A. Bezinge M.J. Clark, A.M. Gurnell and J. Warburton (1999)
The management of sediment transported by glacial meltwater streams and its significance for the estimation of sediment yield
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- This paper describes the calibration of sediment traps in meltwater intake structures of the Grande Dixence hydroelectricity scheme for the purpose of generating medium-term estimates of suspended sediment and bedload transport by proglacial 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 two year 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 four-hourly 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 bedload transport.
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