Field measurements on alluvial watercourses in light of numerical modeling: case studies on the Danube River

Abstract

Adequate monitoring and data acquisition of proper hydraulic, sediment, and constituent parameters in alluvial watercourses have become crucial aspects of human interaction with the environment. Conducting well-organized, comprehensive, and meaningful field measurements on natural watercourses are of great importance when assessing its hydraulic, morphological, and ecological state. However, this paper presents a methodology for field measurements on alluvial watercourses in light of numerical modeling. The proposed methodology focuses on collecting field data sets to calibrate numerical models for flow, sediment, and heavy metal transport. The proposed approach targets the simultaneous measurement of hydraulic, sediment transport, and heavy metal transport parameters that are key for calibrating constants and exchange mechanisms in contemporary numerical models. Using the principles laid out in this paper, two sets of measurements were carried out on the Danube River, one on a reach near Mohács in Hungary and the other on a reach near Belgrade in Serbia. The first case study discusses the measurement and results of comprehensive hydraulic and sediment parameters. The second case study considers hydraulic and sediment measurements complemented with trace metal measurements for zinc, lead, and mercury. These measurements were used for calibrating numerical models for flow, sediment, and heavy metal transport, as a proof of concept. It has been demonstrated that the gathered data sets contain key parameters that are strongly linked through physical laws and are needed for calibration purposes, as well as parameters that can allow the newly calibrated coefficients to be confirmed through other measured phenomena. Therefore, the proposed methodology provides minimal data sets with detailed measurements for calibrating numerical models for flow, sediment, and heavy metal transport. Guidelines for future measurements that can suffice the increasing need for numerical modeling and monitoring of natural watercourses are also offered.

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Notes

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    All data sets mentioned in this paper are available upon request to the corresponding author.

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Funding

This work was funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technical development of the Republic of Serbia.

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Correspondence to Mirjana Horvat.

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Appendices

Appendix 1. Case study 1 (Danube reach near Mohács in Hungary)

Fig. 18
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Overview of data ranges at Mohács on the Danube

Fig. 19
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Velocity measurements at data range 3

Fig. 20
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Velocity measurements at data range 5

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Velocity measurements at data range 7

Table 1 Size-classes for sediment measurements at Mohács on the Danube
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Sediment measurements at data range 3

Fig. 23
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Sediment measurements at data range 5

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Sediment measurements at data range 7

Fig. 25
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Overview of data ranges at Belgrade on the Danube

Appendix 2. Case study 2 (Danube reach near Belgrade in Serbia)

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Velocity measurements at data range 3

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Velocity measurements at data range 5

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Velocity measurements at data range 7

Table 2 Size-classes for sediment measurements at Belgrade on the Danube
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Sediment measurements at data range 3

Fig. 30
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Sediment measurements at data range 5

Fig. 31
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Sediment measurements at data range 7

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Horvat, Z., Horvat, M., Koch, D. et al. Field measurements on alluvial watercourses in light of numerical modeling: case studies on the Danube River. Environ Monit Assess 193, 6 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-020-08751-y

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Keywords

  • Field measurements
  • Hydraulic parameters
  • Sediment
  • Heavy metals
  • Danube River