temperature, rainfall and CO2 concentration on sediment yield in a small rural catchment located in NW Spain were evaluated using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. Climate change scenarios were created using future climate data projected by regional climate models from the ENSEMBLES project and two CO2 concentration scenarios (550 and 660 ppm). The results showed that climate change would have a noticeable impact on suspended sediment if the forecast temperature, rainfall and CO2 concentration changes included in this study were met. Overall, suspended sediment is expected to decrease (2031–2060: −11%, 2069–2098: −8%) compared to the baseline period (1981–2010), mainly due to decreased streamflow. However, an increase in sediment transport in winter is predicted, possibly associated with increased erosion in cultivated areas (11%–17%), suggesting that, at this time of the year, the effect of soil detachment prevails over sediment transport capacity. Consequently, management practices aimed at reducing soil erosion in cultivated areas should be carried out, because these are the main source of sediment in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Sediment Process)
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4398 KiB  
Article
Characterization of a Flood Event through a Sediment Analysis: The Tescio River Case Study
by Silvia Di Francesco, Chiara Biscarini and Piergiorgio Manciola
Water 2016, 8(7), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8070308 - 22 Jul 2016
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 6831
Abstract
This paper presents the hydrological analysis and grain size characteristics of fluvial sediments in a river basin and their combination to characterize a flood event. The overall objective of the research is the development of a practical methodology based on experimental surveys to [...] Read more.
This paper presents the hydrological analysis and grain size characteristics of fluvial sediments in a river basin and their combination to characterize a flood event. The overall objective of the research is the development of a practical methodology based on experimental surveys to reconstruct the hydraulic history of ungauged river reaches on the basis of the modifications detected on the riverbed during the dry season. The grain size analysis of fluvial deposits usually requires great technical and economical efforts and traditional sieving based on physical sampling is not appropriate to adequately represent the spatial distribution of sediments in a wide area of a riverbed with a reasonable number of samples. The use of photographic sampling techniques, on the other hand, allows for the quick and effective determination of the grain size distribution, through the use of a digital camera and specific graphical algorithms in large river stretches. A photographic sampling is employed to characterize the riverbed in a 3 km ungauged reach of the Tescio River, a tributary of the Chiascio River, located in central Italy, representative of many rivers in the same geographical area. To this end, the particle size distribution is reconstructed through the analysis of digital pictures of the sediments taken on the riverbed in dry conditions. The sampling has been performed after a flood event of known duration, which allows for the identification of the removal of the armor in one section along the river reach under investigation. The volume and composition of the eroded sediments made it possible to calculate the average flow rate associated with the flood event which caused the erosion, by means of the sediment transport laws and the hydrological analysis of the river basin. A hydraulic analysis of the river stretch under investigation was employed to verify the validity of the proposed procedure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Sediment Process)
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3641 KiB  
Article
Responses of Sediment Yield to Vegetation Cover Changes in the Poyang Lake Drainage Area, China
by Linlin Xiao, Xiaohuan Yang and Hongyan Cai
Water 2016, 8(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8040114 - 24 Mar 2016
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4851
Abstract
Ascertaining the relationships between sediment transport processes and vegetation cover is essential for watershed soil and water conservation. However, it is not easy to realize this target on a large scale. In this study, the location-weighted landscape contrast index (LCI) based on the [...] Read more.
Ascertaining the relationships between sediment transport processes and vegetation cover is essential for watershed soil and water conservation. However, it is not easy to realize this target on a large scale. In this study, the location-weighted landscape contrast index (LCI) based on the “source-sink” theory of ecological processes was introduced to unravel the response of sediment yield to vegetation cover changes in the Poyang Lake drainage area (the largest freshwater lake in China). A modified location-weighted landscape contrast index (mLCI) was proposed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the LCI. The average vegetation fraction of the study area significantly increased from 46.2% in Period I (1992–1994) to 76.5% in Period II (2004–2006) and then slightly decreased to 73.2% in Period III (2011–2013). From Period I to Period II, the area-specific sediment yield (ASY) sharply decreased by 55%. In Period II, the “source” vegetation patches were found further away from the water bodies, and were more likely to be located on gentler slopes than in Period I. From Period II to Period III, the ASY sharply increased by 83%. In Period III, “source” patches were found closer to the water bodies than in Period II, whereas the “sink” patches were found further away from the water bodies. The high statistical correlation between LCIs/mLCIs and ASY indicated a sensitive response of the sediment yield to vegetation cover changes that significantly altered the sediment transport processes in the study area. The ASY was better correlated with the mLCI than with the LCI. Three key harnessing sub-watersheds of the Ganjiang watershed were identified by calculating the mLCIs: Qingfengshan, Yuanhe, and Jinjiang. This study supported watershed ecological management in the Poyang Lake drainage area and provided a methodology reference for future sediment transport process studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Sediment Process)
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8334 KiB  
Article
Using GOCI Retrieval Data to Initialize and Validate a Sediment Transport Model for Monitoring Diurnal Variation of SSC in Hangzhou Bay, China
by Xuefei Yang, Zhihua Mao, Haiqing Huang and Qiankun Zhu
Water 2016, 8(3), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8030108 - 19 Mar 2016
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 6760
Abstract
The diurnal variation of the suspended sediment concentration (SSC) in Hangzhou Bay, China has been investigated using remotely-sensed SSC derived from the Geostationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI) in combination with a coupled hydrodynamic-ecological model for regional and shelf seas (COHERENS). The SSC maps [...] Read more.
