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  • 1.
    Göransson, Gunnel
    et al.
    Swedish Geotechnical Institute.
    Larson, Magnus
    Bendz, David
    Swedish Geotechnical Institute.
    Variation in turbidity with precipitation and flow in a regulated river system - river Göta Älv, SW Sweden2013In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, ISSN 1027-5606, E-ISSN 1607-7938, Vol. 17, no 7, p. 2529-2542Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The turbidity variation in time and space is investigated in the downstream stretch of the river Göta Älv in Sweden. The river is heavily regulated and carries the discharge from the largest fresh water lake in Sweden, Lake Vänern, to the outflow point in Göteborg Harbour on the Swedish west coast. The river is an important waterway and serves as a fresh-water supply for 700000 users. Turbidity is utilised as a water quality indicator to ensure sufficient quality of the intake water to the treatment plant. The overall objective of the study was to investigate the influence of rainfall, surface runoff, and river water flow on the temporal and spatial variability of the turbidity in the regulated river system by employing statistical analysis of an extensive data set. A six year long time series of daily mean values on precipitation, discharge, and turbidity from six stations along the river were examined primarily through linear correlation and regression analysis, combined with nonparametric tests and analysis of variance. The analyses were performed on annual, monthly, and daily bases, establishing temporal patterns and dependences, including; seasonal changes, impacts from extreme events, influences from tributaries, and the spatial variation along the river. The results showed that there is no simple relationship between discharge, precipitation, and turbidity, mainly due to the complexity of the runoff process, the regulation of the river, and the effects of Lake Vänern and its large catchment area. For the river Göta Älv, significant, positive correlations between turbidity, discharge, and precipitation could only be found during periods with high flow combined with heavy rainfall. Local precipitation does not seem to have any significant impact on the discharge in the main river, which is primarily governed by precipitation at catchment scale. The discharge from Lake Vänern determines the base level for the turbidity in the river, whereas local surface runoff and tributary discharge induced by rainfall govern the temporal variability in turbidity. Autocorrelation analysis indicates a temporal persistence in turbidity of about 10 days. The results also show that erosion along the main river, from the river bed and banks, is not a dominant contributor to the suspended sediment transport in the river under normal conditions. Further studies on the correlation between turbidity and suspended sediment transport and its relation to erosion processes are suggested.

  • 2.
    Göransson, Gunnel
    et al.
    Swedish Geotechnical Institute.
    Larson, Magnus
    Bendz, David
    Swedish Geotechnical Institute.
    Åkesson, Maria
    Mass transport of contaminated soil released into surface water by landslides (Göta River, SW Sweden)2012In: Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, ISSN 1027-5606, E-ISSN 1607-7938, Vol. 16, p. 1879-1893Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Landslides of contaminated soil into surface water represent an overlooked exposure pathway that has not been addressed properly in existing risk analysis for landslide hazard, contaminated land, or river basin management. A landslide of contaminated soil into surface water implies an instantaneous exposure of the water to the soil, dramatically changing the prerequisites for the mobilisation and transport of pollutants. In this study, an analytical approach is taken to simulate the transport of suspended matter released in connection with landslides into rivers. Different analytical solutions to the advection-dispersion equation (ADE) were tested against the measured data from the shallow rotational, retrogressive landslide in clayey sediments that took place in 1993 on the Göta River, SW Sweden. The landslide encompassed three distinct events, namely an initial submerged slide, followed by a main slide, and a retrogressive slide. These slides generated three distinct and non-Gaussian peaks in the online turbidity recordings at the freshwater intake downstream the slide area. To our knowledge, this registration of the impact on a river of the sediment release from a landslide is one of few of its kind in the world and unique for Sweden. Considering the low frequency of such events, the data from this landslide are highly useful for evaluating how appropriate the ADE is to describe the effects of landslides into surface water. The results yielded realistic predictions of the measured variation in suspended particle matter (SPM) concentration, after proper calibration. For the three individual slides it was estimated that a total of about 0.6 % of the total landslide mass went into suspension and was transported downstream. This release corresponds to about 1 to 2 % of the annual suspended sediment transport for that river stretch. The studied landslide partly involved an industrial area, and by applying the analytical solution to estimate the transport of metals in the sediments, it was found that landslides may release a significant amount of pollutants if large contaminated areas are involved. However, further studies are needed to develop more detailed descriptions of the transport processes. There is also a need to increase the knowledge on possible environmental consequences in the near and far field, in a short- and long-time perspective. In summary, the release of pollutants should not be neglected in landslide risk assessments.

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