Scientific article

Effect of ship locking on sediment oxygen uptake in impounded rivers

Published inWater resources research, vol. 48, no. 12
Publication date2012

In the majority of large river systems, flow is regulated and/or otherwise affected by operational and management activities, such as ship locking. The effect of lock operation on sediment-water oxygen fluxes was studied within a 12.9 km long impoundment at the Saar River (Germany) using eddy-correlation flux measurements. The continuous observations cover a time period of nearly 5 days and 39 individual locking events. Ship locking is associated with the generation of surges propagating back and forth through the impoundment which causes strong variations of near-bed current velocity and turbulence. These wave-induced flow variations cause variations in sediment-water oxygen fluxes. While the mean flux during time periods without lock operation was 0.5 ± 0.1 g m-2 d-1, it increased by about a factor of 2 to 1.0 ± 0.5 g m-2 d-1within time periods with ship locking. Following the daily schedule of lock operations, fluxes are predominantly enhanced during daytime and follow a pronounced diurnal rhythm. The driving force for the increased flux is the enhancement of diffusive transport across the sediment-water interface by bottom-boundary layer turbulence and perhaps resuspension. Additional means by which the oxygen budget of the impoundment is affected by lock-induced flow variations are discussed.

Citation (ISO format)
LORKE, A. et al. Effect of ship locking on sediment oxygen uptake in impounded rivers. In: Water resources research, 2012, vol. 48, n° 12. doi: 10.1029/2012WR012483
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0043-1397

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