Author(s): Nadhir A. Al-Ansari; Ammar A. Ali; Sven Knutsson; Qusay Al-Suhail
Keywords: Sediment sampling; Total sediment load; Sediment rating curve; Spatial variation; Supply-limited; Under-fit river; Tigris River
Abstract: The Tigris River in Baghdad is a large sand-bed river, supply-limited because of the implementation of a water flow regulation scheme comprising a series of reservoirs and barrages. The significant reduction in the water discharge has affected the hydraulic performance of the river and turned it into an under-fit river of complicated morphology where many islands and bank deposits have been showed up across an 18 km reach in addition to the essential sinuosity. Measuring sediment load at individual cross-sections in the river gives misleading estimates and the corresponding sediment rating curve has a locally limited using. A spatially sediment rating by investigating sediment loads over the complicated reach is required to overcome the local limitations. Sediment transport rates have been investigated at 16 cross-sections along the study reach by collecting suspended load, bed load and bed material samples. Velocity profiles were measured at the sampling stations using an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP). The measurement results indicated that the suspended load is the dominant mode of transport (93.5%). However, bedloads were considered in determining the total loads. A spatial total load rating curve in the form of a power function was established and examined against the sediment measurements. Twenty-two previously published total load formulae where applied at the same sections and of these the Colby 1964 formula gave the closest fit to the measured loads. Based on the results from this study a recommended procedure is established for using a spatial total load rating curve to estimate sediment transport rates for similar morphologically complicated rivers. Average annual transport rates during the period 2009–13 was estimated at 3.21 million tons.