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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sediment movement in a sub-alpine basin in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia Jones, Penelope Sarah Ann


Sediment transfers in a small alpine valley were measured during the summer of 1981. The sediment budget concept was used to generate three hypotheses which guided the study. Data were collected at 20 sites using Gerlach troughs, splash troughs and bulk samplers. Spatial integration of site data established that wind was overall the most important component of the sediment budget. Eolian material included both direct deposition during the summer months and mineral material stored in the winter snowpack. Measured rates of deposition matched accumulation rates calculated from the soil profile and mineralogy suggested a regional source for windblown material. Animals (marmots) are the main agents of sediment transfer on talus sites but as their influence is spatially limited, they are less important than wind over the whole basin area. Overland flow and rainsplash perform some sediment transfer on unvegetated areas of fine debris. The same sites support needle ice which contributes little to the total sediment budget. This ranking is tentative as the field season had late snowmelt, early fall snow accumulation and an exceptionally warm, dry August. The stratified, random, replicated sampling scheme employed in this study was inefficient as many sites straddled two vegetation strata. Use of a plane table map rather than aerial photographs for a base map should improve efficiency.

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