EGU2020-4254, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Hydraulic and sediment transport metrics of river systems from inverse modelling of seismic ground motion data

Michael Dietze1, Sophie Lagarde1, Eran Halfi2, Lina E. Polvi3, Eliisa Lotsari4, Jens M. Turowski1, Jonathan B. Laronne2, and Niels Hovius1
Michael Dietze et al.
  • 1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Geomorphology, Potsdam, Germany (
  • 2Department of Geography and Environmental Development, Unit of Environmental Engineering, Ben- Gurion University of the Negev, Beersheba, Israel
  • 3Department of Ecology and Environmental Science, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden
  • 4Department of Geographical and Historical Studies, University of Eastern Finland, 80100 Joensuu, Finland

Constraining bedload flux in rivers is a challenging objective, especially when the data need to be continuous, beyond-point estimates. Seismometers are potentially valuable alternatives to in‐stream devices, which involve extensive measurement infrastructure or labour‐intensive manual sampling that can be potentially dangerous. We present a Monte Carlo-based inverse approach to deducing hydraulic and bedload transport dynamics continuously, with high temporal resolution, from seismic data, that averages the system’s behaviour over tens of metres. Water depths and bedload fluxes can be reproduced with average deviations of 0.10 m and 0.02 kg/sm, respectively. The method is validated against synthetic data sets and independently measured metrics from several challenging streams: we show applications of the technique from a flash flood-dominated catchment in Israel (Nahal Eshtemoa), from an ice-covered subarctic river (Sävarån, Sweden), and from a typhoon-driven major mountain river in Taiwan (Liwu River). The presented approach is a generic method implemented in the R package ‘eseis’ that can be used with off-the-shelf seismic equipment, installed at safe distances from potentially hostile conditions with minimum site disturbance.

How to cite: Dietze, M., Lagarde, S., Halfi, E., Polvi, L. E., Lotsari, E., Turowski, J. M., Laronne, J. B., and Hovius, N.: Hydraulic and sediment transport metrics of river systems from inverse modelling of seismic ground motion data, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-4254,, 2020


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