Insights on the Impacts of Hydroclimatic Extremes and Anthropogenic Activities on Sediment Yield of a River Basin

Rocky Talchabhadel, Jeeban Panthi, Sanjib Sharma, Ganesh R. Ghimire, Rupesh Baniya, Piyush Dahal, Mahendra B. Baniya, Shivaram K.C., Biswo Jha, Surendra Kaini, Kshitij Dahal, Kaushal R. Gnyawali (+2 others)
2021 Earth  
Streamflow and sediment flux variations in a mountain river basin directly affect the downstream biodiversity and ecological processes. Precipitation is expected to be one of the main drivers of these variations in the Himalayas. However, such relations have not been explored for the mountain river basin, Nepal. This paper explores the variation in streamflow and sediment flux from 2006 to 2019 in central Nepal's Kali Gandaki River basin and correlates them to precipitation indices computed
more » ... 77 stations across the basin. Nine precipitation indices and four other ratio-based indices are used for comparison. Percentage contributions of maximum 1-day, consecutive 3-day, 5-day and 7-day precipitation to the annual precipitation provide information on the severity of precipitation extremeness. We found that maximum suspended sediment concentration had a significant positive correlation with the maximum consecutive 3-day precipitation. In contrast, average suspended sediment concentration had significant positive correlations with all ratio-based precipitation indices. The existing sediment erosion trend, driven by the amount, intensity, and frequency of extreme precipitation, demands urgency in sediment source management on the Nepal Himalaya's mountain slopes. The increment in extreme sediment transports partially resulted from anthropogenic interventions, especially landslides triggered by poorly-constructed roads, and the changing nature of extreme precipitation driven by climate variability.
doi:10.3390/earth2010003 fatcat:wa4huutcpffxba6wlmtq3yki3e