Sediment connectivity is a major topic in recent research because of its relevance in the characterization of the morphology of river systems and assessing of sediment transport and deposition. Currently, the connectivity indices found in the literature are generally dimensionless and need to be coupled with quantitative soil-loss data for land management and design purposes. In the present work, a simple methodology is proposed to assess two different indices, namely, the simplified connectivity index (SCI) and the specific sediment potential (SSP), based on geomorphometric tools that are commonly available in commercial and open-source geographic information system (GIS) platforms. The proposed metrics allows us to easily assess both the SCI and the SSP as functions of the estimated soil erosion per unit area of the catchment and of the inverse distance of each unit area from the river outlet, this distance being measured along the network path. The proposed indices have been devised to express, respectively, the potential sediment transfer ability and the sediment mass potentially available at a given section of the drainage network. In addition to other parameters used to describe the catchment characteristics potentially affecting the river sediment delivery capacity, the SCI and SSP indices can help to refine theoretical models in order to assess the sediment yield (SY) in ungauged river basins.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)