HS9.2 | Quantifying sediment sources, dynamics and the effectiveness of erosion control measures at the catchment scale in the context of global change
Quantifying sediment sources, dynamics and the effectiveness of erosion control measures at the catchment scale in the context of global change
Co-organized by GM6/SSS2
Convener: Olivier Evrard | Co-conveners: Sara CucchiaroECSECS, Vesna Zupanc, Núria Martínez-Carreras, Leticia Gaspar
| Tue, 16 Apr, 08:30–10:15 (CEST)
Room 2.15
Posters on site
| Attendance Tue, 16 Apr, 16:15–18:00 (CEST) | Display Tue, 16 Apr, 14:00–18:00
Hall A
Posters virtual
| Attendance Tue, 16 Apr, 14:00–15:45 (CEST) | Display Tue, 16 Apr, 08:30–18:00
vHall A
Orals |
Tue, 08:30
Tue, 16:15
Tue, 14:00
Torrent control works and soil conservation techniques play pivotal roles in managing catchment hydrology and morphology, regulating water resources, and supporting agricultural activities. Despite their global significance, certain scientific aspects remain unexplored, such as suitable planning and design of restoration actions, prediction of degradation over time, quantification of effectiveness, and assessment after extreme hydrological events. The scarcity of long-term monitoring studies further complicates these pursuits. Remote sensing (RS) emerges as a valuable tool for analyzing past and current situations and monitoring catchment morphology evolution through multi-temporal surveys.

This session aims to foster collaboration and discussion among soil scientists, hydrologists, geomorphologists, and stakeholders. We encourage research contributions on innovative planning and design protocols, emerging techniques for multi-temporal or real-time monitoring using RS, standards for comprehensive analysis of structural and functional conditions, and identification of new challenges like soil-bioengineering techniques and integration of vegetation in check dam systems.

Additionally, the session addresses the quantification of sediment sources and dynamics in river catchments within the context of land use and climate change. Obtaining quantitative information on soil redistribution patterns during storms and identifying sediment sources are essential for designing effective control measures. Sediment tracing and fingerprinting techniques, coupled with soil erosion modeling and sediment budgeting, have contributed significantly, but challenges persist. Contributions are invited on innovative field measurement and sediment sampling techniques, tracing studies using various approaches, investigations of current limitations, applications of radioisotope tracers, and integrated approaches linking different measurement techniques and models for understanding sediment delivery processes.

This integrated approach seeks to address the complex interplay between torrent control, soil conservation, and sediment dynamics, offering a comprehensive perspective on sustainable catchment management. Early career scientists are encouraged to contribute with original and advanced studies.

Orals: Tue, 16 Apr | Room 2.15

Chairpersons: Núria Martínez-Carreras, Olivier Evrard, Sara Cucchiaro
Sediment transfer modelling
On-site presentation
Stephania Rodriguez, Marcel Hürlimann, Vicente Medina, Ona Torra, Raül Oorthuis, and Càrol Puig Polo

In the context of soil erosion modeling, coarse-grained sediments present considerable challenges, particularly concerning sediment production and quantification. This study proposes a module-based quantification approach that integrates different coarse-grained production processes, where one of the main outputs is the source area delimitation and the quantification of mobilizable sediment.

The present study focuses on analyzing shallow landslides and various scenarios of sediment transport to the nearest fluvial system, by implementing the newly developed “Random Connect” code. This code calculates the accumulated volume that travels from the source areas into the fluvial system based on the connectivity index. The chosen case study is the Saldes River basin in the Pyrenees (Spain) The outlet point of this basin is La Baells water reservoir, presently facing siltation challenges arising from sediment transport across the entire drainage area. Reported by CEDEX (2002), the sediment yield delivered to a La Baells Reservoir from the entire drainage area was 4.54 Mg ha−1yr−1 in 2002. In this sense, this water reservoir is utilized for calibrating and validating our model. The quantification of sediment in water reservoirs does not allow to separate the contributions of the different erosive processes at the basin, thus highlighting the importance of the study of the river section to better understand the sediment production.

For model calibration, field surveys were conducted to ascertain the connectivity index to the main river, identify (dis)connectivity factors, and measure fluvial and sediment grain characteristics. Comparing model output with field data enables determination of sediment transport potential and the maximum sediment quantity that can reach the main river. Depending on the connectivity threshold, the results of sediment reaching the main river for a critical rainfall event can vary between 250000 to 10000 m3.

Assessing sediment at the river cross-section helps in defining the principal coarse-grained production phenomena, such as shallow landslides, rock falls and debris flows. Grain characterization of sediment is necessary to study sediment mobilization through a hydrological-driven module. The main objective is to track coarse-grained sediment until it reaches the water reservoir and identify the meteorological and physical factors that trigger the process.

A historical baseline of sediment production has been determined for the Saldes River basin, based on historical landslide inventories, previous triggering events, and meteorological scenarios for the current climate. The assessment considers the impact of climate change in Spain at different timelines based on return periods. The rate of sediment production is determined by analyzing critical climate change scenarios, resulting in values below and above the baseline. This analysis places special emphasis on extreme climate events and the projection of mean annual precipitation.

How to cite: Rodriguez, S., Hürlimann, M., Medina, V., Torra, O., Oorthuis, R., and Puig Polo, C.: Sediment contribution of shallow landslides and flux connectivity of transfer paths in mountainous areas under climate change projections. A case study for the Saldes River basin (Pyrenees, Spain), EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-17307, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-17307, 2024.

On-site presentation
Haftu Yemane, Bart Vermeulen, Berhane Grum, Jantine Baartman, Ton Hoitink, and Martine van der Ploeg

Soil erosion has on– and off-site detrimental effects, including decreased soil quality and sediment buildup in reservoirs. Predicting and monitoring soil erosion is challenging due to the spatio-temporal variation of its triggering factors. Therefore, developing and successfully implementing appropriate intervention measures requires a thorough understanding of its redistribution at the catchment scale. However, many previous soil erosion prediction models have been calibrated/validated based on sediment yield at catchment outlets. This approach does not provide any insight into the sources and sinks of erosion and deposition within the catchments. Furthermore, this approach has limited applicability in regions with no (limited) measured data. Therefore, exploring spatial patterns of erosion and deposition using the recent advances in remote sensing and GIS technologies is advisable. This research integrates the semi-distributed Unit Stream Erosion Deposition (USPED) model, and gully erosion threshold indices, described by stream power index (SPI) and topographic wetness index (TWI), to evaluate the sediment redistribution dynamics of a sub-humid catchment located in Omo-basin in southwestern Ethiopia. The catchment (~77 km2) has a rugged topography with an average slope of 35.8 %. It consists of four primary types of land use and cover (LUC): rangelands (20%), forest areas (19%), built-up areas (7%) and cultivated lands (54%). The (preliminary) results revealed that the gentle and mild slopes contribute more (53%) to the overall annual catchment soil loss (42.5 t.ha-1) from the hillslope. This is because the sediment deposited in the downstream sinks remobilizes, shifting an erosion-limited to a transport-limited system. Moreover, the total contribution of rangelands and forest areas is comparable to that of cultivated lands. Therefore, by focusing our management efforts on these areas, instead of the steeper slopes, we can make a greater impact on the overall sustainability of the catchment.

