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Mesoscale mapping of sediment source hotspots for dam sediment management in data-sparse semi-arid catchments

Smetanová, Anna; Müller, Anne; Zargar, Morteza; Suleiman, Mohamed A.; Gholami, Faraz Rabei; Mousavi, Maryam

FG Ökohydrologie & Landschaftsbewertung

Land degradation and water availability in semi-arid regions are interdependent challenges for management that are influenced by climatic and anthropogenic changes. Erosion and high sediment loads in rivers cause reservoir siltation and decrease storage capacity, which pose risk on water security for citizens, agriculture, and industry. In regions where resources for management are limited, identifying spatial-temporal variability of sediment sources is crucial to decrease siltation. Despite widespread availability of rigorous methods, approaches simplifying spatial and temporal variability of erosion are often inappropriately applied to very data sparse semi-arid regions. In this work, we review existing approaches for mapping erosional hotspots, and provide an example of spatial-temporal mapping approach in two case study regions. The barriers limiting data availability and their effects on erosion mapping methods, their validation, and resulting prioritization of leverage management areas are discussed.