Title: Establishing a Holocene sediment budget for the river Dijle
Authors: Notebaert, Bastiaan ×
Verstraeten, Gert
Rommens, Tom
Vanmontfort, Bart
Govers, Gerard
Poesen, Jean #
Issue Date: 15-May-2009
Publisher: Elsevier
Series Title: Catena vol:77 issue:2 pages:150-163
Abstract: A Holocene sediment budget was constructed for the 758 km2 Dijle catchment in the Belgian loess belt, in order to understand long-term
sediment dynamics. Hillslope sediment redistribution was calculated using soil profile information from 809 soil augerings, which was
extrapolated to the entire catchment using morphometric classes. As large parts of the forests within the catchment prove to have undergone little
or no erosion since medieval times, a correction was applied for the presence of forests. Total Holocene erosion amounts 817±66 Mt for the
catchment, of which 327±34 Mt was deposited as colluvium. This corresponds with a net Holocene soil erosion rate of 10.8±0.8×103 Mg ha−1
for the entire Dijle catchment. Alluvial deposits were studied through 187 augerings spread over 17 cross-valley transects. The total alluvial
sediment deposition equals 352±11 Mt or 42% of total eroded sediment mass. Results indicate that at the scale of a medium-sized catchment the
colluvial sediment sink is as important as the alluvial sediment sink and should not be neglected. As a result the estimation of erosion through
alluvial storage and sediment export would yield large errors. Dating of sediment units show an important increase in alluvial deposition from
medieval times onwards, indicating the important influence of agricultural activities that developed from that period. Mean sediment export rates
from the catchment for the last 1000–1200 years range between 0.8 and 1.3 Mg ha−1 a−1 and are consistent with present suspended sediment
measurements in the Dijle. Erosion for agricultural land for this period is 9.2±2.2 Mg ha−1 a−1. Sediment budgets for the various tributary
catchments provide an insight in the sources and sinks of sediment at different scales within the catchment.
ISSN: 0341-8162
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Geography & Tourism
Archaeology, Leuven
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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