Sediment yield studies of headwater catchments in Sussex, S.E. England
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 6, (6), . (doi:10.1002/esp.3290060603).
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The transport of sediment from six small (0.2 to 17.6 km2) headwater catchments is described. The catchments under investigation were located in relation to predominant lithological deposits within the Cretaceous rock succession; two of the areas were underlain by (Weald) clay, two by sandstone (Ashdown Sand and Tunbridge Wells Sand) and two by chalk. The climate of the region under investigation is temperate, with an average annual precipitation (850 mm) in excess of potential evapotranspiration (450 mm).
The transport of suspended material from within the catchments was examined by collecting samples of the water-sediment mixture draining the areas, using hand held depth-integrating and permanently installed stage sampling systems. The results of the regularly maintained sampling programme, over a two-year period, are described. Attempts were made to both measure and compute bed load transport.
Suspended sediment concentrations are compared between catchments and related to hydrological characteristics. The nature of the material in transit is examined.
Sediment rating curves are derived for each of the headwater catchments, defining the relationship in the form y = Axb (where y = suspended sediment concentration (mg/1) and x = water discharge (m3/s)). Annual rating curves are used to derive annual suspended sediment loads by combination with water discharge data, using a log-incremental computerized approach. Multiple regression techniques have been used to examine annual loads in terms of hydrological and morphological characteristics of the headwater catchments.
Based on the field information available, a generalized model for the relationship between suspended sediment concentration and water discharge is described.
Finally, the derived annual loads from the headwater catchments are combined with both limited observations from the larger Sussex rivers and data available for other catchment investigations in the British Isles, to produce a series of prediction equations for catchment yield under temperate climatic conditions.
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