Honors College Thesis


A Comparative Analysis of Automated and Time-Integrated Sediment Samplers Public Deposited

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  • This study was conducted to determine if a time-integrated Phillips sampler was able to estimate sediment yield when compared to a reference produced by an automated sampler. Time-integrated samplers are easier to use, more cost effective, and can withstand storm events better than automated samplers, but are not designed to measure total suspended sediment. Enos Creek, a mountainous, headwater stream south of Corvallis, Oregon was used to examine the potential relationship between automated samplers and the time-integrated Phillips. Two methods were developed to calculate discharge through the Phillips sampler allowing a common unit of kilograms of sediment per time per drainage area to be reached. A sensitivity analysis determined neither discharge method significantly impacted sediment yields given the low stream flows and sediment concentrations. Analysis indicated the Phillips sampler significantly underestimated total sediment in the creek with efficiencies reaching a maximum of 20 percent. No consistent trends were found with the underestimates, meaning a scaling factor to the reference automated sampler could not be developed. However, general variations in sediment discharge were observed between the upstream and downstream locations, indicating the Phillips could be used to record land use changes via increasing or decreasing sediment concentrations. Further flume and field studies are needed over higher flows and sediment concentrations to better assess the efficiency of the Phillips sampler and determine if a scaling factor could be developed for further use. Key Words: suspended sediment; sediment sampler; automated; time-integrated; Enos Creek; Phillips; orifice; land use
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  • Special thanks to the Oregon State Honors College for providing an Honors Experience Scholarship to fund this project.
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