Critical assessment and validation of a time-integrating fluvial suspended sediment sampler

Perks, Matthew T., Warburton, Jeff and Bracken, Louise J. (2014) Critical assessment and validation of a time-integrating fluvial suspended sediment sampler. Hydrological Processes, 28 (17). pp. 4795-4807. ISSN 0885-6087

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Delivery of fine sediment to fluvial systems is of considerable concern given the physical and ecological impacts of elevated levels in drainage networks. Although it is possible to measure the transfer of fine sediment at high frequency by using a range of surrogate and automated technologies, the demands for assessing sediment flux and sediment properties at multiple spatially distributed locations across catchments can often not be met using established sampling techniques. The time-integrated mass-flux sampler (TIMS) has the potential to bridge this gap and further our understanding of fine sediment delivery in fluvial systems. However, these devices have undergone limited testing in the field. The aim of this paper was to provide a critical validation of TIMS as a technique for assessing fluvial fine sediment transfer. Fine sediment flux and sediment properties were assessed over 2 years with individual sampling periods of approximately 30 days. Underestimation of sediment flux ranged between 66% and 99% demonstrating that TIMS is unsuitable for assessing absolute sediment loads. However, assessment of relative efficiency showed that six of seven samplers produced statistically strong relationships with the reference sediment load (P < 0.05). Aggregated data from all sites produced a highly significant relationship between reference and TIMS loads (R2 = 0.80; P < 0.001) demonstrating TIMS may be suitable for characterizing patterns of suspended sediment transfer. Testing also illustrated a consistency in sediment properties between multiple samplers in the same channel cross section. TIMS offers a useful means of assessing spatial and temporal patterns of fine sediment transfer across catchments where expensive monitoring frameworks cannot be commissioned.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This research was conducted as part of the first authors PhD research project which was made possible following support from Durham University and the Environment Agency. Thanks also to Durham University lab technicians for assistance and for the comments and suggestions made by two anonymous reviewers which improved the manuscript.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fluvial, Suspended sediment sampler, Yield, Organic, Particle size.
Subjects: F800 Physical and Terrestrial Geographical and Environmental Sciences
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2021 07:49
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2021 08:00

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