EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Near-bottom sediment transport during flood events on a small mountainous river

Florian Meslard1, François Bourrin1, Yann Balouin2, and Nicolas Robin1
Florian Meslard et al.
  • 1CEFREM, University of Peprignan, France (
  • 2BRGM, University of Montpellier, France

Small mountainous rivers provide an important part of the sedimentary inputs to the oceans. The particularity of theses rivers comes from the fact that their inputs take place mostly during brief and intense flood events. While the quantification of fine sediment flux is fairly well known, sandy inputs are very poorly known and field measurements are scarce. River mouth sand discharge is a key variable in the coastal sediment budget as it participates to the coastline evolution and its protection against marine events. Coarse sediments are mainly transported as bedload, making it difficult to estimate with traditional methods such as traps. In this study, a fixed Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP Nortek Aquapro 1 MHz) was deployed on a bottom frame, near the mouth of the Têt river (SE France) to estimate near-bottom sediment transport during flood events. In addition, cross sections have been undertaken with a Sontek Hydroboard equipped with a Sontek M9 ADP at different water discharge during several flood events. A calibration of the backscatter index was carried out using gravimetric measurements and granulometric analysis of water samples to estimate the sediment flux and the sand proportion. Sediment fluxes were then compared with the altimetric variations observed from bathymetric surveys. Results allowed to characterize the variability of the boundary layer thickness and the sediment concentrations during flood events. Those results give useful information to estimate sand fluxes from mountainous rivers to the coastal area in a context where these are considered to be low or non-existent compared to large coastal rivers.

How to cite: Meslard, F., Bourrin, F., Balouin, Y., and Robin, N.: Near-bottom sediment transport during flood events on a small mountainous river, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-8007,, 2023.