A device that measures the timing of streambed scour and the duration of sediment mobilization at specific depths of a streambed was developed using data-logging accelerometers placed within the gravel substrate of the Cedar River, Washington, USA. Each accelerometer recorded its orientation every 20 min and remained stable until the surrounding gravel matrix mobilized as sediment was transported downstream and scour reached the level of the accelerometer. The accelerometer scour monitors were deployed at 26 locations in salmon-spawning habitat during the 2010–2011 flood season to record when the streambed was scoured to the depth of typical egg-pocket deposition. Scour was recorded at one location during a moderate high-flow event (65 m3/s; 1.25–1.5-year recurrence interval) and at 17 locations during a larger high-flow event (159 m3/s; 7-year recurrence interval). Accelerometer scour monitors recorded periods of intermittent sediment mobilization and stability within a high-flow event providing insight into the duration of scour. Most scour was recorded during the rising limb and at the peak of a flood hydrograph, though some scour occurred during sustained high flows following the peak of the flood hydrograph.
Additional publication details
The timing of scour and fill in a gravel-bedded river measured with buried accelerometers