Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 99, Issue 1–4, pp 9–20 | Cite as

Investigating spatial patterns of overbank sedimentation on river floodplains

  • D. E. Walling
  • Q. He
Sediment/Water Dynamics


Attempts to study spatial patterns of overbank sedimentation on river floodplains commonly face important operational and sampling problems in documenting deposition rates. Recent advances in the application of fallout radionuclides (137Cs and unsupported210Pb) to the estimation of medium-term rates of overbank sedimentation offer an essentially unique opportunity to assemble detailed distributed data sets for medium term deposition rates. Such data can afford a valuable basis for investigating the complex relationship between sedimentation rates and floodplain microtopography and morphology and flow hydraulics. This paper reports the results of an investigation of the spatial pattern of overbank sedimentation rates on the floodplain of the River Culm, Devon, UK. Caesium-137 and unsupported210Pb measurements have been used to establish the general pattern of deposition rates along an 11 kilt reach and more intensive measurements have been employed to document the detailed pattern existing within a small area subject to frequent inundation. The resultant data have been used as a basis for interpreting the major controls on the observed patterns.

Key words

Floodplains sedimentation caesium-137 unsupported lead-210 overbank deposition deposition rates fallout radionuclides 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. E. Walling
    • 1
  • Q. He
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

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