Journal article

Urban catchment runoff increases bedload sediment yield and particle size in stream channels

Kathryn L Russell, Geoff J Vietz, Tim D Fletcher

Anthropocene | Elsevier | Published : 2018


Physical degradation of urban rivers negatively impacts the environmental and social values they provide, and imposes significant financial costs on waterway management agencies. While the impact of urban stormwater runoff on streams is well recognised, the influence of altered bed sediment regimes on urban stream geomorphology is poorly understood. This study reports bedload sediment yields and bedload particle size distributions measured with sediment traps in nine small streams in eastern Melbourne, Australia, across a gradient of urbanization. We assessed relationships between the yield and size of bedload sediment and measures of catchment urbanization (including total imperviousness, e..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

This work was funded by a Research Training Program scholarship and the Melbourne Waterway Research Practice Partnership ( Fletcher was supported by the Australian Research Council (FT100100144) during part of this study, and flow monitoring in several of the study catchments was supported by Australian Research Council project LP130100295. The funding sources had no direct involvement in the study. The study was made possible by the assistance of many people. Peter Poelsma and Rob James assisted in designing, constructing and installing equipment; Tony Lovell, Genevieve Hehir and Ying Quek, among others, assisted with sampling; Graeme Hepworth (University of Melbourne Statistics Consulting Centre) and Chris Walsh provided guidance on statistical methods; Joshphar (Jasper) Kunapo of Grace Detailed-GIS Services provided land cover mapping; Chris Walsh provided imperviousness data; Chris Szota, Tony Lovell and Joerg Werdin provided valuable comments on a draft manuscript; and Melbourne Water provided stream layers and LiDAR data. The comments of two anonymous reviewers greatly improved this paper.