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Modelling sediment supply and transport in the River Lugg:\ud strategies for controlling sediment loads

By Paul G Whitehead, Attila Nandor Lazar, Martyn Futter, Linda Pope, Andrew John Wade, Robert Willows and Chris Burgess


The River Lugg has particular problems with high sediment loads that have resulted in detrimental impacts on ecology and fisheries. A new dynamic, process-based model of hydrology and sediments (INCA- SED) has been developed and applied to the River Lugg system using an extensive data set\ud from 1995–2008. The model simulates sediment sources and sinks throughout the catchment and gives a good representation of the sediment response at 22 reaches along the River Lugg. A key question considered in using the model is the management of sediment sources so that concentrations and bed loads can be reduced in the river system. Altogether, five sediment management scenarios were selected for testing on the River Lugg, including land use change, contour tillage, hedging and buffer strips. Running the model with parameters altered to simulate these five scenarios produced some interesting results. All scenarios achieved some reduction in sediment levels, with the 40% land use change achieving the best result with a 19% reduction. The other scenarios also achieved significant reductions of between 7% and 9%. Buffer strips produce the best result at close to 9%. The results suggest that if hedge introduction, contour tillage and buffer strips were\ud all applied, sediment reductions would total 24%, considerably improving the current sediment situation. We present a novel cost-effectiveness analysis of our results where we use percentage of land removed from production as our cost function. Given the minimal loss of land associated\ud with contour tillage, hedges and buffer strips, we suggest that these management practices are the most cost-effective combination to reduce sediment loads

Year: 2010
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