Document Type : Research Paper


1 Tarbiat Modares University

2 Tarbiat Modares University, Professor

3 Soil Conservation and Watershed Management Research Institute


Understanding and quantifying the dynamics of suspended sediment transport is essential to control soil erosion and implement appropriate mitigation practices to reduce stream suspendedsediment and on-site and off-site effects of sediment transport. However, the quantification and the interpretation of sediment hysteresis loops as fluvial and hydrological responses of the watershed to storm events has been less considered. Hence, the present study was conducted in three different regions viz. the Educational and Research Forest Watershed of TarbiatModares University in Mazandaran, the Galazchai Watershed in West Azerbaijan and the Daretefi Watershed in Kurdistan Provinces to investigate the dynamic of sediment hysteresis loops on storm wise basis. The results of analyzing 67 storm event hysteresis loops verified the variety of governing condition of all three study watersheds. According to the results, all of the sediment hysteresis loops showed flushing behavior but with different rotational patterns of clockwise, counterclockwise and 8-typed and complex. Despite of differences and more diversity in precipitation pattern, compared with two other study watersheds, Daretefi Watershed sediment hysteresis loops showed less variety and mainly with 8-typed and complex forms with frequency of 61.29%. Results also revealed a frequency of 44% for both clockwise and complex hysteresis loops in the Galazchai Watershed and frequency of 53.33% for complex hysteresis loops in the Educational and Research Forest Watershed of TarbiatModares University. The results also showed that the sediment sources in the study watersheds were mainly close to the outlet with further emphasis on wash load contribution.


