Delivery of sediment to torrent channels from steep, non-vegetated slopes

Project lead

Christian Rickli


Alexandre Badoux

Project staff

Alexandre Badoux
Frank Graf
Brian McArdell
Dieter Rickenmann
Nicolas Steeb

Project duration

2020 - 2022

Cooperation Financing

This project aims at assessing the contribution of sediment erosion from steep slopes adjacent to channel beds to the sediment transport in small catchments. For this purpose, the amount of eroded material will be quantified and related to rainfall and properties of soil and vegetation. The methods we plan to use include sediment traps, terrestrial laser-scanners and drone-based digital elevation surveys, rainfall simulator tests, and measurement of soil moisture. Furthermore, recently developed sediment transport sensors will be applied. Erosion on steep slopes is relevant in many places of our country, and its quantification is significant regarding natural hazards mitigation. Up to now, this process has rarely been studied at WSL. With this project, we intend to strengthen our expertise from bedload transport in streams to sediment delivery in mountain catchments. Because of possible difficulties in measuring the erosion, this project has also the character of a feasibility study.