Articles | Volume 12, issue 6
Research article
18 Jun 2012
Research article |  | 18 Jun 2012

Using an integrated method to estimate watershed sediment yield during heavy rain period: a case study in Hualien County, Taiwan

S. M. Hsu, H. Y. Wen, N. C. Chen, S. Y. Hsu, and S. Y. Chi

Abstract. A comprehensive approach estimating sediment yield from a watershed is needed to develop better measures for mitigating sediment disasters and assessing downstream impacts. In the present study, an attempt has been made to develop an integrated method, considering sediment supplies associated with soil erosion, shallow landslide and debris flow to estimate sediment yield from a debris-flow-prone watershed on a storm event basis. The integrated method is based on the HSPF and TRIGRS models for predicting soil erosion and shallow landslide sediment yield, and the FLO-2D model for calculating debris flow sediment yield. The proposed method was applied to potential debris-flow watersheds located in the Sioulin Township of Hualien County. The available data such as hourly rainfall data, historical streamflow and sediment records as well as event-based landslide inventory maps have been used for model calibration and validation. Results for simulating sediment yield have been confirmed by comparisons of observed data from several typhoon events. The verified method employed a 24-h design hyetograph with the 100-yr return period to simulate sediment yield within the study area. The results revealed that the influence of shallow landslides on sediment supply as compared with soil erosion was significant. The estimate of landslide transport capacity into a main channel indicated the sediment delivery ratio on a typhoon event basis was approximately 38.4%. In addition, a comparison of sediment yields computed from occurrence and non-occurrence of debris flow scenarios showed that the sediment yield from an occurrence condition was found to be increasing at about 14.2 times more than estimated under a non-occurrence condition. This implied watershed sediment hazard induced by debris flow may cause severe consequences.