Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Physical Geography Faculty of Earth Sciences Shahid Beheshti University (SBU)


Accelerated soil erosion poses a serious threat to land management sustainability and water resource utilization in many areas of the world. The objective of this study was to apportion surface (cropland and rangeland) and subsurface (channel bank) sources relative contributions to the supply of suspended sediment during the storm event in Kamish mountainous catchment, using a geochemical fingerprinting approach and Bayesian un-mixing model. To this end, thirty-four geochemical tracers were measured as potential tracers to evaluate surface and subsurface sediment sources (69 samples), including 10 target suspended sediments samples collected across the hydrographs of a flood event at the overall catchment outlet. In total, two statistical methods Kruskal–Wallis H test and discriminant function analysis (DFA) were used to select the optimum tracer composition. The results of Bayesian un-mixing model indicated that mean (uncertainty range) relative contribution of cropland and rangeland (surface land-use) and channel bank (subsurface) sources are 31.8 (12.7-50.3), 33.2 (17.5-49), 35.2 (25.6- 44.6) percent, respectively. These results indicate surface and subsurface sediment sources have the same contribution to the supply of suspended sediments during the basin flood event. Although sediment sources contribution in during the flood event change intermittently between subsurface and surface soils. As a result, targeted management practices should focus through erosion and land use control of these sources for minimizing their effects on fine sediment deposition.