WIT Press

Dynamics Of Changes Of Bed Load Outflow From A Small Glacial Catchment (West Spitsbergen)


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261 - 270




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W. Kociuba, G. Janicki & K. Siwek


Fluvial transport in a small glacial river catchment localized in the NW part of Wedel-Jarlsberg Land (Spitsbergen SW) was studied in the summer period of 2009. The intensity of bed load transport was determined using the River Debris Traps constructed for the project’s need. The obtained results indicate high dynamics of bed load transport, the amount of which reached up to several dozen kg for 24 hours in individual measurement sites. The results also confirmed great variability of different fluvial processes in the polar zone. Keywords: small glacial river catchment, bed load transport, bed load sampling, River Debris Trap, Spitsbergen. 1 Introduction The former investigations of fluvial transport in the polar catchment of NW Spitsbergen included analysis of solution and suspension transport, without the measurements of bed load material’s transport (Rachlewicz [9], Chmiel et al. [4])  the main component of transport in a gravel-bed river (Hammer and Smith [6], Warburton [12]). The mechanism and intensity of bed load transport and functioning of proglacial rivers are poorly investigated in this environment. It is mostly the result of a shortage of representative and long-term measuring series as well as standardisation of measurement methodology. The use of direct methods to measure the bed load transport, just as in mountain gravel-bed rivers, is limited by heavy terrain conditions (Bunte et al. [3]). The use of the advanced measurement techniques (luminescence, magnetic, radio-emitters and radioisotope methods) is not possible due to a shortage of infrastructure, particularly energetic (Froehlich [5]). Therefore, elaboration and the putting into


small glacial river catchment, bed load transport, bed load sampling, River Debris Trap, Spitsbergen