Sediment transport due to extreme events: The Hudson River estuary after tropical storms Irene and Lee Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in 2011 produced intense precipitation and flooding in the U.S. Northeast, including the Hudson River watershed. Sediment input to the Hudson River was approximately 2.7 megaton, about 5 times the long-term annual average. Rather than the common assumption that sediment is predominantly trapped in the estuary, observations and model results indicate that approximately two thirds of the new sediment remained trapped in the tidal freshwater river more than 1?month after the storms and only about one fifth of the new sediment reached the saline estuary. High sediment concentrations were observed in the estuary, but the model results suggest that this was predominantly due to remobilization of bed sediment. Spatially localized deposits of new and remobilized sediment were consistent with longer term depositional records. The results indicate that tidal rivers can intercept (at least temporarily) delivery of terrigenous sediment to the marine environment during major flow events.

publication date

  • October 28, 2013