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Volume 379
Proc. IAHS, 379, 131-138, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-379-131-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Proc. IAHS, 379, 131-138, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/piahs-379-131-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Pre-conference publication 05 Jun 2018

Pre-conference publication | 05 Jun 2018

Framework for quantifying flow and sediment yield to diagnose and solve the aggradation problem of an ungauged catchment

Sagar Kumar Tamang1, Wenjun Song2, Xing Fang2, Jose Vasconcelos2, and J. Brian Anderson2 Sagar Kumar Tamang et al.
  • 1Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA
  • 2Department of Civil Engineering, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA

Abstract. Estimating sediment deposition in a stream, a standard procedure for dealing with aggradation problem is complicated in an ungauged catchment due to the absence of necessary flow data. A serious aggradation problem within an ungauged catchment in Alabama, USA, blocked the conveyance of a bridge, reducing the clearance under the bridge from several feet to a couple of inches. A study of historical aerial imageries showed deforestation in the catchment by a significant amount over a period consistent with the first identification of the problem. To further diagnose the aggradation problem, due to the lack of any gauging stations, local rainfall, flow, and sediment measurements were attempted. However, due to the difficulty of installing an area-velocity sensor in an actively aggrading stream, the parameter transfer process for a hydrologic model was adopted to understand/estimate streamflow. Simulated discharge combined with erosion parameters of MUSLE (modified universal soil loss equation) helped in the estimation of sediment yield of the catchment. Sediment yield for the catchment showed a significant increase in recent years. A two-dimensional hydraulic model was developed at the bridge site to examine potential engineering strategies to wash sediments off and mitigate further aggradation. This study is to quantify the increase of sediment yield in an ungauged catchment due to land cover changes and other contributing factors and develop strategies and recommendations for preventing future aggradation in the vicinity of the bridge.

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The opening of the bridge changed from several feet to a few inches due to sediment deposition. The hydrologic model was used to simulate discharges and then sediment generation from the watershed. The study watershed is ungauged and does not have data for model calibration, therefore, a parameter transfer method is used. Basically, a hydrologic model was developed and calibrated for a nearby watershed with streamflow data, and then model parameters are transferred to the ungauged watershed.
The opening of the bridge changed from several feet to a few inches due to sediment deposition....
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