Linking Catchments to Rivers: Flood-driven Sediment and Contaminant Loads in the Selenga Riverстатья

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[1] Chalov S. R., Romanchenko A. O. Linking catchments to rivers: Flood-driven sediment and contaminant loads in the selenga river // Water and Environment in the SelengaBaikal Basin: International Research Cooperation for an Ecoregion of Global Relevance / Ed. by С. Р. Чалов. — ibidem-Verlag, Stuttgart, 2015. — P. 101–118. The present study is particularly devoted to link geochemical flux and climate and land use changes in the Selenga river catchment. Results indicate that high sediment loads were reported both for altered and natural rivers. Reported multi-decadal declines in sediment loads in the downstream part of Selenga River can be attributed to the abandonment of cultivated lands and changing hydroclimatic factors, such as in particular climate-driven decrease of water flows and intensified water use for irrigation purposes. Empirical sediment rating curves show that a series of peak flow events during spring and summer contribute to the main part (up to 98 %) of the annual sediment and pollution loads. The highest contribution of flood sediment load was obtained for the particular wet years, the lowest - for the dry, which is generally reflects the increase of water runoff during high floods in annual flow. Whereas sediment flows were connected with the hydroclimatic conditions in the catchment, elemental composition of the mass flows mostly relate to the soil/petrologic conditions. With the exception of small impacted rivers where water quality impacts associated with mining were found, the formation of elemental compositions and sediment-associated chemical constituents generally reflects catchment characteristics.

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