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Can reservoir bottom sediments be used in the estimation of long-term catchments sediment budgets?

Can reservoir bottom sediments be used in the estimation of long-term catchments sediment budgets?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSediment Budgets 2
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of symposium S1 held during the Seventh IAHS Scientific Assembly at Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, April 2005
EditorsDes E. Walling, Arthur J. Horowitz
Place of PublicationWallingford
PublisherInternational Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)
ISBN (Print)1901502929
StatePublished - 2005

Publication series

NameIAHS publication
PublisherIAHS Press
ISSN (Print)0144-7815


ConferenceSeventh Scientific Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences
Abbreviated title7th IAHS Scientific Assembly
CityFoz do Iguaço


In the last 30 years, major progress has been made in the development of methods for establishing catchment sediment budgets. Reservoir bottom sediments are important because they provide valuable medium- to long-term archives of catchment sediment yield. Dating techniques, such as 137Cs and 210Pb further provide the opportunity to subdivide this stratigraphic record into shorter time periods. Recently, sediment-fingerprinting approaches have been applied to dated sediment cores to gain insight into changing patterns of sediment supply. In this study, a land-use-based sediment fingerprinting study was undertaken in the 4.9 km2 Crombie Reservoir catchment in northeast Scotland to infer historical changes in sediment supply over the past 135 years. The unmixing model employed, features a novel enrichment-inclusive subroutine. Fingerprinting results show a rise in agricultural sediment production from effectively zero in 1890 to >80% in 1980, with patterns broadly correlating to known land-use changes with a climatic overprint.


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