How to cite: Yemane, H., Vermeulen, B., Grum, B., Baartman, J., Hoitink, T., and van der Ploeg, M.: Exploring the sediment redistribution dynamics of a data-scarce catchment in southwestern Ethiopia using the USPED model and gully erosion threshold indices, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-3919, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-3919, 2024.

Sediment source tracing
On-site presentation
Maria Luna, Alexander Koiter, and David Lobb

Purpose: The characterization of soil properties is an important part of many different types of agri-environmental research including inventory, comparison, and manipulation studies. Sediment source fingerprinting (i.e., tracing) is a method that is increasingly being used to link sediment sources to downstream sediment. There is currently not a standard approach to characterizing sources and the different approaches to sampling have not been well assessed.

Methods: Grid, transect, and likely to erode sampling designs were used to characterize the geochemical, colour, grain size distribution, and soil organic matter content at two sites under contrasting land uses (agricultural and forested). The impact of the three sampling designs on fingerprint selection, source discrimination, and mixing apportionment results was evaluated using a virtual mixture.

Results: The sampling design had a significant impact on the characterization of the two sites investigated. While the number and composition of the fingerprints selected varied between sampling designs there was strong discrimination between sources regardless of the sampling approach. There were deviations in the expected apportionment results, but the overall patterns were similar across the three sampling designs.

Conclusions: Despite having an impact on the characterization of sources, the sampling design used ultimately had little impact on the conclusions drawn from the final apportionment results. Continued work at the watershed scale is needed to fully evaluate the importance of source sampling on the sediment source fingerprinting approach.

How to cite: Luna, M., Koiter, A., and Lobb, D.: Effect of Sampling Design on Characterizing Surface Soil Fingerprinting Properties., EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-20, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-20, 2024.

On-site presentation
Mélory Araujo, Gema Guzmán, José Alfonso Gómez, Alexander Koiter, Stefan Nachtigall, and Pablo Miguel


One of the main impacts of water erosion within a watershed is the downstream deposition of sediments in watercourses and decrease in water quality, esigning and implementing effective soil and water conservation practices to address these impacts requires a soil conservation practices. Increasingly, researchers are using sediment source fingerprinting methods which use physical, biological, and geochemical attributes of the soil and sediments as tracers (Tiecher et al., 2015). Identifying sediment sources enables targeted corrective measures, but tracer selection and fingerprinting feasibility are ongoing debates among experts (Lizaga et al., 2020; Owens et al., 2022).

This study focuses on identifying sediment sources to develop erosion mitigation plans in a 33.3 km² rural river basin, in southern Brazil, crucial for supplying the municipality of Pelotas. Three primary sediment sources were identified: annual crops, perennial forage (pastures), and gutters (river channels). Samples were collected from the surface horizon (0-20 cm) of agricultural land and perennial pastures. Gutter samples were collected from the underground horizon, where active erosion processes were taking place. In total, 116 source samples were obtained. Nine sediment samples were collected from six sites across the study area every two months during 2021-2022, forming three collections for each sub-area of the river basin (A1, A2, and A3). Traditional fingerprinting methods, utilizing geochemical tracers, total organic carbon, and color coefficient tracers in the visible spectrum, were employed to analyze the soil of the contributing area and the sediments. The FingerPro (v1.1; Lizaga, 2018) mixture model was applied to evaluate the contributions of sediment sources to the collected sediment.

This communication presents preliminary results of 37 tracers: 22 geochemical elements, 14 color coefficients, and total organic carbon. Data processing, using FingerPro, was conducted separately by sub-area and sediment collection. Tracer selection involved a-two sequential statistical tests: 1) Kruskal-Wallis (KW) selects tracers with significant differences between at least two sources and 2) Discriminant Function Analysis (DFA) selects optimal tracers that effectively discriminate between the three sediment sources.

The results obtained demonstrated that the selected tracers for each sub-area varied considerably. For example, the tracer selection procedure for sub-area A1 resulted only in total organic carbon as a viable tracer while the number tracers selected for the other two sub-areas were seven and five, for A2 and A3, respectively. Notably, the varying sets of tracers being selected for each sub-area indicate that the heterogeneity in soil properties is an important consideration in sediment source fingerprinting studies. Combining samples from the whole river basin may distort sediment dynamics. Tailored approaches are crucial for accurate understanding and management.


This study was made possible by the generous support of Brazil-CAPES through a doctoral scholarship (Finance Code 001).


Lizaga et al. 2020. Consensus ranking as a method to identify non-conservative and dissenting tracers in fingerprinting studies

Lizaga. 2018. fingerPro 1.1.

Owens, P. N. 2022. Sediment source fingerprinting: are we going in the right direction?.

Tiecher et al. 2015. Combining visible-based-color parameters and geochemical tracers to improve sediment source discrimination and apportionment 

How to cite: Araujo, M., Guzmán, G., Gómez, J. A., Koiter, A., Nachtigall, S., and Miguel, P.: Sediment Source Identification in a Southern Brazilian Watershed: Utilizing Geochemical Properties and Spectral Signatures with Mixing Models, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16690, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-16690, 2024.

On-site presentation
Terry Cox, Patrick Laceby, Markus Greule, Frank Keppler, and Christine Alewell

Land-use specific sediment source apportionment using compound specific isotopic tracers occurs with challenges from both contributions from aquatic  and particulate organic matter sources. Additionally, compound specific tracers have often occurred with co-linearity. Challenging our current understanding of erosion processes, previous studies using compound-specific isotopic tracers regularly indicate forests as the dominant source of sediment. We hypothesized that this estimation may be attributed to misclassifying particulate organic matter as a sediment contribution from forests.

This study is based in Lake Baldegg (Lucerne, Switzerland) and utilizes the δ13C values of lignin-derived methoxy groups and alkane average chain length as an additional land-use-specific tracer to δ13C fatty acids. Three Suess corrections using different tracer residence times are applied to constrain the changing δ13C values of CO2 in the atmosphere over the last 130 years. To identify changes in sediment sources over the last 130 years, contributions of particulate organic matter are determined, and subsequently removed to apportion only the mineral associated soil fraction. To determine the confidence which can be applied to the model’s output, the model's performance is evaluated with 300 mathematical mixtures. The potential misclassification of forest contributions is investigated by merging particulate organic matter and forest sources to simulate tracers which are unable to discriminate between these two sources.

The incorporation of δ13C values of lignin methoxy groups and alkane average chain length as additional tracers successfully expands the problematic one-dimensional mixing line.  Mathematical mixtures demonstrate the improvement of the model’s performance when using both the average chain length and δ13C values of lignin-derived methoxy groups as an additional tracer. Furthermore, they also demonstrate an underestimation of arable contribution. Changes in dominant sediment sources (Forest: pre-1990, Pasture: 1910-1940, Arable: post-1940) highlight the influence of policy-induced land-use changes. Additionally, the study reveals a 37% overestimation of forest contributions to the sediment core due to the inability to discriminate between particulate organic matter and forest sources.

