عنوان مقاله [English]
Introduction: The study of physical properties of suspended sediments is one of the main topics in river studies. Sediment size distribution is one of the sediment physical properties which indicate the relation between the sediment source and its sedimentation process in watersheds. It is also important for prediction of the load of non-point source pollution, and for planning sediment trap structures. The Anzali Wetland, located on the southern coast of the Caspian Sea in northern Iran, is a large complex of freshwater lagoons with extensive reed-beds, shallow impoundments and seasonal flooded meadows. Environmental conditions in the Anzali Wetland have been degraded due to the increased inflow of sewerage, wastewater and solid waste from the industry, agriculture and urban area, and sediment from the upper stream mountainous area. The lagoon has decreased in size since the 1930s to less than a quarter of its former extent. The aim of the present study was to assess the changes in size distribution of suspended sediment in Pasikhan River as the most important river interring to Anzali Wetland.
Material and Methods: Pasikhan River originates from the South Mountains, has two branches namely Siahmezgi and Imamzadeh Ebrahim. The sampling carried out during a seven month time period (October 2013 to April 2014) at two hydrometric stations; Mobarakabad (upstream) and Nokhaleh (downstream). The samples were collected in 15 days intervals by depth-integration technique at normal condition. Particle size distribution was measured by Pipette method based on Stocks law. The mean weight diameter (MWD) of sediment particles was calculated, the sediment size distribution curve was drawn and the median grain size (d50) was calculated. According to the European classification, the particles size distribution was divided into four groups of fine sand (0.2 mm), coarse silts (0.06 mm), medium silt (0.02 mm), and fine silt and clay (equal to and less than 0.006 mm). The data were compared for each sampling time for both Stations. Flow discharge and suspended sediment load were also determined at each sampling date.
Results and Discussion: At the Nokhaleh station, the maximum observed flow discharge and sediment concentration were 51.4 m3/s and 4.162 g/L, occurred in February 4, 2014 and November 3, 2013, respectively. The highest flow discharge and sediment concentration of the Mobarakabad were 9.8 m3/s and 2.633 g/L which were observed on February 19, 2014 and April 4, 2014, respectively. These changes and differences were partly due to topography and land use differences between upland and lowland and partly due to rainfall pattern. Results showed that the MWD and d50 were 0.062 and 0.052 mm on average, respectively at Mobarakabad station, and 0.055 and 0.051 mm, respectively at Nowkhaleh station. The maximum values of MWD and d50 were observed to be 0.07 and 0.061 mm, respectively at normal condition at Mobarakabad station. The study of sediment size distribution indicated that the particles smaller than 2 mm comprised 83-94 percent of the suspended sediment at Mobarakabad station, and 87-99 percent at Nokhaleh station. The percentage of particles smaller than 0.02 mm were observed to be 12-33 and 10-64 at Mobarakabad and Noukhaleh stations, respectively. Also the amount of fine silt and clay in suspended sediment were 3-16 and 5-24 percent at these stations. There was not any correlation between flow discharge and sediment concentration or sediment size distribution characteristics.
Conclusion: In most of the samples, there was not any relationship between the flow discharge and particle size distribution of suspended sediment which emphasize on the non-hydraulic nature of sediment transport and the effects of different factors including sediment sources, the season, transport energy, rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility and deposition process. Generally, the size of sediment particles at Mobarakabad station was coarser than Nokhaleh station. This could be due to the type of soil erosion which is different at upstream and downstream. In upstream regions, mainly because of severity of topography and vegetation cover including forest and rangeland, the occurrence of gully erosion and landslide is higher in comparison with surface soil erosion. But in downstream especially in paddy fields, the soil erosion type is mainly splash and sheet erosion. Also the cultivation practices including plowing and paddling of the field usually provides fine particles entering to the river. In addition, the river profile is very gentle at the plain before the Nokhaleh station which resulted in deposition of coarser particles.