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A New Method for Computing the Sediment Delivery Ratio for the Hyper-Concentrated Flow Areas of the Loess Plateau, China

T. H. Li1,2 *, and W. C. Xie2

  1. College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, Peking University; Key Laboratory of Water and Sediment Sciences, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100871, China
  2. Shenzhen Graduate School of Peking University, Shenzhen, Guangdong 518055, China

*Corresponding author. Tel.: 86-10-62753351; fax: 86-10-62753351. E-mail address: (T. H. Li).


The sediment delivery ratio (SDR) is an important index for understanding sediment erosion, transportation and deposition features in a river basin. Based on the commonly accepted definition of SDR and the characteristics of the sediment delivery process in hyper-concentrated flow areas of the Loess Plateau, China, a new model for computing the SDR is proposed. The model is a functional relation of fractional form, in which the denominator is the surface runoff of the basin, and the numerator is the water volume needed for saturated sediment discharge in the controlling hydrological station at the exit of the basin when the saturated sediment load is equal to the measured sediment load. Using the proposed SDR equation, the long-term series of SDRs in the Yanhe River basin, a typical hyper-concentrated flow basin in the Loess Plateau, were calculated from 1952 to 2010. The results show that the long-term annual average SDR in the Yanhe River basin was 0.92, which is consistent with the results of previous studies; this finding confirms the validity and effectiveness of the method. The proposed method only requires gauge data of sediment concentration, sediment delivery rate, sediment delivery volume, and runoff ratio from hydrological stations, which makes it easy to use, and it can be used to easily estimate soil erosion in the basin.

Keywords: Loess Plateau, sediment delivery ratio (SDR), sediment yield, soil erosion; Yanhe River basin

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