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SEDFATE:Sediment fate in a changing watershed during the Anthropocene

English title SEDFATE:Sediment fate in a changing watershed during the Anthropocene
Applicant Schlunegger Fritz
Number 147689
Funding scheme Sinergia
Research institution Institut für Geologie Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Geomorphology
Start/End 01.02.2014 - 28.02.2018
Approved amount 1'090'761.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Geomorphology
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Geology

Keywords (6)

Provenance tracing; Surface erosion; Hydrological modeling; Anthropocene; Sediment transport; Lake research

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
It has been documented that sedimentation rates has decreased in Lake Geneva during the past c. 50 years. We explore whether this could be related to water anthropogenic flow abstraction and river regulation during the past decades in the Rhône River, which might have modified sediment transfer rates and mechanisms, and changes in sediment sources. Research will be carried out as a collaborative effort between scientists of Geneva, Lausanne, Bern and ETH Zurich.
Lay summary

Das vorliegende Projekt hat zum Ziel, den Einfluss der anthropogenen Wassernutzung auf den Sedimenthaushalt im Rhonetal zu quantifizieren und Mechanismen zu erkennen, die zu einer veränderten Sedimentbilanz führen. Auslöser für die Projektidee ist die Beobachtung, dass die Sedimentationsraten im Genfersee während der letzten Jahrzehnte abgenommen haben. Eine mögliche Ursache könnte im veränderten Sedimentfluss liegen, hervorgerufen durch den Bau von Staudämmen. Dies führt einerseits dazu, dass Sediment hinter den Stauseen zurückgehalten wird. Andererseits kann ein geringerer Wasserabfluss unterhalb der Stauseen zu einem reduzierten Transportpotential der Vorfluter führen. Das Projekt hat zum Ziel, diese Mechanismen zu quantifizieren. Am Projekt beteiligen sich WissenschafterInnen der Uni Genf, Lausanne, Bern und der ETZ Zürich.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 15.01.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Combined Flow Abstraction and Climate Change Impacts on an Aggrading Alpine River
Bakker M., Costa A., Silva T., Stutenbecker L., Girardclos S., Loizeau J.L., Molnar P., Schlunegger F., Lane S. (2018), Combined Flow Abstraction and Climate Change Impacts on an Aggrading Alpine River, in Water Resources Research, 54, 223-242.
Temperature signal in suspended sediment export from an Alpine catchment
Costa A. et al. (2018), Temperature signal in suspended sediment export from an Alpine catchment, in Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 509-528.
Sediment export, transient landscape response and catchment-scale connectivity following rapid climate warming and Alpine glacier recession
Lane Stuart N., Bakker Maarten, Gabbud Chrystelle, Micheletti Natan, Saugy Jean-Noël (2017), Sediment export, transient landscape response and catchment-scale connectivity following rapid climate warming and Alpine glacier recession, in Geomorphology, 277, 210-227.
Lithological control on the landscape form of the upper Rhône Basin, Central Swiss Alps
Stutenbecker Laura, Costa Anna, Schlunegger Fritz (2016), Lithological control on the landscape form of the upper Rhône Basin, Central Swiss Alps, in Earth Surface Dynamics, 4, 253-272.
Archival photogrammetric analysis of river–floodplain systems using Structure from Motion(SfM) methods
Bakker Maarteen, Lane Stuart N., Archival photogrammetric analysis of river–floodplain systems using Structure from Motion(SfM) methods, in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.
Reduced sediment supply in a fast eroding landscape? A multi-proxy sediment budget of the upper Rhône basin, Central Alps
Stutenbecker L. et al., Reduced sediment supply in a fast eroding landscape? A multi-proxy sediment budget of the upper Rhône basin, Central Alps, in Sedimentary Geology.
The potential of detrital garnet as a provenance proxy in the Central Swiss Alps
Stutenbecker Laura, Berger Alfons, Schlunegger Fritz, The potential of detrital garnet as a provenance proxy in the Central Swiss Alps, in Sedimentary Geology, in press.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
PD Dr. N. Akçar Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Durham University; Prof R I Ferguson Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
ETH; Dr. Simone Fatichi Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Hydro Exploitation SA Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
AGU Fall meeting Poster Geochemical dataset of the Rhone River delta sediments (Lake Geneva) - Disentangling human impacts from climate 16.12.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Silva Tiago André Adrião;
14th Swiss Geoscience Meeting Talk given at a conference Geochemical dataset of the Rhone River delta (Lake Geneva) sediments – disentangling human impacts from climate change 18.11.2016 Genève, Switzerland Schlunegger Fritz; Silva Tiago André Adrião; Loizeau Jean-Luc; Girardclos Stéphanie;
13th Swiss Geoscience Meeting Poster How much sediment is stored in the Rhone delta, canyon and fan system (Lake Geneva, Switzerland/France) since 1889? 20.11.2015 Bâle, Switzerland Silva Tiago André Adrião; Loizeau Jean-Luc;
International Limnogeology Congress Poster Quantification of centennial- scale sedimentation rates in Lake Geneva (Switzerland-France). 15.06.2015 Reno, United States of America Silva Tiago André Adrião;
12th Swiss Geoscience Meeting Poster Quantifying the impact of anthropogenic activities on the erosional and sediment budget in the Rhone river basin—the SEDFATE project! 14.11.2014 Fribourg, Switzerland Loizeau Jean-Luc; Girardclos Stéphanie; Silva Tiago André Adrião;
International Sedimentological Congress Poster Presenting the Sedfate Project – Sediment fate in a changing watershed during the Anthropocene. 18.08.2014 Genève, Switzerland Schlunegger Fritz; Loizeau Jean-Luc; Girardclos Stéphanie; Silva Tiago André Adrião;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
133790 A multibeam-bathymetric device to acquire high-resolution lake floor morphologic data 01.08.2011 R'EQUIP
140218 Assessment of timescales of sediment discharge in selected Alpine catchments 01.05.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
121666 Quantifying human impact and recent climate change using clastic sediments from lacustrine records in western Switzerland 01.02.2010 Project funding (Div. I-III)
154263 'Pump priming' a historical database of extreme natural events in Lake Geneva region 01.02.2014 International short research visits
119785 Quantification of surface erosion at the northern foothills of the Alps of central Switzerland and identification of potential controls 01.04.2008 Project funding (Div. I-III)
160020 Flow structure and coarse sediment flux at tributary junctions 01.10.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)
120467 SedyMONT - Analysis and modelling framework for sediment production and yield in mountain basins under climate change (IP6) 01.10.2009 Project funding (special)

Abstract

We plan to quantitatively explore the human impact on erosion and fine sediment transfer in the Rhône drainage basin, which is the largest inner Alpine system. In this basin, anthropogenic flow abstraction and river regulation during the past decades have had a measurable impact on the transfer of sediment as documented by a decrease in sedimentation rates in Lake Geneva, the primary sedimentary sink of the Rhône River. Our aim is to analyse quantitatively the sediment fate in the changing Rhône basin during the late Anthropocene, and to test basic hypotheses, which explain the changes in sediment production, transfer and deposition rates. We will focus on considering three critical question areas: (i) What are the precise timings, amplitudes and patterns of change? (ii) Where are the sources responsible for the change? (iii) What are the mechanisms responsible for change, and what is the role of human activities in this context? To address these questions, the project brings together sedimentologists (UNIGe), geologists (UNIBe), geomorphologists (UNIL) and hydrologists (ETHZ) to disentangle natural climate variability, climate change and long-term geologic forcing from human impacts in a collaborative effort.
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