The use of δ13C values of lignin methoxy groups as an additional tracer enables the identification of critical points in the 130-year sediment history of Lake Baldegg. We emphasize the importance of incorporating multiple Suess corrections to constrain the effect of multiple turnover times of tracers. While merging forest and particulate organic matter sources did not alter the dominant source over the last 130 years, it highlighted the need of separating these sources for more accurate apportionment. The study contributes valuable insights to sediment dynamics and land-use impacts, offering guidance for environmental management strategies.

How to cite: Cox, T., Laceby, P., Greule, M., Keppler, F., and Alewell, C.: Using stable carbon isotopes of lignin derived methoxy groups to investigate the impact of historical land use change on sediment/particulate matter dynamics , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-10471, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-10471, 2024.

Erosion and flood mitigation
On-site presentation
Alessio Cislaghi, Dario Bellingeri, Vito Sacchetti, Emanuele Morlotti, and Gian Battista Bischetti

Torrential dynamic is a complex combination of natural processes along a mountain watercourse, including sediment deposition and erosion that cause cross-section occlusions and streambank failure, respectively. Thus, monitoring and managing sediments are fundamental activities for the maintenance in mountain watersheds. To regulate the sediment transport, a common countermeasure is the check dam, designed to control the sediment movement along the watercourse (Piton et al., 2017). Building check dams is complex and expensive, especially in mountain watercourse. These structures largely modify the surrounding environment and landscape; however, if well designed, check dams are very effective solutions to mitigate the potential losses due to flood, debris flood, and debris flow.

This study presents the monitoring of a stretch of a mountain watercourse over several years in an Alpine environment. The observed dominant process was the sediment deposition that has been countered by the construction of a slot check dam. The torrential dynamic has been strongly influenced by this in-channel structure, exacerbating the change of cross-sectional and longitudinal profiles (width and depth of the cross-sections, longitudinal profile, and bed granulometry) not only in proximity of the structure, but also along the observed overall stretch (downstream and upstream). The monitoring consists in measuring the hydrological response during rainfall events and assessing the geomorphic change using digital elevation models differencing (2010, 2014, 2021, 2023). The last topographic surveys were conducted immediately after the construction of the slot check dam and immediately after the first severe debris flood occurred several months later.

The results of monitoring show a clear geomorphic evolution along the observed stretch, contrary to the previously detected tendency of sediment dynamics and, moreover, a different hydrological response at downstream of the structure. As expected, sediments were trapped upstream of the structure, whereas a severe erosion removed the armoring layer bringing to light several bed sills at downstream.

This study underlines how artificial works have a spatially distributed effects on geomorphological change, on hydraulic behaviour, and in some cases on the flood hazards (also far from the structure). Thus, the prediction of geomorphological change, even if qualitative, is extremely important to improve the effectiveness of the check dam in managing sediment dynamics. In addition, sharing this information is essential to support designers (showing practical examples) in planning works not only focusing on the structural and hydraulic perspectives, but also from a geomorphological point of view, which is often neglected.

Piton, G., Carladous, S., Recking, A., Tacnet, J.M., Liébault, F., Kuss, D., Quefféléan, Y., Marco, O., 2017. Why do we build check dams in Alpine streams? An historical perspective from the French experience: A Review of the Subtle Knowledge of 19th Century Torrent-Control-Engineers. Earth Surf. Process. Landforms 42, 91–108. https://doi.org/10.1002/esp.3967

How to cite: Cislaghi, A., Bellingeri, D., Sacchetti, V., Morlotti, E., and Bischetti, G. B.: Impacts of check dams: a monitoring experience along a mountain watercourse, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7827, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-7827, 2024.

On-site presentation
Martyn T. Roberts, Josie Geris, Paul D. Hallett, and Mark E. Wilkinson

Temporary Storage Areas (TSAs), such as bunds, offline ponds and leaky barriers represent a nature-based solution that can offer additional storage during storm events. They are designed to intercept and attenuate surface runoff, thereby addressing various catchment challenges, including flooding, water scarcity, and soil erosion. Soil infiltration is a key TSA outflow, particularly for more common small to medium storm events, meaning TSA functioning may vary between sites with different soil properties and be time-variable due to the dynamic nature of soil structure. The lack of understanding of TSA functioning in space and time represents a major knowledge gap and acts as a limiting factor for the widespread implementation of TSAs. To address these challenges, there is a need for a TSA analysis approach that allows for the systematic evaluation of TSA functioning.  The overall aim of this study was to enhance understanding of TSA functioning and explore variability in functioning with space and time. Specifically, the objectives were to: (i) develop a systematic data-based method for characterising the functioning of various TSA types; and (ii) assess the effect of spatial and temporal soil variability on TSA functioning and flood mitigation effectiveness.


Here we present the TSA Drainage Rate Analysis tool (TSA-DRA tool), a new data-based mechanistic approach that utilises only rainfall and water level to characterise drainage of individual TSAs. Results from a multi-site TSA assessment in the UK revealed time-variable functioning, especially at lower levels when soil infiltration is the dominant outflow. We explored this further by assessing changes in soil physical properties (bulk density, macroporosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity) at two TSA sites. These sites shared the same TSA type (bund) and had similar volumes (~250 m3) and soils (Cambisols). However, they differed in land use (winter wheat vs spring barley and blackcurrants) and TSA surface area (800 m2 vs 2800 m2). Soil cores were taken across three spatial zones: (1) TSA active zone (<10% full) – inundated for the longest time; (2) full zone (>50% full) – active during large storms; and (3) Field zone – field control points outside the wetted footprint. This assessment was then repeated for significant temporal events e.g., post-harvest, growing season and post-flood. Results show significant soil structure variations over time and space, with degradation more pronounced in soils within the TSA wetted footprint due to inundation. While tillage effectively reset topsoil structure at one site, its impact was negligible at the other site due to variations in land management, coupled with high sedimentation post-flooding, altering near-surface soil texture. Results from a modelling exercise suggest that well-structured soils with higher infiltration rates can improve TSA effectiveness during a large storm event by reducing the volume and frequency of overflow compared to a degraded soil. Gaining insights into spatial and temporal variations in TSA functioning is crucial for optimising both current and future TSA designs and maintenance regimes.

How to cite: Roberts, M. T., Geris, J., Hallett, P. D., and Wilkinson, M. E.: Understanding spatial and temporal functioning of temporary storage areas to improve their flood mitigation effectiveness, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1585, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-1585, 2024.

On-site presentation
Federico Preti, Sara Pini, Giorgio Cassiani, Andrea Dani, Yamuna Giambastiani, Luca Peruzzo, and Luigi Piemontese

Faced with a decline in water resources due to precipitation reduction and variability, it is fundamental to identify potential natural "reservoirs" and quantify their water retention capacity. This study examined approaches to estimate the water content rapidly and systematically in the sediment upstream of check dams at different scales, even with limited input data.

The study was conducted in the northern part of Tuscany, with a specific focus on the Casentino Valley. After gathering the necessary databases and information, an estimation model was developed using QGIS Model Designer, and geophysical surveys were performed using Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT).

