Sediment transport in an inland river in North Queensland
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Rivers in northern Queensland are ephemeral and carry water mainly as a direct response to heavy rainfall. Sediment is transported downstream with the runoff and sediment deposition may be a major problem in many proposed reservoirs. Hence information about sediment transport, particularly under high flow conditions, is required for planning and design of water storage reservoirs. In this region, bed material samples can be obtained during low flow periods and suspended sediment sampling during floods is possible but only with difficulty. Little reliable data is available.
This paper outlines a possible approach to predicting sediment loads in such rivers. Suspended sediment samples have been analysed to give both particulate concentrations and their grain size distributions. The latter have been compared with bed material size distributions, and the concentrations of suspended bed material and wash load components have been estimated.
After investigations of a number of methods for predicting bed material transport, those which treat bed load and suspended load independently have been selected. Field data have been used to determine the wash load and the suspended bed material load. The bed load was then computed so that the total sediment load could be determined.
This approach has been applied to the Flinders River at Glendower, based on field data obtained by the Queensland Water Resources Commission in 1982/83.
Key wordssediment transport suspended sediments bed material load wash load bed load hydraulics
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