, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 377-393

Estimation of Sediment Yield for a Rain, Snow and Glacier Fed River in the Western Himalayan Region

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Abstract

Assessment of soil erosion, sediment transport and deposition of sediment in the reservoirs, irrigation and hydropower systems are considered essential for the land and water management. The magnitude of sediment transported by rivers has become a serious concern for the water resources planning. In the present study, an assessment of sediment yield has been made for the Satluj River, which flows through the western Himalayan region. Two approaches have been used for the assessment of sediment yield (i) relationship between suspended sediment load and discharge and (ii) empirical relationship. The first approach was used for Satluj Basin up to Suni (52 983 km2), Kasol (53 768 km2) and also for the intermediate basin between Kasol and Suni (785 km2). The sediment-discharge relationship was developed using daily data for a period of three years (1991–1993) for different basins and was applied for each basin for the years 1994 and 1996 for estimation of sediment yield. The second approach, which gives annual sediment yield, has been used for a small intermediate basin only because of data availability constraints. For estimation of the sediment yield using the empirical relationship, various geographical parameters such as land use, topographical etc. were generated using Geographic Information System (GIS) technique. The annual sediment yield for the intermediate basin was estimated for three years and compared with observed values. The trend of difference between computed and observed sediment yield suggested an effect of physical features of mountainous basins. The available empirical relationship was, therefore, revised by incorporating a basin parameter in the equation. This basin parameter represented an integrated effect of slope and spatial distribution of rainfall in the mountainous basin. Using the revised empirical relationship, the sediment yield was estimated for two independent years and a good correlation was found between computed and observed sediment yield.