What controls the coarse sediment yield to a Mediterranean delta? The case of the Llobregat River (NE Iberian Peninsula)
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The human pressure upon an alluvial river in the Mediterranean region has changed its riverine and deltaic landscapes. The river has been channelized in the last 70 years while the delta has been retreating for more than a century (a set of data unknown, so far). The paper concentrates on the fluvial component, trying to connect it to the delta evolution. Is the channelization responsible for the delta retreat? We develop a method to compute the actual bed load transport with real information of the past river morphology. The paper compares the computation with very limited measurements, among which are bulk volumes of trapped material at a modern, deep river mouth. The decrease in sediment availability in the last 30¿km of the channelized river is deemed responsible for the decrease in the sediment yield to the delta. Moreover, power development and flood frequency should be responsible for a baseline delta retreat during the 20th century. The sediment trapping efficiency of dams is less important than the flow regulation by dams, in the annual sediment yield. Therefore, it is more effective to dismantle channelization than to pass sediment at dams, to provide sand to the beaches.
CitationMartín-Vide, J.P.; Prats, A.; Ferrer-Boix, C. What controls the coarse sediment yield to a Mediterranean delta? The case of the Llobregat River (NE Iberian Peninsula). "Natural hazards and earth system sciences", Desembre 2020, vol. 20, núm. 12, p. 3315-3331.