Moving sediment from continents to coasts is a fundamental job of rivers. However, humans have dramatically altered how rivers move sediment leading to declining suspended sediment delivery in many rivers around the world. Rarely are we able to look both upstream and downstream of basin outlets to measure where and why sediment delivery is changing. We developed a spatially-explicit suspended sediment database over all large rivers (> 60 m wide) in the continental USA using >234,000 satellite images from 1984-2018. I will present multi-decadal trends in suspended sediment concentrations, river flow, and soil erosion; link basin-scale trends to trends in coastal rivers; and discuss what limits sediment delivery.
Speaker: John Gardner, Univ. North Carolina
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