Saturday, 18 June 2016

Short report from a field trip to Swiss torrents

Colleagues K. Šilhán and R. Tichavský from and T. Galia participated the field trip to typical check-dam managed stream and the experimental watershed of the Erlenbach Stream, both located in the pre-alpine area of Switzerland. Flood events during past decades in the Gürbe Torrent (Bern canton) caused some serious damages in the forefield villages due to massive bedload transport and deposition of coarse material. A reconstruction of grade-control structures (mainly classic check-dams) took place in 2007-2009, when the first control structures were implemented in the middle of 19th century.

Check-dams in the Gürbe Torrent

Measurements of bedload transport in the Erlenbach Stream has been performed for 30 years. Flow discharge is measured and sediment is collected in a retention basin (capacity ca. 2000 m3). Sediment transport has been also continuously monitored with piezoelectric bedload impact and geophone sensors since 1986 and by an automatic system with special baskets to obtain bedload samples. In this watershed, other experiments as evaulation of water chemistry or slope-channel coupling processes take place. The rest of stay in Switzerland was dedicated to meeting with colleagues from also including discussions about river wood research in study sites in the Czech Republic (the Mazák Stream, the Odra River).
Bedload transport measurements in the Erlenbach Stream

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