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Proc. IAHS, 377, 67-76, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-377-67-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
 
16 Apr 2018
Etude de l'impact des barrages sur la réduction des transports sédimentaires jusqu'à la mer par approche paléohydrologique dans la basse vallée de la Medjerda
Fatma Kotti1, Laurent Dezileau3, Gil Mahé2, Hamadi Habaieb1, Malik Bentkaya4, Claudine Dieulin2, and Oula Amrouni5 1Institut National Agronomique de Tunis, 43, Av. Charles Nicolle 1082 Tunis-Mahrajène, Tunisie
2UMR HydroSciences Montpellier/IRD, Montpellier, France
3Géoscience Montpellier, Université de Montpellier, Montpellier, France
4Centre National des Sciences et Technologies Nucléaires, Sidi Thabet, Tunisie
5Institut National des Sciences et Technologies de la Mer, Salammbô, Tunisie
Abstract. The sedimentary contributions of the Medjerda to the coastal zone are poorly measured, and there is no chronicle of observations. In this context, the sediment monitoring appears indispensable for the quantification of sediment transport at the outlet. This study focuses on the largest watershed in Tunisia, the Wadi Medjerda (23 600 km2). The main objective of this work is to assess the reduction of sediment transport following anthropogenic intensification on the basin, especially since the construction of many large dams. In order to collect information on actual deposits over several years, the paleo-hydrological approach was applied through the study of sediment cores sampled in the low valley meanders on alluvial terraces, after the last dam (Sidi Salem, the largest water storage capacity over the basin), but before the estuary to avoid marine influence and near a hydrological station (Jdaida). The sedimentary deposits of the river provide key information on the past sedimentary inputs. A visible succession of sedimentary layers corresponding to the deposits of successive floods on the study site has been determined and the history of the sedimentary contributions of the Medjerda is reconstructed by this approach. The thickest layers of sedimentary deposits are related to exceptional events. They are mainly concentrated on the lower part of the core and are mainly composed of sands. The first 1.2 m of the core from the bottom upward relates to 10 years of river discharges, as can be determined from the 137Cs datation. The next upward 1.05 m of core relates to the following 20 years of discharges, up to 1981, date of the construction of the Sidi Salem dam, and is composed of a mix of sand, silts and clays. The last 75 cm of core near the surface is only composed of clays with thin silt bands, and relates to a period of 32 years. We thus observe that there is no more sand deposits in the river bed since the construction of the Sidi Salem dam. The deficit of sediment supply to the sea is viewed as a major factor to be taken into account for better understanding of the dynamics of coastal areas in the context of global climate change.
Citation: Kotti, F., Dezileau, L., Mahé, G., Habaieb, H., Bentkaya, M., Dieulin, C., and Amrouni, O.: Etude de l'impact des barrages sur la réduction des transports sédimentaires jusqu'à la mer par approche paléohydrologique dans la basse vallée de la Medjerda, Proc. IAHS, 377, 67-76, https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-377-67-2018, 2018.
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This study was designed to prove that the coastal changes of the Gulf of Tunis are mainly driven by the changes of the hydrological regime of the Medjerda river due to dams. We sampled cores of sediments in the low valley just before the sea, and analyzed them. They show the dramatic reduction of sediment supply after 1981, date of construction of the largest dam of Sidi Salem, and the disappearance of sand in the fluvial sediments.
This study was designed to prove that the coastal changes of the Gulf of Tunis are mainly driven...
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