[1] Butturini, A., Alvarez, M., Bernal, S., Vazquez, E. and Sabater, F. (2008). Diversity and temporal sequences of forms of DOC and NO3-discharge responses in an intermittent stream: predictable or random succession?, Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, 1-10.
[2] Butturini, A., Gallart, F., Latron, J., Vazquez, E. and Sabater, F. (2006). Cross-site comparison of variability of DOC and nitrate C–Q hysteresis during the autumn–winter period in three Mediterranean headwater streams: a synthetic approach, Biogeochemistry,77, 327–349.
[3] Chen, V.J. and Kuo, C.Y. (1986). A study on synthetic sedimentgraphs for ungagged watersheds, Journal of Hydrology, 84,35–54.
[4] De Girolamo, A.M., Pappagallo, G. and Porto, A.L. (2015). Temporal variability of suspended sediment transport and rating curves in a Mediterranean river basin: The Celone (SE Italy), Catena, 128, 135–143.
[5] Desmond, L.W.A. (2009). Sediment response to tropical storms in Singapore residential catchments. Ph.D Dissertation, National University of Singapore, 430 p.
[6] Ebrahimi Mohammadi, Sh., Sadeghi, S.H.R. and Chapi, K. (2012). Analysis of runoff, suspended sediment and nutrient yield from different tributaries to Zarivar lake in event and base flows, Journal of Soil and Water Resources Conservation, 2(1), 61-75. (In Persian)
[7] Eder, A., Strauss, P., Krueger, T. and Quinton, J.N. (2010). Comparative calculation of suspended sediment loads with respect to hysteresis effects (in the Petzenkirchen catchment, Austria), Journal of Hydrology, 389, 168–176.
[8] Gellis, A.C. (2013). Factors influencing storm-generated suspended-sediment concentrations and loads in four basins of contrasting land use, humid tropical Puerto Rico, Catena, 104, 39–57.
[9] Gholami, L., Sadeghi, S.H.R., and Khaledi, A.V. (2012). Storm-wise rating loops in Chehelgazi watershed of Gheshlagh dam. Iranian Water Resources Journal, 6, 29-36. (In Persian)
[10] Ghorbani, M.A. Moradi Zadeh, F. and Nikmehr, M. (2010). Analysis of hysterics curves of suspended sediment in the Lighvan River, Water and Soil Science, 20 (1), 171-183. (In Persian)
[11] Heathwaite, A.L., Dils, R.M., Liu, S., Carvalho, L., Brazier, R.E., Pope, L., Hughes, M., Philips, G. and May, L. (2005). A tiered risk-based approach for predicting diffuse and point source phosphorus losses in agricultural areas. Science of the Total Environment, 344 (1–3), 225–239.
[12] Hughes, A.O., Quinn, J. M. and McKergow, A.M. (2012). Land use influences on suspended sediment yields and event sediment dynamics within two headwater catchments, Waikato, New Zealand, New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research, 46 (3), 315-333.
[13] Kirkby,M.J., Le Bissonais, Y., Coulthard, T.J., Daroussin, J. and McMahon, M.D. (2000). The development of land quality indicators for soil degradation by water erosion, Agriculture Ecosystem Environment, 81, 125–136.
[14] Langlois, J.L., Johnson, D.W. and Mehuys, G.R. (2005). Suspended sediment dynamics associated with snowmelt runoff in a small mountain stream of Lake Tahoe (Nevada), Hydrological Processes, 19, 3569–3580.
[15] Lefrançois, J., Grimaldi, C., Gascuel-Odoux, C. and Gilliet, N. (2007). Suspended sediment and discharge relationships to identify bank degradation as a main sediment source on small agricultural catchments, Hydrological Processes, 21, 2923–2933.
[16] Letcher, R.A., Jakeman, A.J., Calfas, M., Linforth, S., Baginska, B. and Lawrence, I. (2002). A comparison of catchment water quality models and direct estimation techniques, Environmental Modelling and Software, 17, 77–85.
[17] Mahdavi, M. (2002). Applied Hydrology, Tehran University Press.2, 437. (In Persian)
[18] Megnounif, A., Terfous, A. and Ouillon, S. (2013). A graphical method to study suspended sediment dynamics during flood events in the Wadi Sebdou, NW Algeria (1973–2004), Journal of Hydrology, 497, 24–36.
[19] Morgan, R.P.C. (2005). Soil erosion and conservation, 3rd. Blackwell, Oxford, 314 p.
[20] Mostafazadeh, R., Sadeghi, S.H.R. and Saddodin, A. (2015). Analysis of Storm-wise Sedimentgraphs and Rating Loops in Galazchai Watershed, West-Azarbaijan.Soil and Water conservation researches, 21 (5), 175-190.(In Persian)
[21] Nu-Fang, F., Zhi-Hua, S., Lu, L. and Cheng, J. (2011). Rainfall, runoff, and suspended sediment delivery relationships in a small agricultural watershed of the Three Gorges area, China Geomorphology, 135, 158–166.
[22] Perks, M.T., Owen, G.J., Benskin, C.McW.H., Jonczyk, J., Deasy, C., Burke, S., Reaney, S.M. and Haygarth, P.M. (2015). Dominant mechanisms for the delivery of fine sediment and phosphorus to fluvial networks draining grassland dominated headwater catchments, Science of the Total Environment, 523, 178–190.
