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The Management of Sediment Transported by Glacial Melt-Water Streams and its Significance for the Estimation of Sediment Yield

  • A. Bezinge (a1), M.J. Clark (a1), A.M. Gurnell (a2) and J. Warburton (a2)

Abstract

This paper describes the calibration of sediment traps in melt-water intake structures of the Grande Dixence hydro-electricity scheme for the purpose of generating medium-term estimates of suspended sediment and bedload transport by pro-glacial streams. The frequency of emptying/purging of sediment from traps in 17 glacier basins in the Val d’Hérens is combined with their design sediment volume to provide first approximations of the mean annual volume of sediment purged. This is followed by more detailed consideration of 11 years of records from three of the basins, to investigate mean seasonal and inter-annual patterns of purging. The difficulties of relating sediment purging to sediment transport are considered. A sediment calibration strategy based on 2 years of turbidity records, hand sampling of suspended sediment concentration, and monitoring of the accumulation of sediment in sediment traps is proposed for one of the glacier basins, and is checked using hourly and 4 h suspended sediment observations from two further ablation seasons. The calibration is applied to 10 years of discharge and purge records to establish estimates of mean seasonal and inter-annual patterns of suspended sediment and bed-load transport.

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References

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The Management of Sediment Transported by Glacial Melt-Water Streams and its Significance for the Estimation of Sediment Yield

  • A. Bezinge (a1), M.J. Clark (a1), A.M. Gurnell (a2) and J. Warburton (a2)

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