Suspended Sediment Transport in Arctic Alaskan Rivers

March 28, 2013 • Filed under: News — melanie.rohr

Please join us at this week’s WERC seminar, March 29, 2013, as Ph.D. student Eric Lamb presents her research on suspended sediment transport in rivers on the North Slope of Alaska.

Friday Seminar Series

  • What: An Assessment of Suspended Sediment Transport in Arctic Alaskan Rivers
  • Who: Erica Lamb
  • When: 3:30-4:30 p.m., Friday, Mar. 29
  • Where: 531 Duckering

This presentation will provide an initial assessment of suspended sediment transport in several rivers on the North Slope of Alaska. This study was divided into two parts: the Umiat project, which involved the Chandler, Anaktuvuk and Itkillik Rivers, and the NPR-A study, which considered Prince, Seabee and Fish Creeks, as well as a brief look at the Ikpikpuk River, Otuk Creek, Judy Creek and the Ublutuoch River. Methods used included depth-integrated suspended sediment samples, grab samples, automatic pump-style samplers, discharge measurements, bed sediment grain size analysis and the inclusion of a variety of meteorological measurements from other projects. With slightly less than two years of data collection from May 2011 to September 2012, an initial analysis was completed. Suspended sediment rating curves developed for the Anaktuvuk and Chandler Rivers over the two-year study period revealed a strong correlation between suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and discharge. The most data was collected for the Anaktuvuk and Chandler Rivers; on these rivers, suspended sediment discharge was also analyzed, showing that over 90% of suspended sediment transport occurred during the spring melt period in 2011. Spring melt was not measured in 2012, so analysis was only completed for 2011.

The Itkillik River in August, 2012

Photo Left: The Itkillik River in August, 2012.

(Photo by Erica Lamb)