, Volume 176, Issue 1, pp 77–92 | Cite as

Sediment transport in an inland river in North Queensland

  • W. A. Poplawski
  • J. Piorewicz
  • M. R. Gourlay
Sediment dynamics, transport and deposition, and distributions


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 words

sediment transport suspended sediments bed material load wash load bed load hydraulics 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ackers, P. & W. R. White, 1973. Sediment Transport: New Approach and Analysis. Hydraulics Division ASCE, 2041–2061.Google Scholar
  2. Atlas of Australian Soils, 1967. Sheet 4, Brisbane - Charleville - Rockhampton - Clermont Area. CSIRO, Melbourne University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Belperio, A. P., 1979. The Combined Use of Wash Load and Bed Material Load Rating Curves for the Calculation of Total Load: An Example from the Burdekin River, Australia, Catena 6: 317–329.Google Scholar
  4. Dargahi, B., 1984. Suspended Sediment Discharge in Swedish Rivers 1979-80. Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Hydraulic Lab. Rep. 27: 27 pp.Google Scholar
  5. Engelund, F. & E. Hansen, 1967. A Monograph on Sediment Transport in Alluvial Streams, Teknisk Forlag, Copenhagen, 62 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Graaff v.d., J. & J. v. Overeem, 1979. Evaluation of Sediment Transport Formulae in Coastal Engineering Practice. Coastal Engineering, 3: 1–32.Google Scholar
  7. Jansen, P. Ph., L. van Bendegom, J. van den Berg, M. de Vries & A. Zanen, 1979. Principles of River Engineering — The Nontidal Alluvial River. Pitman, London, 509 pp.Google Scholar
  8. Graf, W. H., 1971. Hydraulics of Sediment Transport. McGraw Hill, New York, pp. 513.Google Scholar
  9. Misri, R. L., R. J. Garde, K. G. Ranga-Raju, 1984. Bed Load Transport of Coarse Nonuniform Sediment. J. Hydraulic Engineering, 10: 312–329.Google Scholar
  10. Ranga-Raju, K. G., R. J. Garde, R. C. Bhardwaj, 1981. Total Load Transport in Alluvial Channels. Journal of Hydraulics Division ASCE, 107: 179–191.Google Scholar
  11. Ranga-Raju, K. G., 1985. Keynote Paper Ippen Lecture on ‘Transport of Sediment Mixtures’. Proc. 21st IAHR Congress, 6: 35–46.Google Scholar
  12. Rijn, v., L. C., 1984. Sediment Transport, Part I: Bed Load Transport. J. Hydraulic Engineering, 110: 1431–1457.Google Scholar
  13. Rijn, v., L. C., 1984. Sediment Transport, Part II: Suspended Load Transport. J. Hydraulic Engineering, 110: 1613–1641.Google Scholar
  14. Rijn, v., L. C., 1984. Sediment Transport, Part III: Bed Forms and Alluvial Roughness. J. Hydraulic Engineering, 110: 1733–1755.Google Scholar
  15. Rijn, v., L. C., 1986. Personal Communication.Google Scholar
  16. Shen, H. W., 1971. River Mechanics, Vol. I. Fort Collins, Colorado (Chap. 11 Wash Load and Bed Load, pp. 11–2 to 11–30).Google Scholar
  17. White, W. R., H. Milli & A. D. Crabbe, 1975. Sediment Transport Theories: A Review. Proc. Institution of Civil Engineers. Part 2, 59: 265–292.Google Scholar
  18. Vanoni, V. A. (Ed.), 1975. Sedimentation Engineering. ASCE Task Committee on Sediment Eng, New York, 745 pp.Google Scholar
  19. Zanke, v., U., 1978. Zusammenhange zwischen Stromung und Sedimenttransport, Teil 1, Mitteilungen des Franzius — Institutes der TU Hannover, 47: 218–345.Google Scholar
  20. Zanke, v., U., 1979. Recent Method for Determination of the Suspended Load Distribution and Grain-size Distribution in Withdrawing Water From Rivers. Proc 18th IAHR Congress, 6: 497–501.Google Scholar
  21. Zanke, v., U., 1980. Sand Transport Under the Action of Wind. Proc 17th International Conf. on Coastal Eng, 2: 1576–1593.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. A. Poplawski
    • 1
  • J. Piorewicz
    • 2
    • 1
  • M. R. Gourlay
    • 3
    • 1
  1. 1.Water Resources CommissionBrisbane QldAustralia
  2. 2.Capricornia Institute of Advanced EducationRockhampton QldAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of QueenslandSt. Lucia QldAustralia

Personalised recommendations