The QGIS-based model relies on limited input data, including the geographical positioning of weirs, the hydrographic network, and a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the study area. This method provides useful initial approximate estimates of the water resources in the study area. The ERT surveys revealed varying patterns depending on the lithology of different areas, but a clear discontinuity between the sediment wedge and the original riverbed was observed, confirming the effectiveness of this tool in analyzing each individual structure. With the data obtained through the databases, it was also possible to conduct an analysis on the relationship between the original slope and the compensation slope of sediment wedges, and the distance between check dams located on the same river reach.

In the perspective of utilizing these natural reservoirs, possible maintenance interventions are proposed, especially on the existing spillways, to make a portion of the available water usable, accompanied by an assessment of potential implications. In the future, implementing the outlined procedures and integrating them with other tools could provide support for evaluating and utilizing these "hidden water resources."

How to cite: Preti, F., Pini, S., Cassiani, G., Dani, A., Giambastiani, Y., Peruzzo, L., and Piemontese, L.: Accumulation of water and sediments upstream of Tuscan check dams, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-20399, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-20399, 2024.

On-site presentation
Jost Sodnik, Matjaž Mikoš, and Nejc Bezak

Various sediment-related disasters such as flash floods, debris flows and landslides can occur in an alpine torrential catchment area. To protect infrastructure and human life, various structural and non-structural (grey, green and hybrid infrastructure) protection measures can be used to mitigate torrential risks. An overview is given of the protective measures constructed near the Krvavec ski resort in north-western Slovenia (Central Europe). In May 2018, an extreme debris flood occurred in this area, causing considerable economic damage. After the event in May 2018, various field investigations (e.g. geological and topographical surveys) and modeling applications (e.g. hydrological modeling, debris flow) were carried out to prepare the necessary input data for the design of protective measures against such disasters in the future — due to climate change, further disasters are expected in this torrential catchment area. Compensatory measures include the engineering works of local streams, the construction of a large silt check dam for sediment retention, the construction of several smaller retention dams and the construction of 16 flexible net barriers with an estimated retention volume of ~8000 m3 to control erosion. A comprehensive monitoring system was also set up in the study area to observe and monitor potential future extreme events. This monitoring system includes measurements of corrosion of flexible nets, estimation of concrete abrasion on retention dams, regular geodetic surveys with small drones (UAV) and hydro-meteorological measurements with rain gauges and water level sensors. The recent extreme floods of August 2023 also hit this part of Slovenia, and this combination of technical countermeasures withstood the event and prevented large amounts of coarse debris from being transported to the downstream section and destroying infrastructure, as was the case in a less extreme event in May 2018. Therefore, such mitigation measures can also be used in other torrential catchment areas in the alpine environment.

How to cite: Sodnik, J., Mikoš, M., and Bezak, N.: Measures to mitigate torrential hazards in a typical alpine catchment area in Slovenia, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-21734, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-21734, 2024.

On-site presentation
Tomáš Galia, Václav Škarpich, and Tereza Macurová

Beyond land-use alterations at the catchment scale, numerous mountain catchments across Europe have experienced significant morphological changes and shifts in sediment transport dynamics over the past two centuries, largely attributable to the implementation of torrent control structures. A notable example is the mountainous part of the Czech Carpathians, where a comprehensive sediment management regime was introduced at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. This approach, based on methodologies established in the Austrian Alps, encompassed the installation of check dams and artificial bank stabilizations. Such practices have remained predominant in these areas, with certain catchments smaller than 25 km² exhibiting substantial portions of their stream lengths stabilized through sequences of consolidation check dams, bed sills, and riprap bank stabilizations.

However, it is crucial to consider the distinct nature of external factors influencing rainfall-runoff processes and sediment supply in the 19th century. This period was marked by the end of the Little Ice Age and a higher prevalence of deforested areas, linked with active gully development. Given the contemporary context of extensive reforestation and subtly altered hydroclimatic conditions, the appropriateness of continuing such 'hard and intensive' management strategies for local streams warrants reassessment.

Consequently, a sediment deficit in both mountain channels and foothill gravel-bed rivers has been observed. It resulted in channel transformation with sediment coarsening, the loss of gravel bars (as vital habitats), and, in some instances, channel incision into the bedrock. This situation necessitates a reconsideration of sediment-control strategies within the frameworks of fluvial continuum and sediment (dis)connectivity, particularly since these headwaters function as primary sediment sources. Without modifying these management approaches, enhancing the hydromorphological state of streams and rivers in the Czech Carpathians remains a formidable challenge.

How to cite: Galia, T., Škarpich, V., and Macurová, T.: (Dis)connected mountain headwaters: advocating for a paradigm shift in sediment management strategies, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9330, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-9330, 2024.

Posters on site: Tue, 16 Apr, 16:15–18:00 | Hall A

Display time: Tue, 16 Apr 14:00–Tue, 16 Apr 18:00
Chairpersons: Leticia Gaspar, Vesna Zupanc, Olivier Evrard
Sediment transfer modelling
Pohsuan Lin, Tsungyu Hsieh, Kuowei Liao, Kailun Wei, and Guanyu Lin

To mitigate riverbed erosion both longitudinally and transversely, control water flow, and stabilize riverbanks, the use of groundsills has become a widely adopted engineering method. For large conservation areas, using a series of groundsills is standard practice. However, the sediment transport in rivers is a dynamic process, and the implementation of series groundsills can cause discontinuities in the longitudinal corridor of the river, leading to damage to the ecological environment and landscape. Although there is considerable consensus on various aspects of series of groundsills, current research primarily focuses on the influence of the configuration of groundsills (such as height and width) on sediment downstream. Therefore, this project aims to estimate the trends in sediment transport through scaled experiments and numerical simulations. Results shown that according to the analysis results, neither the Q5 nor Q95 criteria are met in the proposed plan for the complete removal of the groundsills. This project believes that the complete removal of the groundsills may have a drastic impact on the environment, potentially leading to unstable conditions, and thus requires careful evaluation. The design of openings in the groundsills is an effective ecological adjustment project. Regarding the design of the opening height, this project suggests considering two factors: one is to reduce the similar damming effect caused by lowering the elevation, and the other is the gathering of water flow. It is a trade-off between these two factors. Increasing the depth of the opening may benefit the ecology but could lead to unintended erosion due to concentrated water flow, and vice versa.According to the analysis results, neither the Q5 nor Q95 criteria are met in the proposed plan for the complete removal of the fixed-bed structure. This project believes that the complete removal of the fixed-bed structure may have a drastic impact on the environment, potentially leading to unstable conditions, and thus requires careful evaluation. The design of openings in the fixed-bed structure is an effective ecological adjustment project. Regarding the design of the opening height, this project suggests considering two factors: one is to reduce the similar damming effect caused by lowering the elevation, and the other is the gathering of water flow. It is a trade-off between these two factors. Increasing the depth of the opening may benefit the ecology but could lead to unintended erosion due to concentrated water flow, and vice versa. he proposed plans can optimize benefits for both upstream and downstream water conservation, and protect downstream objectives by managing sediment transport.

