Impact of land use change and rainfall on sediment and carbon accumulation in a water reservoir of North Thailand

Abstract : The lifespan of many tropical water reservoirs is limited by siltation due to soil erosion in the watershed. The objectives of this study were to determine, the amount of catchment-derived organic carbon accumulated in sediments of a reservoir of North Thailand and to relate it with the history of cultivation and rainfall regime in the watershed. Over a twelve-years period (1995-2006) since impoundment sediment delivery was high (ca. 19.6Mgha−1 yr−1). The yearly supply of catchment-derived material was composed of coarse sediment deposits near the main inlets and of fine laminated sediment accumulations in deep-water environments. Their stable carbon isotope composition indicated that soil organic matter was the main source of organic carbon preserved in sediments (ca. 83 wt.%). Fine sediments derived from suspended loads exported from the watershed by runoff and stream waters were related to erosive rainfall, to the extent of area under annual cropping and to crop change with a marked increase after the replacement of beans by maize. However, sediment accumulation did not respond linearly to extreme rainfall events, as shown by the supply of nearly 48% of the total amount of sediments by a single exceptional flood. Total organic carbon storage in sediments reached ca. 23.8MgCha−1 yr−1 in 2006, twelve years after impoundment, falling in the upper range of small to medium size reservoirs with agricultural catchments.
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Gérard Bardoux, Jean-Louis Janeau, Sylvain Huon, Olivier Planchon, Anneke de Rouw, et al.. Impact of land use change and rainfall on sediment and carbon accumulation in a water reservoir of North Thailand. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Elsevier Masson, 2011, 2011 (140), pp.521-533. ⟨10.1016/j.agee.2011.02.006⟩. ⟨bioemco-00580382⟩



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