Flow and the sediment regime affect water quality and nutrient delivery in all river systems and are fundamental in sustaining the river ecosystem. This study aims to identify the most relevant factors affecting the flow regime and the suspended sediment transport in two Mediterranean intermittent rivers: the Búger (Spain) and the Carapelle (Italy). A set of hydrological indicators were used to characterize and classify the flow regime. High-resolution data, streamflow and suspended sediment concentration were used to quantify runoff and sediment yields at different temporal scales (annual, monthly, event). Rainfall, streamflow and sediment variables were used at the event scale to assess the rainfall-runoff-suspended sediment relationship through the Pearson correlation matrix. Hysteresis analysis provided information on sediment source dynamics. In the Búger River, the high degree of flow intermittence was mainly due to the presence of carbonate lithology and forest land use at headwaters promoting low values of runoff coefficient (2–10%) and specific suspended sediment yield (SSY; 0.5–46 t km−2 y−1). In the Carapelle River, the high values of annual runoff coefficient (14–35%), together with low flow intermittence and SSY (89–745 t km−2 y−1) were related to clay and flyschoid lithology. Most of the annual sediment yield (SY, t) was transported during floods. In Búger, SSY and maximum suspended sediment concentration (SSCmax, g l−1) were checked against runoff, peak discharge and antecedent rainfall. In Carapelle, SSY and SSCmax were checked against the amount and intensity of rainfall. The catchment size and the spatial distribution of rainfall, land uses and lithology played important roles in the flow regime, suspended sediment transport and hysteretic behaviour. Characterization of the flow regime linked to its main physical drivers improved understanding of the hydrological response and sediment transport variability of intermittent rivers. This study provided valuable insights into water resource management, improving the prediction of spatial patterns and of the intensity of sediment transport in river basins.

Analysing hydrological and sediment transport regime in two Mediterranean intermittent rivers

Ricci G. F.;Gentile F.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Flow and the sediment regime affect water quality and nutrient delivery in all river systems and are fundamental in sustaining the river ecosystem. This study aims to identify the most relevant factors affecting the flow regime and the suspended sediment transport in two Mediterranean intermittent rivers: the Búger (Spain) and the Carapelle (Italy). A set of hydrological indicators were used to characterize and classify the flow regime. High-resolution data, streamflow and suspended sediment concentration were used to quantify runoff and sediment yields at different temporal scales (annual, monthly, event). Rainfall, streamflow and sediment variables were used at the event scale to assess the rainfall-runoff-suspended sediment relationship through the Pearson correlation matrix. Hysteresis analysis provided information on sediment source dynamics. In the Búger River, the high degree of flow intermittence was mainly due to the presence of carbonate lithology and forest land use at headwaters promoting low values of runoff coefficient (2–10%) and specific suspended sediment yield (SSY; 0.5–46 t km−2 y−1). In the Carapelle River, the high values of annual runoff coefficient (14–35%), together with low flow intermittence and SSY (89–745 t km−2 y−1) were related to clay and flyschoid lithology. Most of the annual sediment yield (SY, t) was transported during floods. In Búger, SSY and maximum suspended sediment concentration (SSCmax, g l−1) were checked against runoff, peak discharge and antecedent rainfall. In Carapelle, SSY and SSCmax were checked against the amount and intensity of rainfall. The catchment size and the spatial distribution of rainfall, land uses and lithology played important roles in the flow regime, suspended sediment transport and hysteretic behaviour. Characterization of the flow regime linked to its main physical drivers improved understanding of the hydrological response and sediment transport variability of intermittent rivers. This study provided valuable insights into water resource management, improving the prediction of spatial patterns and of the intensity of sediment transport in river basins.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/352522
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