Debris sourced from landslides will result in environmental problems such as increased sediment discharge in rivers. This study analyzed the sediment discharge of 17 main rivers in Taiwan during 14 typhoon events, selected from the catchment area and river length, that caused landslides according to government reports. The measured suspended sediment and water discharge, collected from hydrometric stations of the Water Resources Agency of Taiwan, were used to establish rating-curve relationships, a power-law relation between them. Then sediment discharge during typhoon events was estimated using the rating-curve method and the measured data of daily water discharge. Positive correlations between sediment discharge and rainfall conditions for each river indicate that sediment discharge increases when a greater amount of rainfall or a higher intensity of rainfall falls during a typhoon event. In addition, the amount of sediment discharge during a typhoon event is mainly controlled by the total amount of rainfall, not by peak rainfall. Differences in correlation equations among the rivers suggest that catchments with larger areas produce more sediment. Catchments with relatively low sediment discharge show more distinct increases in sediment discharge in response to increases in rainfall, owing to the little opportunity for deposition in small catchments with high connectivity to rivers and the transportation of the majority of landslide debris to rivers during typhoon events. Also, differences in geomorphic and geologic conditions among catchments around Taiwan lead to a variety of suspended sediment dynamics and the sediment budget. Positive correlation between average sediment discharge and average area of landslides during typhoon events indicates that when larger landslides are caused by heavier rainfall during a typhoon event, more loose materials from the most recent landslide debris are flushed into rivers, resulting in higher sediment discharge. The high proportion of large landslides in Taiwan contributes significantly to the high annual sediment yield, which is among the world's highest despite the small area of Taiwan.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth-Surface Processes