Unmixing the river's dynamics

Rivers are the fluvial conveyor belts routing sediment across the landscape. While there are proper techniques for continuous estimates of the flux of suspended solids, constraining bedload flux is much more challenging, typically involving extensive measurement infrastructure or labor-intensive manual measurements. Seismometers are potentially valuable alternatives to in-stream devices, delivering continuous data with high temporal resolution on the average behavior of a reach. We provide three functions contained in the R package “eseis” that allow generic modeling of hydraulic and bedload transport dynamics from seismic data using established physical models that predict seismic spectra of river turbulence and bedload transport. The method is validated against synthetic data sets and independently measured metrics from a flash flood-dominated river in Israel. Our approach thus provides generic, testable, and reproducible routines for a quantitative description of key metrics, hard to collect by other techniques in a continuous and representative manner

The research article (WRR) is available online. The poster below gives an overall summary of the project. A larger version is available here.