Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Catalan Rivers In Spain Suffer From Sediment Accumulation

Date:
June 9, 2009
Source:
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Summary:
Researchers have analyzed the nine river basins in Catalonia that flow out into the Mediterranean, studying their various features in terms of geomorphology, climate, hydrology, soil use and sediments. The research shows a decline in the amount of sediment they discharge into the sea over recent decades, as a result of urban development within the river basins, water extraction and water being held in reservoirs.

Despite the great difficulties in quantifying all the environmental and human factors that affect sediment discharge by rivers into the sea, a group of Catalan scientists has compiled data to describe and evaluate the solid sediment discharge from nine river basins in Catalonia – the Ter, Foix, Gaia, Bes๓s, Llobregat, Francolํ, Tordera, Muga, and Fluvia. "This was a slow job, with its fair share of difficulties", Miquel Canals, one of the authors of the study and a senior professor in Marine Geology at the University of Barcelona (UB), tells SINC.

The article, which has been published recently in the Journal of Hydrology, shows that the impact of human activities, through dams, agriculture, and changes to soil use, is the main cause of sediment accumulation.

The Catalan river basins have "a steep descent, easily eroded rocks, considerable plant cover, and little precipitation". Camino Liquete, lead author of the study and a doctor at the UB, tells SINC that these basins "may have one of the lowest rates of water and sediment discharge of all the rivers flowing into the Mediterranean".

Global warming, a serious threat to rivers

Added to the human factors is the continuous increase in the average temperature of the river basins over the past 50 years. The new research, carried out as part of a European Commission project (SESAME) and the National Plan for R&D&I (PRODELTA and GRACCIE Consolider-Ingenio), has shown once again that global warming can have a negative impact on river discharge.

In 2003, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) said that the amount of water being discharged into the Mediterranean Sea stood at only half the levels at the beginning of the 20th Century.

The extraction of sand and gravel from river beds has been forbidden for the past 20 years in Spain. However, rivers such as the Tordera and the Llobregat suffered major impacts as a result of these activities. In addition, a study carried out in 2005 by researchers from the University of Lleida showed that the Tordera would need another 420 years in order for it to recover the shape of its course prior to this extraction.

While the Ter and Llobregat, which are characterised by frequent flooding, are the rivers showing a "clear reduction" in water discharge, the scientists have also shown that the Foix, Gaia and Francolํ discharge the smallest amounts of sediments into the Mediterranean, with all the problems this entails.

In the face of increasing demand for water in Catalonia, the regional governments have proposed and started to develop infrastructure based around the transferral of water from river basins outside the area, sea water desalination, and the reuse of treated water.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Liquete et al. Sediment discharge of the rivers of Catalonia, NE Spain, and the influence of human impacts. Journal of Hydrology, 2009; 366 (1-4): 76 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2008.12.013

Cite This Page:

FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Catalan Rivers In Spain Suffer From Sediment Accumulation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090609111231.htm>.
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. (2009, June 9). Catalan Rivers In Spain Suffer From Sediment Accumulation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090609111231.htm
FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology. "Catalan Rivers In Spain Suffer From Sediment Accumulation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090609111231.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins