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Fingerprinting the Origin of Fluvial Suspended Sediment in Larger River Basins: Combining Assessment of Spatial Provenance and Source Type

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Investigation of the potential for using sediment fingerprinting to integrate both spatial provenance and source type information for larger drainage basins appears to be desirable. This contribution presents the results of adopting a composite fingerprinting procedure incorporating statistically verified multicomponent signatures and a multivariate mixing model to provide a preliminary integration of spatial provenance and source type information for the upper and middle reaches of the drainage basins of the Rivers Exe (601 km2) and Severn (4325 km2), UK. A nested approach is employed, whereby spatial provenance is addressed in terms of the distinct sub-basin zones constituting each study area as an entirety, and source type is then characterised within each of these distinct spatial zones in terms of surface (woodland, pasture, cultivated) and subsurface (channel bank) materials. The results demonstrate that the fingerprinting approach possesses considerable potential for integrating spatial provenance and source type information, and hence for improving the resolution of existing sediment source information for larger drainage basins.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Devon, UK, 2: Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK

Publication date: 1997-12-01

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