Hydraulic Geometry, Hydraulics and Sediment Properties of Forest Brooks after Extensive Erosion from Upland Peatland Drainage

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DOI: 10.4236/ojmh.2012.23008    3,353 Downloads   7,218 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Peatland drainage can affect headwater systems, causing changes in bed substrate composition and hydraulic geome-try in small brooks. We studied hydraulic geometry and sediment properties in 14 boreal forest brook reaches (width < 2 m), characterised by well-vegetated banks, high sinuosity and low width-to-depth ratio, in north-east Finland. The aims were to obtain information from channel geometry and to study brook response to extensive sediment load from land use. The results indicate that bed sediment in brooks is almost continuously mobile, which negatively reflect to ecological status of the brooks. These headwater meandering parts have limited sediment transport capacity and require a long period to recover from artificially increased sediment input from peat drainage. However, different reaches can be prioritised for restoration according to the characteristics of silted bed sediment or sediment origins. Brook width appeared to have large natural variation, causing great local velocity variations. This needs to be taken into consideration when restoring straightened reaches in small headwater areas, e.g., width in restored reaches cannot be uniform but should include variations.

Cite this paper

H. Marttila, S. Tammela and B. Kløve, "Hydraulic Geometry, Hydraulics and Sediment Properties of Forest Brooks after Extensive Erosion from Upland Peatland Drainage," Open Journal of Modern Hydrology, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 59-69. doi: 10.4236/ojmh.2012.23008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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