Estimation of suspended sediment concentration from turbidity measurements using artificial neural networks

BAYRAM A., Kankal M., ONSOY H.

ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT, vol.184, no.7, pp.4355-4365, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 184 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10661-011-2269-2
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.4355-4365
  • Keywords: Artificial neural networks, Regression analysis, Stream Harsit, Suspended sediment concentration, Turbidity, LOAD, CALIFORNIA, SIMULATION, BASIN
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Suspended sediment concentration (SSC) is generally determined from the direct measurement of sediment concentration of river or from sediment transport equations. Direct measurement is very costly and cannot be conducted for all river gauge stations. Therefore, correct estimation of suspended sediment amount carried by a river is very important in terms of water pollution, channel navigability, reservoir filling, fish habitat, river aesthetics and scientific interests. This study investigates the feasibility of using turbidity as a surrogate for SSC as in situ turbidity meters are being increasingly used to generate continuous records of SSC in rivers. For this reason, regression analysis (RA) and artificial neural networks (ANNs) were employed to estimate SSC based on in situ turbidity measurements. The SSC was firstly experimentally determined for the surface water samples collected from the six monitoring stations along the main branch of the stream Harsit, Eastern Black Sea Basin, Turkey. There were 144 data for each variable obtained on a fortnightly basis during March 2009 and February 2010. In the ANN method, the used data for training, testing and validation sets are 108, 24 and 12 of total 144 data, respectively. As the results of analyses, the smallest mean absolute error (MAE) and root mean square error (RMSE) values for validation set were obtained from the ANN method with 11.40 and 17.87, respectively. However these were 19.12 and 25.09 for RA. It was concluded that turbidity could be a surrogate for SSC in the streams, and the ANNs method used for the estimation of SSC provided acceptable results.