Keywords: series groundsill, ecology, sustainable management, sediment transport

How to cite: Lin, P., Hsieh, T., Liao, K., Wei, K., and Lin, G.: Impact Analysis of Series of Groundsills on the Fluvial Stability and Geomorpholog, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-7560, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-7560, 2024.

Wen-Shun Huang, Jinn-Chyi Chen, Kuo-Hua Chien, Yue-Ting Lia, and Fan Wu

In this study, the variations of rainfall, river discharges and suspended sediment discharges were analyzed in the Chenyulan watershed in Nantou County, central Taiwan. The hydrological data, such as rainfall, daily discharges and daily suspended sediment discharges, was collected based on Neimaopu hydrology station during the period from 1972 to 2020. The yearly costs of structure conservation to prevent sediment disasters and slope hazard events were implemented in the watershed between 1999 and 2020 as well. The Rating Curve Method with the formula Qs=aQb is adopted to estimate sediment discharges with the corresponding discharge events. The impact factors that caused the variation of discharges and suspended sediment discharges were also analyzed to provide the references for the influence of geological and hydrological changes on sediment yielded on slope and following suspended sediment discharges in the rivers in the watershed. The analyzed results show that the suspended sediment discharges in 1972-1989 are less than the average value in 1990-2009 at the same discharges. The suspended sediment discharges in 2010-2020 are gradually reverted to that in 1972-1989. The causes of decreasing the suspended sediment discharges in last decade are analyzed, including: 1. The variations of rainfall were gradually calmed in last decade; 2. the loose soil on slopes in the watershed caused by Chi-Chi earthquake became concreted with time; 3. the landslide and debris flow disasters obviously decreased in last decade and the soil yield from slopes has slowed down; 4. the local government involved a lot of money to build the conservation structures in upstream creeks to trap the loose soil and control the volume of sediments from flowing into rivers.

How to cite: Huang, W.-S., Chen, J.-C., Chien, K.-H., Lia, Y.-T., and Wu, F.: Impacts of rainfall variability on river discharges and suspended discharges : A Case Study in Chenyulan Watershed, Taiwan, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5507, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-5507, 2024.

A novel framework for turbidity source analysis of the urban lakeside river network
(withdrawn after no-show)
Renhua Yan and Junfeng Gao
Matteo Benetti, Payam Heidarian, Riccardo Bonomelli, and Marco Pilotti

The measurement of river bed grain size has become an integral aspect of fieldwork in river geomorphology and regional ecology. Over the past years, various authors have proposed remote sensing methodologies to assess grain size based on ground and aerial images. With the burgeoning applications of small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) in geomorphology, there is a burgeoning interest in leveraging these remote sensing granulometry methods for SUAS imagery. However, a dearth of studies exists that systematically investigate spatially consecutive images yielding grading curves or specifications over extensive areas within mountainous watersheds.

This study focuses on the granulometry of the mountainous watershed in Val Camonica, located in northern Italy, employing a drone for initial photographic documentation. The study incorporates the BaseGrain software for importing drone spatially consecutive images and extracting granulation curves from the photographed areas. Additionally, the study encompasses the utilization of Structure-from-Motion (SfM) photogrammetry within a Ground Control Points (GCP) workflow to scale the drone-acquired photos. The precision of this scaling is systematically validated by comparing photos with scaling images including meter using BaseGrain software. The precision of AGISOFT software, employed in the SfM-photogrammetry process, is also critically evaluated by itself with different numbers of benchmarks.

Results indicate that, despite the non-professional nature of the instrumentation, the acquisition of high-resolution images is feasible. These images enable the generation of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) with accuracies ranging between 2 and 3 cm, contingent upon the number of ground control points. The granulation curve, extracted through BaseGrain, exhibits acceptable accuracy within meter-scale resolution. This research contributes valuable insights into the potential of SUAS-based remote sensing granulometry for mountainous watersheds and underscores the importance of methodological precision for reliable results in river geomorphology studies.

How to cite: Benetti, M., Heidarian, P., Bonomelli, R., and Pilotti, M.: Exploring Remote Sensing Methodologies for River Bed Grain Size: Insights from a Mountainous Watershed Study in Val Camonica, Italy, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5752, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-5752, 2024.

Varvara Bazilova, Leon Duurkoop, Jacob Hirschberg, Tjalling de Haas, and Walter Immerzeel

Debris flows are fast-moving masses of rock, soil, and water, which occur in mountain areas all over the world. Debris flows achieve maximum discharges that are many times greater than those associated with floods and are therefore often hazardous to people and infrastructure. Contrary to the general expectations that climate change will increase the magnitude and frequency of the debris flows, recent assessments have shown that under certain conditions future climate may increase the sediment transport capacity, but could also favor a reduction of the sediment supply and, therefore, reduce debris-flow activity.  The impact of glacier retreat together with future climate conditions on debris-flow catchments is not yet fully understood, but it is expected to increase due to uncovered glacial till, increased hillslope instabilities and an increase in peak rainfall intensities. We aim to quantify the effect of the changes in water availability (changes in precipitation regime, but also glacier meltwater) together with the subsequent landscape changes in climatically contrasting catchments in High Mountain Asia (HMA) on the frequency and magnitude of debris flows. We address it by further extending the sediment cascade model (SedCas), expanding the available hydrological response units to bedrock, vegetated and glaciated parts of the catchment. We further investigate (1) how sediment yield and debris flow magnitude-frequency change over time, and (2) how deglaciation and catchment greening (changes of land cover) affect debris flow activity for different climate regions across High Mountain Asia. We find that in the case study of sediment-unlimited catchments, from 1950 to 2022, glacier retreat increases the water supply. That, in combination with the warming temperatures (and therefore the change in the partitioning of the solid and liquid precipitation) and the decrease in number of extreme precipitation events, results in a decrease in the debris-flow activity. These preliminary results show that changes are not consistent across HMA and highly depend on the climatic regime and elevation. Our findings shed light on the debris flow and flood hazard in the data-scarce areas of HMA and highlight the importance of considering regional climate conditions for hazard assessment in addition to region-wide estimation of glacier retreat. The future development will investigate the sediment-limited conditions. 

How to cite: Bazilova, V., Duurkoop, L., Hirschberg, J., de Haas, T., and Immerzeel, W.: Deglaciation and debris flow dynamics: how does the glacier retreat affect debris flow activity in High Mountain Asia? , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-20102, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-20102, 2024.

Sediment source tracing
Olivier Evrard and the TRACING Event organisers and participants

Several innovative techniques have been developed recently opening up new avenues to establish the assessment of sediment flux in the critical zone. These innovative techniques include the tracing or “fingerprinting” methods to identify the sources and quantify the dynamics of sediment and particle-bound contaminants. However, the use of these techniques is often associated with several methodological and statistical limitations, that are often reported although rarely addressed in the framework of concerted actions taken at the level of the international scientific community.

This presentation will present the main outcomes of the Thematic School organised in 2024 and the Scientific Meeting Days organised in 2022 and 2023 as a follow-up of a first training week organised in 2021 to bring together international experts working on these topics together. Based on the publication of an opinion paper (https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11368-022-03203-1), new strategies to publish and disseminate sediment tracing databases will be presented. An example of formatted dataset will be given, with the objective to test research hypotheses based on multiple datasets adopting the same format of data/meta-data. Other perspectives regarding improvements of the sediment fingerprinting method in terms of modelling, tracer options and selection will also be presented.

