Surface Runoff and Sediment Yields from Tropical Volcanic Upland Watersheds as Influenced by Climatic, Geological and Land-Use Factors

  • Anton RijsdijkEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Geography book series (BRIEFSGEOGRAPHY)


This paper presents discharge, suspended sediment and bedload yields from a young volcanic catchment (the Konto river catchment) in East Java, Indonesia. river flow and catchment sediment yields were determined in three sub-catchments at two locations in each. In general, the upper stations represented more-or-less natural conditions, while two of the lower stations included agricultural land and settlements. Two sub-catchments, which had a predominantly forested upper part, and a lower catchment with settlements and a high percentage of irrigated or rain-fed agricultural land, showed clear differences in quickflow percentages and suspended sediment yield. In these sub-catchments, quickflow (expressed as a percentage of rainfall) at the lower stations was twice as much as that observed in the forested upper stations, while the annual suspended sediment load was between three times higher (3.4 vs. 11.2 Mg ha−1) and 26 times higher (0.35 vs. 9.3 Mg ha−1). By contrast, in another sub-catchment with little agriculture and no settlements, there was virtually no difference between the upper and lower station (both around 1.0 Mg ha−1). The contribution of bedload to the total sediment load ranged from 0.5% in an upper watershed with consolidated material to nearly 12% in an upper watershed situated in an unstable lahar valley. In both developed lower catchments, the bedload component was about 6.5% of the total load. From erosion-pin measurements and analysis of the grain-size contribution of both bed material and the riverbank material, the contribution of bank erosion was estimated to range from 1 to about 36% of the total sediment load. River sediment yields in Indonesia appear to be underestimated due to incorrect sampling and calculation methods. Comparison between the conventional method and theoretically more accurate approach yielded an underestimate of up to 47% of the first method. However, despite the different methods and uncertainties, the results obtained in this study are comparable with those of other studies on sediment yield in the humid tropics.


Humid tropics Sediment yield Water balances Bank erosion Bedload Sediment measurements 



The author gratefully acknowledges the support of his colleagues within the Konto river project, notably the team leaders Sjaak Beerens, M.Sc. (DHV Consultants) and Bapak Bambang Moerdiyono, M.Sc. (DGRRL); Dr. Sampurno Bruijnzeel (Free University) (scientific supervision); Edi Hertanto, Jumali, Suparno, and the M.Sc. students Evert Kaatee, Chris Bremmer and Theo Prins (data collection and processing, laboratory analyses); Ahmad Zaeni (supervision of construction work); and the numerous temporary field assistants that helped out during the intensive campaigns that generated the results described in this paper. The Konto river project was financed by the Directorate General of International Co-operation (DGIS) of the Netherlands under project no. ATA 206.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UtrechtThe Netherlands

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