Sediment Transport and Bed Mobility in a Low-ordered Ephemeral Watershed
AuthorYuill, Brendan Thomas
Committee ChairGuertin, Phillip
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation reports the results of a field based study examining sediment transport and bed mobility in a low-ordered, ephemeral watershed. Runoff and sediment transport concentrations were sampled at the watershed outlet to determine flow discharge and sediment flux during approximately 21 flow events, from 1998 - 2007. Sediment collected in flow was measured for grain-size distribution to determine if specific grain-size fractions behave differently while in transport. The coarse sediment yield was measured for mass and grain-size distribution at the watershed outlet for two years, 2005 - 2006. Further, the arrangement and composition of the channel bed material was comprehensively mapped using terrestrial-based photogrammetry for the years, 2005 - 2006. Results show that patterns of sediment transport are complex, controlled in part by flow hydraulics but also by other phenomena. Some of the variation in sediment transport is determined by grain-size. Grain-sizes with different sources within the watershed and that transported by different transport modes were observed to follow different patterns of transport. Also, the channel bed, which serves as the source for the coarse fraction of the sediment transport, was observed to change in grain composition during periods of flow. This tendency for the bed material to evolve in time likely affected the amount and composition of the sediment grains that were entrained from it.An additional objective of this dissertation was to determine how unique the observed patterns of sediment transport were to low-order ephemeral channels. Sediment transport and yield were modeled using bed load transport formulae designed to capture the physical mechanics of transport as observed in perennial streams. Results show that contemporary transport models predict transport within the field site with similar accuracy as that in many perennial systems but not well enough to rely on their predictions for many engineering applications.
Degree ProgramNatural Resources