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Influence of macroturbulence on the dynamics of river water turbidity

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Abstract

Basing on the generalization of data series obtained by automatic optical turbidity loggers, lowfrequency (20-minutes) changes in suspended solids concentrations in rivers of different types and size are considered. The turbulent nature of these fluctuations, corresponding to the low-frequency zone of the spectrum of ripple velocities of the river flow (macroturbulent fluctuations) is justified. The contribution of macroturbulent fluctuations to the synoptic variability of water turbidity was analyzed on the basis of the TI parameter, which is the ratio of the difference between maximum and minimum turbidity for a short period of time (Ti) (1 hour, with the measurement discreteness of 20 minutes) to the total difference of turbidity for a hydrological event (TГС). The higher values of TI correspond to the greater contribution of macroturbulent turbidity fluctuations to synoptic variability of sediment load caused by precipitation, snowmelt and ice melting. As the basin area increases, the amplitudes of ripple oscillations decrease. Their role in the overall variability of turbidity is maximum for small rivers. The heterogeneity of turbidity structure increases on rivers with the highest frequency of pulsations, i.e. their flow tends to be quasi homogeneous. The heterogeneity leads to the increased contribution of macroturbulent turbidity fluctuations to its synoptic oscillations.

About the Authors

S. R. Chalov
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
Faculty of Geography, Department of Land Hydrology, Associate Professor, PhD in Geography


A. S. Tsyplenkov
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
Faculty of Geography, Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Fluvial Processes, Junior Scientific Researcher, PhD in Geography


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Chalov S.R., Tsyplenkov A.S. Influence of macroturbulence on the dynamics of river water turbidity. Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Seriya 5, Geografiya. 2020;(3):34-46. (In Russ.)

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