How to cite: Evrard, O. and the TRACING Event organisers and participants: TRACING 2021-2024 – Feedback on international events to develop novel strategies of sediment tracing in catchments and river systems, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1817, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-1817, 2024.

Núria Martínez-Carreras, Jean François Iffly, and Laurent Pfister

Most of the total sediment load transported in river systems is carried in suspension. Therefore, if we are to reduce soil erosion and sediment export, it is essential to determine suspended sediment sources and the drivers of its mobilisation into the river network. In this study, we combined the monitoring of suspended sediment fluxes and the sediment fingerprinting approach to test if pre-event conditions and rainfall-runoff characteristics drive suspended sediment source variability in catchments under a semi-oceanic climate. The sedimentological response to storm runoff events was studied in seven nested sub-catchments of the Attert River basin (0.4 - 245 km2), which have contrasting geological bedrock (sandstone, marls and shale) and land uses (forest, cropland and grassland). We collected stream water samples during storm runoff events (~30 events per catchment) using automatic water samplers to measure suspended sediment fluxes. In parallel, time-integrated suspended sediment and sediment sources samples (i.e., from different land use types) were collected and analysed in the laboratory (geochemistry, colour and organic properties) to determine the sediment origin using the sediment fingerprinting approach. Each sampled event was parameterized to describe rainfall, runoff, sediment transport and the relative contribution of each land use type to the sampled suspended sediment. Next, we assessed the relationships between variables. We found higher significant correlations between suspended sediment loads and runoff parameters (i.e., peak discharge and event runoff) than between suspended sediment loads and rainfall parameters (i.e., event precipitation, antecedent rainfall, and maximum rainfall intensity). Peak discharge for single events was found to be the best predictor of sediment loads in the studied catchments. We show that most events exhibit clockwise hysteretic loops between discharge and suspended sediment concentration in all studied catchments. We attribute this finding to the erosion or remobilization of sediment previously deposited on the channel bed or an adjacent area. During most of these events with clockwise hysteretic loops, sediment source apportionment presented a consistent pattern.

How to cite: Martínez-Carreras, N., Iffly, J. F., and Pfister, L.: Pre-event conditions and rainfall–runoff characteristics drive suspended sediment source variability, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16692, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-16692, 2024.

Leticia Gaspar, Borja Latorre, Ivan Lizaga, and Ana Navas

Sediment fingerprinting has become a key tool to identify and quantify sediment sources within a catchment. The technique involves statistical testing of a range of properties of source materials to identify a set of tracers that can effectively discriminate between different potential sources before estimating the source contributions with unmixing models. However, despite its increasing popularity among researchers, there is a lack of standardized procedures for tracer selection, which is crucial to estimating a reliable contribution of sediment sources. The most widespread methodology consisted of an initial mass conservation test, usually termed range test (RT), followed by the use of Kruskal-Wallis (KW) and discriminant function analysis (DFA) tests. However, KW and DFA even though identifies the best combination of tracers that provide the maximum discrimination between sources, do not incorporate the information of the sediment mixtures in the analysis. Novel methods highlight the importance of selecting the right tracers for each individual mixture and avoid the inclusion of tracers out of consensus or with non-conservative behavior by using consensus ranking (CR) and consistent tracer selection (CTS) methods. This contribution addresses the role of selecting appropriate tracers, demonstrating their impact on the results of the unmixing model. The main objectives are to emphasize the importance of considering the information provided by the sediment mixture in the selection of tracers and to pay attention to the impact of having sediment mixtures with values below the detection limit of the tracer being selected for source discrimination. A set of experimental and real sediment mixtures were selected to explore the different tracer selection methods, comparing the tracers selected and the contribution of sources obtained using the FingerPro unmixing model. We present the results of rigorously testing methodologies with the aim of understanding and assessing the suitability of each tracer selection method to select a combination of statistical and process-based criteria to select appropriate sediment properties for the unmixing models. Our findings highlight the importance of considering the information on the sediment mixture information for the selection of potential tracers, an aspect often neglected by conventional methods. This oversight can result in biased findings due to the use of tracers that are either not coherent or not conservative.

How to cite: Gaspar, L., Latorre, B., Lizaga, I., and Navas, A.: Advancing sediment fingerprinting techniques: The importance of considering sediment mixtures data in tracer selection, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-20482, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-20482, 2024.

Chantal Schmidt, David Mair, Fritz Schlunegger, Brian McArdell, Marcus Christl, and Naki Akçar

In this study, we quantify the spatial variation in sediment generation for the c. 12 km2 large Gürbe catchment situated at the northern margin of the Swiss Alps. We particularly trace the sediment transfer from the hillslope to the channel network in the headwaters, and finally to the depositional fan at the downstream end of the catchment. Mapping shows that sediment production in the Gürbe catchment occurs through three primary mechanisms: (1) overland flow erosion generating sand and silt, contributing to the generation of suspension loads; (2) shallow and deep-seated landslides linked to the main channel, both supplying a mixture of gravel, boulders, and silt/sand during floods, thus generating sediment for both the bedload and suspension load of the Gürbe River; and (3) incision of the river into glacial till in the upper headwaters and into landslides farther downstream. The bedrock of the Gürbe catchment comprises Molasse, Flysch, and Quaternary deposits, posing challenges in tracing the origin of the material and estimating the relative importance of the various processes for sediment generation.  However, previous research has shown that the cosmogenic 10Be concentration can differ for various sediment sources (Cruz Nunes et al. 2015; e.g.). Therefore, we measured 10Be concentrations in the sand fraction (0.25 – 2 mm) in the main channel and in the tributaries, aiming to capture suspension load signals generated through overland flow erosion and landslides. As a novel approach, we also determined the bulk 10Be concentration of gravels (2 – 10 cm) collected from the same sampling locations in the Gürbe channel, in the three tributaries as well as from the landslide tongues reaching into the Gürbe. The results point to three different conclusions: First, there exists a clear difference between the signals measured in the sand fraction and the gravel samples. In particular, the 10Be concentrations in the sand fraction are two to four times higher than those measured in the gravel at the same sites. This grain size dependence aligns with previous findings by Puchol et al. (2014). Second, the sand samples in the main channel show a downstream decrease in 10Be concentration, thereby reflecting the supply of material from the tributaries and particularly from the landslides with low 10Be concentrations. Third, bulk gravel samples reveal a larger variability in 10Be concentrations than the sand samples at the same locations. This suggests that the supply and downstream transport of the coarse-grained bedload material occurs more episodic than the generation and transfer of the suspension load. 



Cruz Nunes, F., Delunel, R., Schlunegger, F., Akçar, N., & Kubik, P. (2015): Bedrock bedding, landsliding and erosional budgets in the Central European Alps. Terra Nova, 27(5), 370-378.

