SMART – Sediment Mitigation Actions for the River Rother, UK
- 1Department of Environmental and Geographical Sciences, University of Northampton, Northampton, NN2 6JB, UK
- 2Geography Department, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, Eastern Cape, South Africa
- 3Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3QY, UK
- 4Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
- 5Department of the Natural and Built Environment, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, S1 1WB, UK
Abstract. The River Rother, West Sussex, is suffering from excess sediment which is smothering the river bed gravels. This is thought to be exacerbating issues of pollution and degradation of ecosystems. This project aims to identify the severity, extent, possible causes and potential mitigation options available to reduce these pressures on the river. Data have been collected from ten sites to investigate the amount of sediment stored in the river bed gravels and cores obtained from four small reservoirs to establish rates of sedimentation and contribute to the construction of a temporal sediment budget over the last 50–100 years. Evidence suggests that tributary streams have more stored sediment per m2 upstream of their confluence with the River Rother compared to the Rother itself. Reservoir core data indicate that sediment has accumulated more rapidly in the small reservoirs surrounded by mixed agricultural land compared to one surrounded by ancient woodland. These are preliminary results and work is continuing.