Flood-duration-integrated stream power and frequency magnitude of >50-year-long sediment discharge out of a hyperarid watershed

Judith Lekach, Yehouda Enzel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Determining sediment discharge out of watersheds is a global, long-term challenge. In the vast, usually data-poor, hyperarid regions of the world, this is a greater challenge. Here, we present a unique, decades-long dataset of individual floods and their respective sediment discharge out of Nahal Yael, an experimental, well-instrumented, hyperarid (~25–30 mm year−1) watershed in southern Israel. The high correlation between directly measured sediment yield by discrete individual floods and their respective total energy, represented by flood-integrated stream power (FISP), serves here as a rating curve. Using this rating curve, the 51-year-long series of FISP in Nahal Yael, calculated from the detailed individual flood hydrographs, was converted into a series of sediment yield by these floods. This, in turn, allows determining the long-term frequency-magnitude of sediment exported out of this hyperarid basin. This can assist in landscape evolution modeling, in testing impacts of flood frequency changes enforced by altered regional climatology, and hint at changes needed in forming the observed alluvial fans. We conclude that, at the decadal scale, moderate floods are the most effective in terms of total sediment transport. However, the recurrence intervals of these moderate hyperarid floods are longer than in temperate regions and reach 5–10 years.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1348-1362
Number of pages15
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume46
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Keywords

  • Dead Sea rift
  • Negev
  • alluvial fan
  • arid
  • bedload
  • desert floods
  • flood-integrated stream power
  • geomorphic work
  • hyperarid
  • sediment transport
  • sediment yield

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