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Investigating the temporal dynamics of suspended sediment during flood events with $^{7}$Be and $^{210}$Pb$_{xs}$ measurements in a drained lowland catchment

Abstract : Soil erosion is recognized as one of the main processes of land degradation in agricultural areas. High suspended sediment loads, often generated from eroding agricultural landscapes, are known to degrade downstream environments. Accordingly, there is a need to understand soil erosion dynamics during flood events. Suspended sediment was therefore sampled in the river network and at tile drain outlets during five flood events in a lowland drained catchment in France. Source and sediment fallout radionuclide concentrations (Be-7, Pb-210(xs)) were measured to quantify both the fraction of recently eroded particles transported during flood events and their residence time. Results indicate that the mean fraction of recently eroded sediment, estimated for the entire Louroux catchment, increased from 45 +/- 20% to 80 +/- 20% between December 2013 and February 2014, and from 65 +/- 20% to 80 +/- 20% in January 2016. These results demonstrate an initial flush of sediment previously accumulated in the river channel before the increasing supply of sediment recently eroded from the hillslopes during subsequent events. This research highlights the utility of coupling continuous river monitoring and fallout radionuclide measurements to increase our understanding of sediment dynamics and improve the management of soil and water resources in agricultural catchments.
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Marion Le Gall, O. Evrard, Anthony Foucher, J. Patrick Laceby, Sébastien Salvador-Blanes, et al.. Investigating the temporal dynamics of suspended sediment during flood events with $^{7}$Be and $^{210}$Pb$_{xs}$ measurements in a drained lowland catchment. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7 (1), ⟨10.1038/srep42099⟩. ⟨hal-01849515⟩

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