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Tropical cyclones as a driver of global sediment flux

Tropical cyclones as a driver of global sediment flux
Tropical cyclones as a driver of global sediment flux
The world's rivers deliver 19 billion tonnes of sediment to the coastal zone annually. The sediment supplied to the coastal zone is of significant importance for a variety of reasons, for example in acting as a vector for nutrients as well as in supplying sediment to coastal landforms such as deltas and beaches that can buffer those landforms from erosion and flooding. A greater understanding of the factors governing sediment flux to the oceans is therefore a key research gap. The non-linear relationship between river discharge and sediment flux implies that the global sediment flux may be disproportionately driven by large floods. Indeed, in our recent empirical research we have demonstrated that changes in the track locations, frequency and intensity of tropical storms in recent decades exert a significant control on the sediment flux emanating from the Mekong River. Since other large rivers potentially affected by tropical storms are known to make a significant contribution to the global sediment flux, this raises the question of the extent to which such storms play a significant role in controlling sediment loads at the global scale. In this paper we address that question by employing a global hydrological model (WBMsed) in order to predict runoff and sediment load forced by recent historical climate scenarios `with' and `without' tropical cyclones. We compare the two scenarios to (i) make the first estimate of the global contribution of sediment load forced by tropical storms; (ii) evaluate how that contribution has varied in recent decades and to (iii) explore variations in tropical-storm driven sediment loads in selected major river basins that are significantly affected by such storms.
Leyland, Julian
15cefd9f-2f5d-42a3-9d48-3e32c673ad41
Darby, Stephen
4c3e1c76-d404-4ff3-86f8-84e42fbb7970
Cohen, Sagy
99521dde-cd3d-46ff-8cba-3c1fca9e73d4
Leyland, Julian
15cefd9f-2f5d-42a3-9d48-3e32c673ad41
Darby, Stephen
4c3e1c76-d404-4ff3-86f8-84e42fbb7970
Cohen, Sagy
99521dde-cd3d-46ff-8cba-3c1fca9e73d4

Leyland, Julian, Darby, Stephen and Cohen, Sagy (2017) Tropical cyclones as a driver of global sediment flux. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2017, United States. 11 - 15 Dec 2017.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

The world's rivers deliver 19 billion tonnes of sediment to the coastal zone annually. The sediment supplied to the coastal zone is of significant importance for a variety of reasons, for example in acting as a vector for nutrients as well as in supplying sediment to coastal landforms such as deltas and beaches that can buffer those landforms from erosion and flooding. A greater understanding of the factors governing sediment flux to the oceans is therefore a key research gap. The non-linear relationship between river discharge and sediment flux implies that the global sediment flux may be disproportionately driven by large floods. Indeed, in our recent empirical research we have demonstrated that changes in the track locations, frequency and intensity of tropical storms in recent decades exert a significant control on the sediment flux emanating from the Mekong River. Since other large rivers potentially affected by tropical storms are known to make a significant contribution to the global sediment flux, this raises the question of the extent to which such storms play a significant role in controlling sediment loads at the global scale. In this paper we address that question by employing a global hydrological model (WBMsed) in order to predict runoff and sediment load forced by recent historical climate scenarios `with' and `without' tropical cyclones. We compare the two scenarios to (i) make the first estimate of the global contribution of sediment load forced by tropical storms; (ii) evaluate how that contribution has varied in recent decades and to (iii) explore variations in tropical-storm driven sediment loads in selected major river basins that are significantly affected by such storms.

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More information

Published date: December 2017
Venue - Dates: American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2017, United States, 2017-12-11 - 2017-12-15

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432388
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432388
PURE UUID: ab013542-2f73-442f-83cf-0b4ca79663f7
ORCID for Stephen Darby: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8778-4394

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 12 Jul 2019 16:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:50

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