Sediment Transport in Proglacial Rivers

  • Luca Mao
  • Francesco Comiti
  • Ricardo Carrillo
  • Daniele Penna
Part of the Geography of the Physical Environment book series (GEOPHY)


Suspended and bedload transport in mountain rivers are notoriously difficult to monitor and thus to quantify. Even more challenging are proglacial streams that are generally characterized by high flow velocities, high sediment concentrations and transport rates, large and abrupt temporal variability of water discharge and transport rates, as well as by frequent morphological changes. However, the quantification of suspended and bedload transport rates is crucial to understand and predict short- and long-term morphodynamics in such sensitive systems. In this chapter, we present an updated summary on the current knowledge on the monitoring methods and on the observed dynamics of sediment transport in proglacial rivers, including both suspended and bedload fractions.


Sediment transport Sediment yield Proglacial river Measurement Rating curves Hysteresis 



For the unpublished data coming from the Sulden/Solda River monitoring station (“Aquased” project,, we thank Gianluca Vignoli (CISMA srl), Silvia Simoni (Mountain-eering srl), Walter Bertoldi (University of Trento), Rudolf Pollinger, Roberto Dinale, and Rudi Nadalet (Civil Protection Agency of the Aut. Province of Bozen-Bolzano), and Arnold Richter (Environmental Agency of the Aut. Prov. of Bozen-Bolzano). Michael Engel and Andrea Dell’Agnese (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano) are warmly thanked in particular for the unpublished data from the Saldur River.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luca Mao
    • 1
    • 4
  • Francesco Comiti
    • 2
  • Ricardo Carrillo
    • 1
  • Daniele Penna
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Ecosystems and EnvironmentPontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Faculty of Science and TechnologyFree University of Bozen-BolzanoBozen-BolzanoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Agricultural, Food and Forestry SystemsUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  4. 4.School of GeographyUniversity of LincolnLincolnUK

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