Fenn, C.R. and Gomez, B. (1989)
Particle size analysis of the sediment suspended in a proglacial stream: Glacier de Tsidjoire Nouve, Switzerland
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- Hydrological Processes
- Hourly, at-a-point samples of suspended sediment taken from the outflow stream of Glacier de Tsidjiore Nouve, Switzerland, over a 60 day sampling period (n = 1440) are shown to be dominantly composed of silt-sized particles. Particle size, SEM, and XRD analyses indicate a subglacial provenance for the suspended sediment. Temporal variations in particle size and sorting correspond poorly to fluctuations in water discharge, being dominated by erratic hour-to-hour fluctuations and clockwise hysteresis over diurnal flow events. Examination of grain size and sorting dynamics over snowmelt- and icemelt-related ablation events, during precipitation events, and during glacier drainage events enables some inferences to be drawn regarding sediment source areas and supply regimes. We conclude that although the bulk of the suspended sediment in the proglacial stream of Glacier de Tsidjiore Nouve is derived directly from subglacial sources (with occasional contributions from the valley train during rapid snowmelt and heavy rainfall periods), a portion of the suspended load undergoes intermittent ‘flush-fall’ transfer through the proglacial zone, which acts as a sediment source during rising flows and as a sink during periods of waning flow.