Puchol, Nicolas; Lavé, Jérôme; Lupker, Maarten; Blard, Pierre-Henri; Gallo, Florian; France-Lanord, Christian (2014): Grain-size dependent concentration of cosmogenic 10Be and erosion dynamics in a landslide-dominated Himalayan watershed. In: Geomorphology 224, S. 55–68.

How to cite: Schmidt, C., Mair, D., Schlunegger, F., McArdell, B., Christl, M., and Akçar, N.: Quantifying Sediment Dynamics in an Alpine River Catchment using a 10Be Tracing Method , EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-9807, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-9807, 2024.

Prapawadee Srisunthon, Alex Berger, Alex Fuelling, Mubarak Abdulkarim, Damien Ertlen, Daniela Mueller, Jakob Wilk, Meike Reubold, and Frank Preusser

Monsoon-induced floods have played a pivotal role in shaping the fortunes of Asian civilizations and communities over the millennia, and their far-reaching consequences persist to this day. This study delves into the floodplain east of Nan ancient city, a city during Lan Na period in northern Thailand dating back to the 13th century AD. Our primary objective was to unravel the source direction of a catastrophic flood event in 1818 AD, which ultimately led to the city's relocation. Our sedimentological analyses revealed a diverse range of deposition. An innovative provenance study using mid-infrared spectroscopy (MIRS), conducted for the first time in this region, indicated a significant contribution from eastern tributaries not from the Nan River. Only two of the nine sediment cores (WTR and HH2) presented evidence of Nan River sediment. Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating revealed a striking pattern: modern floods dominated the shallow depths (ca. 0-1.10 m) of all cores, while deeper layers exhibited unexpectedly older ages, exceeding 11,000 years. This finding aligns with climate data from multiple proxies, suggesting that Nan ancient city, akin to neighboring e.g. Kingdom of Angkor, endured a dry period. Based on these comprehensive findings, we postulate that the 1818 AD flood catastrophe originated from the east. The deluge may have been triggered by rainfall during an extended dry spell, when the parched and compacted soil's permeability was severely diminished. This sudden surge of water swiftly transported the sediment, ultimately inundating and devastating the city. The insights gained from this study are a reminder of the profound impact of monsoon-related floods on human settlements in Asia. By understanding the conceptions between sedimentology, provenance, and climate, we can better comprehend the historical and ongoing challenges posed by these natural disasters and advance strategies for sustainable development in vulnerable regions.

Keywords: flood sediment, monsoon, Southeast Asia,  provenance analysis, OSL dating, Lan Na, Nan, Thailand

How to cite: Srisunthon, P., Berger, A., Fuelling, A., Abdulkarim, M., Ertlen, D., Mueller, D., Wilk, J., Reubold, M., and Preusser, F.: Reconstructing the Flood History of Nan Ancient City: Insights from Sedimentary Analysis, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8164, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-8164, 2024.

Erosion and flood mitigation
Carlo Gregoretti, Matteo Barbini, Martino Bernard, Mauro Boreggio, Sandival Lopez, and Massimiliano Schiavo

Usual works for the reduction of the sediment volume transported by debris flows are the retention basins. Retention basins are usually built on the intermediate and low-sloping reaches of the debris-flow channels or at their end, where the terrain slope is usually not high. When the space required for trapping all the sediment volume is not available or the upper part of the basin must be protected deposition areas can be used. The deposition area is a retention basin without the downstream berm, to be placed in the high-sloping reach of a debris-flow channel. Therefore, it is proposed an approach for the progressive reduction of the sediment volume transported by debris flow: an in-series combination of deposition areas in the high-sloping reaches of the channel, and retention basins in the intermediate low-sloping reaches of the flow path.

An application of such approach is shown for the design of the control works on Ru Secco Creek at the purpose of defending the resort area and the village of San Vito di Cadore (Northeast Italian Alps).

How to cite: Gregoretti, C., Barbini, M., Bernard, M., Boreggio, M., Lopez, S., and Schiavo, M.: An approach for the reduction of the sediment volume transported by debris flow from the high-sloping reach of a debris-flow channel, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-4719, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-4719, 2024.

Zahra Karimidastenaei, Hamid Darabi, and Ali Torabi Haghighi

Impact of dam construction on suspended sediment load alteration

Zahra Karimidastenaei a*, Hamid Darabi b, Ali Torabi Haghighi a


a Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland.

bDepartment of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

*Corresponding author: Email: zahra.karimidastenaei@gmail.com



Climate change and human activities have always impacted the fluvial processes, encompassing floods, soil erosion, sedimentation, and sediment transport in rivers, resulting in huge environmental concerns. Dynamics analysis of suspended sediment concentration (SSC) is a determining factor in the sediment budgets, and it has an important role in water resources management. In the current research, the relationship of the suspended sediment (SS) with precipitation (R) and flow discharge (Q) has been analyzed to assess the impact of Saveh Dam on the SSC during 1971-1982 and 1983-1994 as pre and 1995-2006 and 2007-2018 as post-impact periods in the Ghareh-chay basin, Iran. To quantify the spatio-temporal variation of SSC (due to climate change and anthropogenic activities such as dam construction and land use changes), a new measure Δα-based approach was introduced. The newly developed approach, referred to as the Δα-based method, was formulated by calculating the angle between (or the change in the slope of) the optimal Precipitation-Sediment (P-S) and Flow-Sediment (F-S) fit lines. This calculation is conducted spatially, encompassing both upstream and downstream locations, and temporally, by comparing data from different periods. The findings showed that Δα for the Precipitation-Sediment (P-S) relationship between upstream and downstream increased significantly after the Saveh dam commissioning. Initially, Δα was measured at 2.69 degrees and 1.35 degrees for the two pre-impact periods upstream and downstream, respectively. However, these values rose to 5.65 degrees and 9.39 degrees in the corresponding post-impact periods. Based on these results, it is evident that the notable changes in Δα for the Precipitation-Sediment relationship between upstream and downstream indicate the dam's impact on the Suspended Sediment Concentration (SSC) patterns in the Ghareh-chay river. The relatively short distance between the upstream and downstream gauge stations further supports the conclusion that these observed changes in Δα are directly attributable to the dam's influence, significantly altering sediment dynamics in the river system.

Keywords: Saveh dam; dynamics analysis; pre- and post-impacted; quantitative approach, sediment rating curve


Fig. 1. Location of the study area

How to cite: Karimidastenaei, Z., Darabi, H., and Torabi Haghighi, A.: Impact of dam construction on suspended sediment load alteration, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-5559, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-5559, 2024.

