State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007VI91B
Title: Selection of Sediment Transport Functions for St. Thomas Island Guts
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 1/29/2008
Congressional District: N/A
Focus Categories: Geomorphological Processes, Sediments, Hydrology
Keywords: Erosion, Sedimentation, Geomorphology, Flood Control
Principal Investigator: Silva, Walter F (University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez)
Federal Funds: $ 18,488
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 0
Abstract: The amount of sediment transported during flow discharge periods is commonly estimated by using sediment transport functions. The common approach to select the most appropriate sediment load equation for a particular stream is to analyze a series of measured values of suspended and/or bed load in order to find the function that best fit the field data. This approach requires a long period of historic measurements and usually this information is not available; therefore, this methodology cannot be applied in many streams. However, the estimation of the potential amount of sediment moved towards the coastline during a storm event is of great importance for damage estimation on urban and coastal areas, marine habitat, and restoration projects. Significant differences in sediment amounts are obtained when several sediment transport functions are tested. This situation introduces great uncertainties in any analysis requiring the estimation of sediment movement .

This research will select sediment transport functions for two watersheds in Saint Thomas, V.I., using a methodology which does not require periods of sediment discharge measurements. Instead, it uses grain size distributions, geometric and hydraulic parameters of the water course to identify those sediment transport functions more appropriate for the existing conditions. An urbanized and a more natural-state watershed will be selected in order to compare geomorphic impacts in guts do to urban development.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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