Over the past several decades there has been an enormous proliferation of sediment models, ranging from empirical to physically-based. Most of these models aim to capture the impacts of three primary sediment processes viz. erosion, deposition, and transport. As a range of process representations exist for simulating these three processes, it is natural to wonder about their influence on estimates of suspended sediment yield from a watershed. While several studies have focused on intercomparison of sediment models, their scopes have generally been restricted to comparing the individual model performances, rather than understanding the role of process representations on sediment model output. Here, six model configurations, which span the different permutations of erosion, deposition and transport process representations being used in extant models, are considered to evaluate the role of process representations on sediment yield estimates. The numerical experiments are designed to evaluate the extent to which the sediment dynamics as modeled by a physically-based model with coupled surface-subsurface hydrologic interactions are captured by simpler models. The presented work delineates the applicability and limitations of widely used representations of sediment processes, and could help users identify the pros and cons of using a sediment model at a given temporal scale.
Zi, Tan, Mukesh Kumar, and John Albertson (2019): Intercomparing varied erosion, deposition and transport process representations for simulating sediment yield. Scientific Reports 9, Article number: 12029. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-48405-9
This Paper/Book acknowledges NSF CZO grant support.