WERC graduate research assistant Erica Lamb will share her findings regarding sediment load in North Slope rivers at the Nov. 18 WERC Friday Seminar.
Characterization of Suspended Sediment Load on Several North Slope Rivers
Little research has been done to describe the basic characteristics of the majority of rivers on the North Slope of Alaska. The fundamental hydrologic and sedimentologic properties of these rivers are unknown; this coupled with only short-term measurements of precipitation and runoff makes further analysis of the region difficult. Increased human presence on the North Slope makes it imperative to collect basic measurements on these rivers, and to improve the temporal and spatial resolution of data collection.
The Anaktuvuk, Itkillik and Chandler Rivers originate in the Brooks Range of Alaska and flow north, joining with the Colville River in the foothills and coastal plain. Frozen for over seven months of the year, all sediment transport must occur during the summer months; the largest hydrologic event is most frequently snowmelt, which begins in late-May in the foothills. The purpose of this study is to gather baseline data on the suspended sediment load of the Anaktuvuk (N 69°27.807’, W 151°09.928’), Itkillik (N 68°55.041’, W 150°06.776) and Chandler (N 69°16.972’, W 151°24.277’) rivers. During a field campaign from May to June 2011, suspended sediment samples were collected at regular intervals on all three rivers, using both integrated and grab sampling techniques. The results of these measurements will be presented in an effort to characterize the suspended sediment transport on these three rivers.
In addition, preliminary results on the suspended sediment load of several rivers in the NPR-A and Cosmos Hills will be presented. Along with originating in different areas of the North Slope than the three rivers discussed above, these additional rivers sampled originate in smaller watershed, allowing for a broad view of suspended sediment load on the North Slope of Alaska.
Erica Lamb snapped this shot of the Anuktuvuk River from a helicopter on her way to the Umiat Corridor to conduct field work near the river in the summer of 2011.
Friday Seminar Series
- What:Characterization of Suspended Sediment Load on Several North Slope Rivers
- Who: Presenter Erica Lamb
- When: 3:30-4:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18
- Where: 531 Duckering
Seminar schedule in PDF