Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-201
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2021-201

  08 Jul 2021

08 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Median bed-material sediment particle size across rivers in the contiguous U.S.

Guta Wakbulcho Abeshu1, Hong-Yi Li1, Zhenduo Zhu2, Zeli Tan3, and L. Ruby Leung3 Guta Wakbulcho Abeshu et al.
  • 1Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Houston, Texas, 77204, USA
  • 2Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, New York, 14260, USA
  • 3Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Washington, 99352, USA

Abstract. Bed-material sediment particle size data, particularly for the median sediment particle size (D50), are critical for understanding and modeling riverine sediment transport. However, sediment particle size observations are primarily available at individual sites. Large-scale modeling and assessment of riverine sediment transport are limited by the lack of continuous regional maps of bed-material sediment particle size. We hence present a map of D50 over the contiguous U.S. in a vector format that corresponds to millions of river segments (i.e., flowlines) in the National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHDplus) dataset. We develop the map in four steps: 1) collect and process the observed D50 data from 2577 U.S. Geological Survey stations or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sampling locations; 2) collocate these data with the NHDplus flowlines based on their geographic locations, resulting in 1691 flowlines with collocated D50 values; 3) develop a predictive model using the eXtreme Gradient Boosting (XGBoost) machine learning method based on the observed D50 data and the corresponding climate, hydrology, geology and other attributes retrieved from the NHDplus dataset; 4) estimate the D50 values for flowlines without observations using the XGBoost predictive model. We expect this map to be useful for various purposes such as research in large-scale river sediment transport using model- and data-driven approaches, teaching of environmental and earth system sciences, planning and managing floodplain zones, etc. The map is available at http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4921987 (Li et al., 2021).

Guta Wakbulcho Abeshu et al.

Status: open (until 02 Sep 2021)

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Guta Wakbulcho Abeshu et al.

Data sets

A national map of riverine median bed-material particle size over CONUS Hong-Yi Li; Guta Abeshu; Zhenduo Zhu; Zeli Tan; L. Ruby Leung http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4921987

Guta Wakbulcho Abeshu et al.

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Short summary
Existing river-bed sediment particle size data are sparsely available at individual sites. We develop a continuous map of median river-bed sediment particle size over the contiguous U.S. corresponding to millions of river segments based on the existing observations and machine-learning methods. This map is useful for research in large-scale river sediment using model- and data-driven approaches, teaching environmental and earth system sciences, planning and managing floodplain zones, etc.