The diurnal variation of the suspended sediment concentration (SSC) in Hangzhou Bay, China has been investigated using remotely-sensed SSC derived from the Geostationary Ocean Color Imager (GOCI) in combination with a coupled hydrodynamic-ecological model for regional and shelf seas (COHERENS). The SSC maps were inferred through a UV-AC atmospheric correction algorithm and an empirical inversion algorithm from the GOCI Level-1B data. The sediment transport model was initialized from maps of the GOCI-derived SSC and the model results were validated through a comparison with remotely-sensed data. The comparison demonstrated that the model results agreed well with the observations. The relationship between SSC distribution and hydrodynamic conditions was analyzed to investigate the sediment transport dynamics. The model’s results indicate that the action of tidal currents dominate the sediment deposition and re-suspension in the coastal waters of the East China Sea. This is especially the case in Hangzhou Bay where the tidal currents are strongest. The satellite-derived sediment data product can not only dramatically improve the specification of the initial conditions for the sediment model, but can also provide valuable information for the model validation, thereby improving the model’s overall performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Sediment Process)
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2452 KiB  
Article
Estimating Sediment Discharge Using Sediment Rating Curves and Artificial Neural Networks in the Shiwen River, Taiwan
by Samkele S. Tfwala and Yu-Min Wang
Water 2016, 8(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8020053 - 5 Feb 2016
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 7787
Abstract
Sediment in river is usually transported during extreme events related to intense rainfall and high river flows. The conventional means of collecting data in such events are risky and costly compared to water discharge measurements. Hence, the lack of sediment data has prompted [...] Read more.
Sediment in river is usually transported during extreme events related to intense rainfall and high river flows. The conventional means of collecting data in such events are risky and costly compared to water discharge measurements. Hence, the lack of sediment data has prompted the use of sediment rating curves (SRC). The aim of this study is to explore the abilities of artificial neural networks (ANNs) in advancing the precision of stream flow-suspended discharge relationships during storm events in the Shiwen River, located in southern Taiwan. The ANNs used were multilayer perceptrons (MLP), the coactive neurofuzzy inference system model (CANFISM), time lagged recurrent networks (TLRN), fully recurrent neural networks (FRNN) and the radial basis function (RBF). A comparison is made between SRC and the ANNs. Hourly based water and sediment discharge during 8 storms were manually collected and used as inputs for the SRC and the ANNs. Results have shown that the ANN models were superior in reproducing hourly sediment discharge compared to SRC. The findings further suggest that MLP can provide the most accurate estimates of sediment discharge, (R2 of 0.903) compared to CANFISM, TLRN, FRNN and RBF. SRC had the lowest R2 (0.765), and resulted in underestimations of peak sediment discharge (−47%). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Sediment Process)
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5015 KiB  
Article
The Acoustic Properties of Suspended Sediment in Large Rivers: Consequences on ADCP Methods Applicability
by Massimo Guerrero, Nils Rüther, Ricardo Szupiany, Stefan Haun, Sandor Baranya and Francisco Latosinski
Water 2016, 8(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/w8010013 - 2 Jan 2016
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 8515
Abstract
The use of echo-levels from Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) recordings has become more and more common for estimating suspended bed-material and wash loads in rivers over the last decade. Empirical, semi-empirical and physical-based acoustic methods have been applied in different case studies, [...] Read more.
The use of echo-levels from Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) recordings has become more and more common for estimating suspended bed-material and wash loads in rivers over the last decade. Empirical, semi-empirical and physical-based acoustic methods have been applied in different case studies, which provided relationships between scattering particles features derived from samples (i.e., concentration and grain size) and corresponding backscattering strength and sound attenuation. These methods entail different assumptions regarding sediment heterogeneity in the ensonified volume (e.g., particle size distribution (PSD) and spatial concentration gradient). Our work was to compare acoustic backscatter and attenuation properties of suspended sediments, sampled in the rivers Parana and Danube that represented rather different hydro-sedimentological conditions during the surveys. The Parana represents a large sandy river, characterized through a huge watershed and the typical bimodal PSD of sediment in suspension, while the Danube represents in the investigated reach an exposed sand-gravel bed and clay-silt particles transported in the water column in suspension. Sand and clay-silt concentrations clearly dominate the analyzed backscattering strength in the rivers Parana and Danube, respectively, with an effect of PSD level of sorting in the latter case. This comparison clarifies the extent of assumptions made, eventually advising on the actual possibility of applying certain ADCP methods, depending on the expected concentration gradients and PSD of suspended sediment to be investigated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Watershed Sediment Process)
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