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Evaluating turbidity and suspended-sediment concentration relations from the North Fork Toutle River basin near Mount St. Helens, Washington; annual, seasonal, event, and particle size variations - a preliminary analysis.

May 26, 2015

Regression of in-stream turbidity with concurrent sample-based suspended-sediment concentration (SSC) has become an accepted method for producing unit-value time series of inferred SSC (Rasmussen et al., 2009). Turbidity-SSC regression models are increasingly used to generate suspended-sediment records for Pacific Northwest rivers (e.g., Curran et al., 2014; Schenk and Bragg, 2014; Uhrich and Bragg, 2003). Recent work developing turbidity-SSC models for the North Fork Toutle River in Southwest Washington (Uhrich et al., 2014), as well as other studies (Landers and Sturm, 2013, Merten et al., 2014), suggests that models derived from annual or greater datasets may not adequately reflect shorter term changes in turbidity-SSC relations, warranting closer inspection of such relations. In-stream turbidity measurements and suspended-sediment samples have been collected from the North Fork Toutle River since 2010. The study site, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamgage 14240525 near Kid Valley, Washington, is 13 river km downstream of the debris avalanche emplaced by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens (Lipman and Mullineaux, 1981), and 2 river km downstream of the large sediment retention structure (SRS) built from 1987–1989 to mitigate the associated sediment hazard. The debris avalanche extends roughly 25 km down valley from the edifice of the volcano and is the primary source of suspended sediment moving past the streamgage (NF Toutle-SRS). Other significant sources are debris flow events and sand deposits upstream of the SRS, which are periodically remobilized and transported downstream. Also, finer material often is derived from the clay-rich original debris avalanche deposit, while coarser material can derive from areas such as fluvially reworked terraces.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2015
Title Evaluating turbidity and suspended-sediment concentration relations from the North Fork Toutle River basin near Mount St. Helens, Washington; annual, seasonal, event, and particle size variations - a preliminary analysis.
DOI
Authors Mark A. Uhrich, Kurt R. Spicer, Adam R. Mosbrucker, Tami S. Christianson
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Abstract or summary
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70142283
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center