Annual sediment budgets in an unstable gravel-bed river: the River Coquet, northern England
I. C. Fuller, D. G. Passmore, G. L. Heritage, A. R. G. Large, D. J. Milan, P. A. Brewer, 2002. "Annual sediment budgets in an unstable gravel-bed river: the River Coquet, northern England", Sediment Flux to Basins: Causes, Controls and Consequences, S.J. Jones, L.E. Frostick
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Sediment budgeting procedures based on analysis of three-dimensional morphological change provide a useful mechanism by which rates and patterns of fluvial sediment erosion, transfer and deposition can be monitored. This paper presents results from an annual sediment budgeting programme established in a 1-km long piedmont reach of the gravel-bed River Coquet in Northumberland, northern England. The study reach has a locally braided channel planform and has experienced lateral instability over at least the past 150 years. Annual sediment budgets for 1997–1998 and 1998–1999 have been based on tacheometric survey of: (i) 15 monumented channel cross-profiles; and (ii) channel margins and gravel-bar morphology. Survey data have been analysed for each discrete morphological unit (differentiating channel and complex bar assemblages) within 17 sub-reaches of the study reach using Arc/Info™ GIS. The morphological sediment budgeting techniques used to generate these reach-scale budgets may be particularly valuable in unstable gravel-bed rivers due to the inherent difficulties in measuring bed-load transport. The results show considerable variability in rates and patterns of within-reach sediment transfer between the successive surveys. The channel at Holystone is characterized by substantial within-reach sediment transfer, with minimal net export downstream. This behaviour appears to be characteristic of UK gravel-bed piedmont rivers.
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There is an increasing trend in the Earth sciences towards the integration of many subdisciplines. The sedimendatry basin, is a fundamental focal point of many studies, which as a consequence often neglects the complimentary drainage basin or catchment. Sedimentary basins provide a record of Earth history, reflecting the geographical, lithological, oceanographic and ecological development through the rock record. Drainage basins in comparison record ephemeral landscape evolution, where topography is eroded and provides the flux of sediment to the basin. The basin fill reflects the sediment flux from the hinterland and provides evidence of the dynamic geomorphic processes. In context the drainage system and sedimentary basin can be regarded as a ‘production line’ with sedimentary record giving valuable insight into long-term landscape evolution and geomorphological processes illuminating the evolution of sedimentary basins.
This volume assesses the current position of understanding sediment supply to basins with the integration of the many sub-disciplines in the Earth sciences. It documents a mix of hinterland and sedimentary basin studies with a gradation from orogenic belts to the deep marine. The authors represent a wide spectrum of Earth scientist, with leaders in the science providing review papers and new-directive papers in their field of specialization.