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Date of Award
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Carol J. Miller
This research involved development of an empirical equation using regression analysis to predict bedload sediment delivery to the river outlet of 60 Michigan rivers and five sub-watersheds. Watershed sediment delivery is the total amount of sediment generated within a watershed and delivered to the river outlet over a particular timeframe. Estimation of watershed sediment delivery involves an understanding of the complex processes of soil erosion, sediment transport, and sediment deposition. The total sediment load transported by a river to the river outlet consists of dissolved load, wash load (silts and clays), and bed material load. Bed material load consists of suspended load and bed load. Suspended load is the portion of the bed material load that is lifted by turbulence to travel within the water column at elevations above the river bed greater than a few sediment grain diameters. Prediction of bed load sediment delivery at the river outlet is the focus of this research and is the portion of the bed material load that travels within a few grain diameters of the river bed and moves by rolling, sliding, and saltating along the bed of the river. With respect to the regression analysis, the dependent variable was the measured watershed sediment delivery estimates based on (1) analysis of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging data at federally maintained Harbors and navigation channels at the outlets of 12 Michigan rivers, and (2) watershed sediment delivery estimates based on the results of 137Cs and 210Pb radiometric dating of sediment cores collected from five Michigan reservoirs. Eighteen characteristics of the fluvial system and watershed were evaluated using step-wise regression analysis. Based on log normal transformation of the dependent and independent variables, a regression equation was developed to predict bedload sediment delivery to the river outlet using three predictor variables: the 1.5-year recurrence interval flow of the river, the percent of the watershed covered in upland and aquatic wetlands, and the percent of the watershed covered in manmade reservoirs.
Barkach, John Hugh, "Estimating Bedload Sediment Delivery To The Great Lakes From Sixty Michigan Rivers" (2021). Wayne State University Dissertations. 3456.