Georg Nagl, Johannes Hübl, and Jürgen Suda

Austria has a wide variety of protection structures at different condition levels due to the long tradition of torrent control works in the Austrian Alps. This has resulted in a large stock of protection structures and load models. In order to standardise the design of technical structures based on the Eurocode, including torrential processes, snow avalanches and rock fall, an interdisciplinary working group (ON-K-256) was established. The standardisation for torrential processes covers the definition and classification, the impact on structures, the design of structures, and the operation, monitoring and maintenance. These parts are based on and interact with EN 1990 (the basis of structural design), EN 1992-1-1 (the design of concrete structures), EN 1997-7 (geotechnical design) and the related documents for the Austrian national specifications. For torrential mass wasting processes with high variability in the concentration of solids, modern protection concepts are scenario-oriented. To optimize the mitigation measures for a multi-stage system, a functional chain must be implemented. This chain should have different structures to perform various functions such as dosing, filtering, and energy dissipation. When designing these torrential mitigation structures, it is necessary to simplify the model parameters, stress model, and load distribution. For debris flows, a standardized stress model combines the static and dynamic loads of debris flow impact on structures. This model was calibrated using available impact measurements of real debris flows and is in good agreement with common engineering design methods in Austria for debris flow impact on torrential barriers. The proposed method enables practitioners to design debris flow countermeasures with limited data availability.

How to cite: Nagl, G., Hübl, J., and Suda, J.: The new Austrian standard ÖNORM B4800 for torrent control work, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8068, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-8068, 2024.

Francesco Piccinin, Lorenzo Martini, Sara Cucchiaro, Giacomo Pellegrini, Eleonora Maset, Alberto Beinat, Tommaso Baggio, Federico Cazorzi, and Lorenzo Picco

In mountain basins, the predominant approach to control the supply and transport of large volumes of sediment involves the installation of hydraulic structures within the channel network. While torrent control works are fundamental in reducing flash flood impacts, their effectiveness during time need regular monitoring and maintenance. However, few studies have proposed a workflow based on simple factors and criteria collected in the field to prioritize management interventions of torrent control works in a mountain basin. In this work, the aims are to assess the effectiveness of the hydraulic structures and to quantify their impact on sediment continuity in the Vegliato mountain basin (Italy), affected by a flash flood event occurred on the 30th July 2021. First, rainfall data from 2019 to 2022 are analyzed to detect and characterize the event that caused the flash flood. The assessment of post-event status and functionality of the control works is done using a novel Maintenance Priority index (MPi), distinguishing the structures that no longer fulfil their role and providing an overview on the maintenance and re-planning of the management system. These results integrate the analysis of multi-temporal High Resolution Topography (HRT) data deriving from LiDAR surveys. DEMs of Difference (DoDs) are generated to map the geomorphic changes occurred during the event, quantifying the sediment fluxes impacting on the control works and viceversa. The role of torrent control works is also analyzed in terms of continuity of the sediment cascade applying a novel parameter, the Sediment (dis)Continuity Ratio (SCR), which assesses the capability of the torrent control works system in intercepting and storing a sediment mass fraction constituting the cascade (obtained by DoD) and identifies the hydraulic structures that contribute or limit the sediment (dis)continuity along the channel network.

The application of the MPi indicates that the 16% of the control works should be given the highest maintenance priority (MPi = 1). The 45% of the hydraulic structures exhibit 0.63 ≤ MPi ≤ 0.88 and are in need of intervention to ensure the durability of the structures themselves. On the other hand, 12% of the control works require re-planning operations (0.25 ≤ MPi ≤ 0.50) due to their good structural condition but low functionality. Eventually, the 25% of the structures show MPi = 0 and are in the lowest range of priority for the interventions. These results were also corroborated by the DoD results, which supported the MPi. The analysis of the SCR shows how several torrent control works, especially the ones located in the upper part of the catchment, promote continuity (SCR from -100 to -0.1). On the other hand, several structures in the middle part of the main channel show positive SCR values, therefore promoting discontinuity. The highest values of SCR are found in the downstream and wider part of the main channel.

Finally, the workflow composed of different methodologies adopted in this work provides a detailed overview of the interaction between sediment dynamics and torrent control works and represent a useful tool to develop effective management decisions and plans.

How to cite: Piccinin, F., Martini, L., Cucchiaro, S., Pellegrini, G., Maset, E., Beinat, A., Baggio, T., Cazorzi, F., and Picco, L.: Assessment of flash flood impacts in a mountain basin: an integrated approach for the management of channel control works, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-8675, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-8675, 2024.

Evaluating the effects of rock check dams on soil and vegetation ten years after a wildfire in a Mediterranean forest ecosystem
(withdrawn after no-show)
Demetrio Antonio Zema, Pedro Antonio Plaza-Àlvarez, Maria Dolores Carmona Yanez, Manuel Esteban Lucas-Borja, Vesna Zupanc, and Adrian Martinez-Hontecillas

Posters virtual: Tue, 16 Apr, 14:00–15:45 | vHall A

Display time: Tue, 16 Apr 08:30–Tue, 16 Apr 18:00
Chairperson: Olivier Evrard
Hromi Akita

This study examined the sediment characteristics of areas where landslides occurred due to heavy rains between 2014 and 2019. A total of 5 types of geology in two geographic regions in Japan were examined using LiDAR LP topography data before and after the disasters occurred to estimate the changes in elevation. In addition, the volume of sediment runoff for each case was estimated for watershed areas ranging from 0.01 up to 0.1 km2. The influence of geological differences on the sediment runoff volume within the basin using indicators such as the density of landslide occurrence, landslide volume, and watershed erosion intensity was also assessed. The results showed that, for all geology types, as the watershed area increases, the relief ratio decreases and the sediment runoff volume increases; however, the magnitude of this increase in sediment runoff volume differs depending on the underlying geology. In addition, the density of landslide occurrence was high in plutonic and metamorphic rocks. The landslide volume and the total eroded sediment volume within a watershed can be regressed using the linear equation y=ax. Since the average total eroded sediment volume within a watershed is approximately twice that of the landslide volume, there is a proportional relationship of 1:2. The relationship between the relief ratio and watershed erosion intensity shows that the watershed erosion intensity increases gradually as the relief ratio increases, and the rate of increase is larger in plutonic rocks (granite and granodiorite) than in the other groups. Metamorphic rocks had a relatively low watershed erosion intensity; these geological differences are reflected in differences in the degree of erosion of stream beds and banks by flood flows.

How to cite: Akita, H.: Comparison and analysis of the influence of geological differences on sediment runoff volumes from watersheds -case study of plutonic and metamorphic rocks in two sediment disasters in Japan-, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-1808, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-1808, 2024.

Alban Doko, Axel Bronstert, and Till Francke

Hydrological and sediment transport regime are important in water resource management. Aim of this study is to identify the flow regime and the suspended sediment transport in a Mediterranean River Basin. Precipitation, temperature, soil, land use, discharges and suspended sediment concentration are used to quantify runoff and sediment yields at daily scales. WASA-SED (Water Availability in Semi-Arid environments – SEDiments) a spatially semi distributed model it is developed to simulate the flow and sediment transport in Seman Basin. Sediment deposits in Seman Basin contribute to a significant annual loss in the water storage capacity of the dams. Runoff and suspended sediments in Mediterranean hill slopes are closely related to rainfall intensities and land surface cover. This study gives a valuable approach in improving the prediction of flow and sediment transport in Mediterranean River Basin.

Flow, Sediment transport, WASA-SED, Mediterranean River Basin

How to cite: Doko, A., Bronstert, A., and Francke, T.: Hydrological and Sediment Transport Regime on Rivers in the Balkans: The Case of the Seman River in Albania, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-16053, https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-egu24-16053, 2024.