Spatial and temporal variation of suspended sediment concentration versus turbidity in the stream Harsit Watershed, NE Turkey


ARABIAN JOURNAL OF GEOSCIENCES, vol.7, no.11, pp.4987-4996, 2014 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12517-013-1122-z
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.4987-4996
  • Keywords: Kurtun Dam, Sand-gravel mining, Stream, Harsit, Suspended sediment concentration, Torul Dam, Turbidity, LOWER MEKONG RIVER, BLACK-SEA RIVERS, TRANSPORT, DISCHARGE, LOAD, DAMS, CONSTRUCTION, IMPACTS, BASIN
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Suspended sediment related studies based on direct measurements for Turkish rivers and streams are very few for various reasons such as cost, time, or fewer operational sediment gauging stations, and thus the researchers tend to look for indirect methods. Turkey is a developing country and in need of many investments, which resulted in engineering and management modifications in its river and stream systems. This paper investigates the spatial and temporal variations of suspended sediment concentration ( SSC, mg/L) versus turbidity ( NTU) in the stream Harsit watershed having a length of the main branch at 143 km and catchment area of 3,280 km(2), Eastern Black Sea Basin of Turkey. Subsequently, the effect of the all kinds of anthropogenic activities was evaluated, namely, dam operation, levee construction, municipal wastewater discharge, sand-gravel mining on SSC, and turbidity in the watershed. In situ turbidity monitoring and water sampling studies were semimonthly conducted at ten stations from March 2009 to February 2010. On a semimonthly basis, it was revealed that SSC and turbidity values having significant correlation varied spatially and temporarily. The municipal wastewater discharge from the city of Gumushane together with the decreasing flow rate revealed itself with a significant increase in the turbidity and SSC, especially in the summer months. Torul Dam having a reservoir volume of 168 hm(3) could trap 78.6 % of the SSC and could remove 66.6 % of the turbidity, thanks to its long hydraulic residence time; however, Kurtun Dam released the suspended sediment as a result of its sluiceway tunnel operation. Sand-gravel mining activities between the last two stations severely affected the water quality by increasing the SSC and turbidity.