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Seasonal Sediment Accumulation Rates in Beasley Lake, MS
Proceedings of the 2019 Mississippi Water Resources Conference
Year: 2019 Authors: Wren D.G., Taylor J.M., Rigby J.R., Locke M.A., Yasarer L.
Recent sedimentation rates are useful for quantifying the effects of changing watershed conditions on soil erosion; however, typical geochronological methods for dating sediments are limited in temporal resolution. We used sediment traps to measure short-term sediment accumulation rates in Beasley Lake, Mississippi, a natural oxbow lake whose watershed has a mix of agricultural and forested land. Precipitation data from a local Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) site and water quality measurements from Beasley Lake were used to explain patterns in sediment deposition rates. We found that sediment accumulation in the traps was highest in the summer, while the highest rate of runoff occurred in late winter and early spring. The delay between fine sediments entering the lake and deposition in the traps prevented the detection of changes in watershed erosion within seasons; however, sediment traps were shown to be useful for inferring changes in watershed erosion rates on annual timescales. Our findings contribute new understanding of the interactions between suspended sediments, algal biomass, and water chemistry in a natural oxbow lake and provide support for using sediment traps to measure intra-annual variability in sedimentation rates in oxbow lakes