The temporal variation of suspended sediment transport according to the dominance of suspended sediment sources. Case study: the Trotuş river between 2000 and 2014
Abstract: Based on the data series of average daily streamflow and suspended sediment load recorded between 2000 and 2014 at four gauging stations (Lunca de Sus, Goioasa, Târgu Ocna and Vrânceni), the temporal variation of the suspended sediment transport was investigated according to the prevalence of source areas. Thus, a significant temporal variability (monthly, seasonal, annual) was determined, in close relation with the amount of precipitation and the streamflow. The following equation was determined between the mean monthly suspended sediment load (Ṝ) and the mean discharge (Ǭ) at Vrânceni section: R= 0,0035Q2,2895, r=0,899. We believe this relation has a high degree of confidence for the indirect determination of solid load and it is comparable with other equations of this type. Along the entire length of the river, July was the month during which the highest suspended sediment load was recorded, with an average percentage of 37% of the total amount. At the opposite end, December is the month with the lowest documented suspended sediment load, with just 0.5% of the total amount transported annually by the Trotuş. As regards the seasonal variability of the suspended sediment load, the following values were determined along the entire length of river Trotuş: during the winter season the volume of sediment carried by the river amounts to approx. 2.1% of the total annual transported suspended sediment, the spring season accounts for 33.7% of the annual volume, the summer season accounts for ca. 55.5%, and the fall for 8.7%. In order to plot the R-Q correlation, the wettest, as well as driest years were selected for every gauging station. On the resulting plots, there were identified the thresholds based on which the two sources were separated depending on the area of origin: dominant from the catchment or dominant from the river bed. Overall, during the investigated period on the Trotuş river, the river beds contributed with about 21% of the total volume of transported suspended sediment. Depending on the type of the year (wet, dry or normal), the average input of the beds to the annual volume of suspended alluvium was as follows: 4% in wet years; 43% in dry years; 15% in normal years. The total volume of suspended sediment transported through the four sections on the Trotuş river between 2000 and 2014 amounted to approx. 39×106 t, thus the average annual volume was 2,598,000 t. A large share of this suspended sediment yield was produced during major floods. For example, at Vrânceni ca. 61% of the total sediment yield for the 15 year-period under investigation resulted from just 3 flood events (2005, 2010 and 2012).