A Rouse-based method to integrate the chemical composition of river sediments : application to the Ganga basin
Table S1: Water velocity profiles of the vertical water columns that have been sampled and used in this work. (2.757Kb)
Table S2: Laser diffraction grain size analysis of all Ganga sediment samples used in this work. (15.95Kb)
Table S3: Major and trace element composition of all Ganga sediment samples used in this work. (18.81Kb)
Table S4: Average gauged water level of the Ganga at Harding Bridge in Bangladesh for the period 1981-2005 (Station #90). (5.233Kb)
Table S6: Major element composition of Himalayan front river sediments, sampled on the Ganga, Narayani and Karnali. (2.729Kb)
Table S7: Major element composition and sampling location of the Siwalik sediments used to constrain the Siwalik chemical composition. (7.916Kb)
Table S8: Major element composition of dredged bedlam samples covering the Ganga floodplain. (6.378Kb)
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The Ganga River is one of the main conveyors of sediments produced by Himalayan erosion. Determining the flux of elements transported through the system is essential to understand the dynamics of the basin. This is hampered by the chemical heterogeneity of sediments observed both in the water column and under variable hydrodynamic conditions. Using Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) acquisitions with sediment depth profile sampling of the Ganga in Bangladesh we build a simple model to derive the annual flux and grain size distributions of the sediments. The model shows that ca. 390 (±30) Mt of sediments are transported on average each year through the Ganga at Haring Bridge (Bangladesh). Modeled average sediment grain size parameters D50 and D84 are 27 (±4) and 123 (±9) μm, respectively. Grain size parameters are used to infer average chemical compositions of the sediments owing to a strong grain size chemical composition relation. The integrated sediment flux is characterized by low Al/Si and Fe/Si ratios that are close to those inferred for the Himalayan crust. This implies that only limited sequestration occurs in the Gangetic floodplain. The stored sediment flux is estimated to c.a. 10% of the initial Himalayan sediment flux by geochemical mass balance. The associated, globally averaged sedimentation rates in the floodplain are found to be ca. 0.08 mm/yr and yield average Himalayan erosion rate of ca. 0.9 mm/yr. This study stresses the need to carefully address the average composition of river sediments before solving large-scale geochemical budgets.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2011. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 116 (2011): F04012, doi:10.1029/2010JF001947.
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