[23] Picouet, C., Hingray, B. and Olivry, J.C. (2001). Empirical and conceptual modelling of the suspended sediment dynamics in a large tropical African river: the upper Niger River basin, Journal of Hydrology, 250, 19–39.
[24] Pietron, J., Jarsjo, J., Romanchenko, A.O. and Chalov, S.R. (2015). Model analyses of the contribution of in-channel processes to sediment concentration hysteresis loops, Journal of Hydrology, 527, 576–589
[25] Raeisi, M., Sadeghi, S.H.R. and Noor, H. (2010). Accuracy of time- area method in sedimentgraph development in Kojour watershed, Rangeland, 4 (2), 320-333.(In Persian)
[26] Ramos, T.B., Gonçalves, M.C., Branco, M.A., Brito, D., Rodrigues, S., Sánchez-Pérez, J.M., Prazeres, A., Martins, J.C., Fernandes, M.L. and Pires, F.P. (2015). Sediment and nutrient dynamics during storm events in the Enxoé temporary river, southern Portugal, Catena, 127, 177–190.
[27] Rodriguez-Blanco, M.L., Taboada-Castro, M.M. and Taboada-Castro, M.T. (2010). Sources and sediment yield from a rural catchment in humid temperate environment, north west Spain, Earth Surface Processes Landforms, 35, 272–277.
[28] Rovira, A. and Batalla, R. (2006). Temporal distribution of suspended sediment transport in a Mediterranean basin: The Lower Tordera (NE SPAIN), Geomorphology, 79, 58-71.
[29] Sadeghi, S.H.R., Aghabeigi Amin, S., Vafakhah, M., Yasrebi,B. and Esmaeili Sari, A. (2006). Suitable drying time for suspended sediment samples, Iran, International Sediment Initiative Conference, Khartoum, Sudan. Nov. 12-16, 2006, 71.
[30] Sadeghi, S.H.R., Ebrahimi Mohammadi, Sh., and Chapi, K. (2015a). Analysis of intra-storm suspended sediment delivery processes from different sub-watersheds to the Lake Zarivar using hysteresis patterns, Journal of Range and Watershed Management, 68 (2), 319-336. (In Persian)
[31] Sadeghi, S.H.R., Mizuyama, T., Miyata, S., Gomi, T., Kosugi, K., Fukushima, T., Mizugaki, S. and Onda, Y. (2008). Determinant factors of sediment graphs and rating loops in a reforested watershed, Journal of Hydrology, 356: 271– 28.
[32] Sadeghi, S.H.R., Mostafazadeh, R. and Saddodin, A. (2015b). Response of sedimentgraphs and sediment rating loops to land use type and spatial pattern, Watershed Engineering and Management, 7 (1), 15-26. (In Persian)
[33] Sadeghi, S.H.R. and Saeidi, P. (2010). Reliability of sediment rating curves for a deciduous forest watershed in Iran, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 55(5), 821–831.
[34] Saeidi, P. and Sadeghi, S.H.R. (2010). Analysis of observed sedimentgraphs and rating loops on storm basis in Educational Watershed of Tarbiat Modares University, Iran, Journal of Water and Soil Conservation, 17(1), 97-112. (In Persian)
[35] Seeger, M., Errea, M.P., Beguería, S., Arnáez, J., Martí, C. and García-Ruiz, J.M. (2004). Catchment soil moisture and rainfall characteristics as determinant factors for discharge/suspended sediment hysteretic loops in a small headwater catchment in the Spanish Pyrenees, Journal of Hydrology, 288, 299–311.
[36] Simon, A., Curini, A., Darby, S. and Langendoen, E.J. (2000). Bank and near-bank processes in an incised channel, Geomorphology, 35, 193–217.
[37] Singh, P.K., Bhunya, P.K., Mishra, S.K. and Chaube, U.C. (2008). A sediment graph model based on SCS-CN method, Journal of Hydrology, 349, 244–255.
[38] Soler, M., Latron, J. and Gallart, F. (2008). Relationship between suspended sediment concentrations and discharge in two small research basins in a mountainous Mediterranean area (Vallcebre, Eastern Pyrenees), Geomorphology, 98, 143–152.
[39] Sun, L., Yan, M., Cai, Q. and Fang, H. (2015). Suspended sediment dynamics at different time scales in the Loushui River, south-central China, Catena, Catena xxx (2015) xxx–xxx, doi:10.1016/j.catena.2015.02.014.
[40] Walling, D.E., Collins, A.L, Sichingabula, H.A. and Leeks, G.J.L. (2001). Integrated assessment of catchment suspended sediment budgets: A Zambian Example, Land Degradation and Development, 12, 387-415
[41] Walling, D.E. and Webb, B.W. (1983). Patterns of sediment yield. In: Gregory, K.J. (Ed.), Background to Paleohydrology, John Wiley and Sons, NY, 69–100.
[42] Williams, G.P. (1989). Sediment concentration versus water discharge during single hydrologic events in rivers, Journal of Hydrology, 111, 89–106.
[43] Wood, P.A. (1977). Controls of variation in suspended sediment concentration in the river Rother, West Sussex, England, Sedimentology, 24, 437- 445.
[44] Zheng, M., Qin, F., Yang, J. and Cai, Q., (2013). The spatio-temporal invariability of sediment concentration and the flow–sediment relationship for hilly areas of the Chinese Loess Plateau, Catena, 109, 164-176.