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AN EMPIRICAL METHOD FOR ESTIMATING SUSPENDED SEDIMENT LOADS IN RIVERS

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Analysis of sediment discharge data from rivers in the United States indicated that a similarity relationship exists, for a large size range of riverine systems, between the daily sediment load and daily mean flow rate when these two quantities are properly normalized. This data analysis resulted in the development of a non-dimensional formulation, the Normalized Sediment Load function, that is capable of predicting annual sediment loads in rivers located in the eastern United States, spanning a range of drainage areas from less than 3 km2 to over 25,000 km2, with a reasonable degree of accuracy. The procedure is currently restricted to this region because significant geographic differences precluded development of a generic model for the entire United States. The proposed formulation also includes a stochastic component that improves predictive capabilities and produces realistic variability in estimated daily sediment loads.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-01-01

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