Sediment transport modelling

Determination of the main areas contributing to the suspended sediment load in the Mara River, Kenya

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The Mara River originates in Kenya in the Mau Escarpment and flows through the Serengeti ecosystem into Lake Victoria in Tanzania; in total it is about 395 km long. In this river, human interventions have led to increased of agricultural areas. As a result, increased fast runoff and top soil erosion is expected. Consequently, more sediments is expected to be transported to the river, thus polluting it. This research focuses on the modelling of the hydrology and soil loss from the catchment to locate the main sources of transported suspended sediment in the Mara River Basin. The suspended load in the river consists of coarse sediments in the river bed and fine sediments in the wash load originating from the top soil in the entire catchment. The main sources of the coarse sediments are assessed hydraulically whereas for the fine sediments a hydrological model is combined with an empirical sediment yield model. The main sources for the fine suspended sediments are the grasslands in the Sand and the crop lands in the Lower sub-catchment. The coarse sediments are found to originate from the river itself which has caused and still causes meandering.