Service interruption on Monday 11 July from 12:30 to 13:00: all the sites of the CCSD (HAL, EpiSciences, SciencesConf, AureHAL) will be inaccessible (network hardware connection).
Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Sub-daily variability of suspended sediment fluxes in small mountainous catchments &ndash implications for community-based river monitoring

Abstract : Accurate estimates of suspended sediment yields depend on effective monitoring strategies. In mountainous environments undergoing intense seasonal precipitation, the implementation of such monitoring programs relies primarily on a rigorous study of the temporal variability of fine sediment transport. This investigation focuses on seasonal and short-term variability in suspended sediment flux in a subhumid region of the Mexican Volcanic Belt. Intensive monitoring was conducted during one year in four contrasting catchments (3 to 630 km2). Analyses revealed significant temporal variability in suspended sediment export over various time scales, with between 63 and 97% of the annual load exported in as little as 2% of the time. Statistical techniques were used to evaluate the sampling frequency required to get reliable estimates of annual sediment yield at the four sites. A bi-daily sampling scheme would be required at the outlet of the 630 km2 catchment, whereas in the three smaller catchments (3-12 km2), accurate estimates would inevitably require hourly monitoring. At the larger catchment scale, analysis of the sub-daily variability of fine sediment fluxes showed that the frequency of sampling could be lowered by up to 100% (i.e. from bi-daily to daily) if a specific and regular sampling time in the day was considered. In contrast, conducting a similar sampling strategy at the three smaller catchments could lead to serious misinterpretation (i.e. up to 1000% error). Our findings emphasise the importance of an analysis of the sub-daily variability of sediment fluxes in mountainous catchments. Characterising this variability may offer useful insights for improving the effectiveness of community-based monitoring strategies in rural areas of developing countries. In regions where historical records based on discrete sampling are available, it may also help assessing the quality of past flux estimates. Finally, the study confirms the global necessity of acquiring more high frequency data in small mountainous catchments, especially in poorly gauged areas.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [42 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Pascale Talour Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Monday, February 27, 2012 - 8:37:05 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 6:58:06 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, November 23, 2012 - 3:00:36 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive




C. Duvert, N. Gratiot, J. Némery, A. Burgos, O. Navratil. Sub-daily variability of suspended sediment fluxes in small mountainous catchments &ndash implications for community-based river monitoring. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, European Geosciences Union, 2011, 15 (3), pp.703-713. ⟨10.5194/hess-15-703-2011⟩. ⟨insu-00648300⟩



Record views


Files downloads