Seismologically determined bedload flux during the typhoon season

Wei-An Chao*, Yih Min Wu, Li Zhao, Victor C. Tsai, Chi Hsuan Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Continuous seismic records near river channels can be used to quantify the energy induced by river sediment transport. During the 2011 typhoon season, we deployed a seismic array along the Chishan River in the mountain area of southern Taiwan, where there is strong variability in water discharge and high sedimentation rates. We observe hysteresis in the high-frequency (5-15 Hz) seismic noise level relative to the associated hydrological parameters. In addition, our seismic noise analysis reveals an asymmetry and a high coherence in noise cross-correlation functions for several station pairs during the typhoon passage, which corresponds to sediment particles and turbulent flows impacting along the riverbed where the river bends sharply. Based on spectral characteristics of the seismic records, we also detected 20 landslide/debris flow events, which we use to estimate the sediment supply. Comparison of sediment flux between seismologically determined bedload and derived suspended load indicates temporal changes in the sediment flux ratio, which imply a complex transition process from the bedload regime to the suspension regime between typhoon passage and off-typhoon periods. Our study demonstrates the possibility of seismologically monitoring river bedload transport, thus providing valuable additional information for studying fluvial bedrock erosion and mountain landscape evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8261
JournalScientific reports
Volume5
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Feb 2015

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