Dr. Jaime Goode's oral presentation on sediment generation in the Maranon River system was well attended. Keep reading for her talk title and abstract !
"Estimating Sediment Delivery to The Rio Maranon, Peru Prior to Large-Scale Hydropower Developments Using High Resolution Imagery from Google Earth and a DJI Phantom 3 Drone" (AGU session EP34B-05)
Abstract: As global energy demands increase, generating hydroelectric power by constructing dams and reservoirs on large river systems is increasingly seen as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels, especially in emerging economies. Many large-scale hydropower projects are located in steep mountainous terrain, where environmental factors have the potential to conspire against the sustainability and success of such projects. As reservoir storage capacity decreases when sediment builds up behind dams, high sediment yields can limit project life expectancy and overall hydropower viability. In addition, episodically delivered sediment from landslides can make quantifying sediment loads difficult. These factors, combined with remote access, limit the critical data needed to effectively evaluate development decisions. In the summer of 2015, we conducted a basic survey to characterize the geomorphology, hydrology and ecology of 620 km of the Rio Maranon, Peru – a major tributary to the Amazon River, which flows north from the semi-arid Peruvian Andes – prior to its dissection by several large hydropower dams. Here we present one component of this larger study: a first order analysis of potential sediment inputs to the Rio Maranon, Peru. To evaluate sediment delivery and storage in this system, we used high resolution Google Earth imagery to delineate landslides, combined with high resolution imagery from a DJI Phantom 3 Drone, flown at alluvial fan inputs to the river in the field. Because hillslope-derived sediment inputs from headwater tributaries are important to overall ecosystem health in large river systems, our study has the potential to contribute to the understanding the impacts of large Andean dams on sediment connectivity to the Amazon basin.