Nationalparks Austria NPA
Eintrag Nr. 50570
Riverine Sediment Changes and Channel Pattern of a Gravel-Bed Mountain Torrent
Fachbereich Naturschutz und Naturraum
Seier, Gernot; Schöttl, Stefan; Kellerer-Pirklbauer, Andreas; Glück, Raphael; Lieb, Gerhard K.; Hofstadler, Daniel N.; Sulzer, Wolfgang
The alluvial channel of the Langgriesgraben (Austria) is a highly active geomorphic riverine subcatchment of the Johnsbach River with intermittent discharge and braided river structures. The high sediment yield entails both issues and opportunities. For decades, the riverbed was exploited as a gravel pit. Today, as part of the Gesäuse National Park and after renaturation, the sediment yield endangers a locally important bridge located at the outlet of the subcatchment. High-resolution geospatial investigations are vital for the quantification of sediment redistribution, which is relevant in terms of river management. Based on unmanned aerial system (UAS) surveys in 2015 (July, September, and October) and 2019 (August and October), high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) were generated, which enable us to quantify intra- and multiannual sediment changes. As surface runoff at the subcatchment occurs on only a few days per year with flash floods and debris flows that are not predictable and thus hardly observable, the subsurface water conditions were assessed based on electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) measurements, which were conducted in 2019 (November) and 2020 (May, June). Results of the UAS-based surveys showed that, considering the data quality, intra-annual sediment changes affected only small subareas, whereas multiannual changes occurred in the entire study area and amount to net sediment deposition of &8776;0.30.4 m3m&8722;2, depending on the channel section. In addition, the elevation differences for both intra-annual surveys revealed linear patterns that can be interpreted as braided river channels. As in both survey periods the same areas were affected by changes, it can be concluded that the channel mainly affected by reshaping persisted within the 4-year observation period. The subsurface investigations showed that although both near-surface and groundwater conditions changed, near-surface sediments are mostly dry with a thickness of several meters during the observations.