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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » National Sedimentation Laboratory » Watershed Physical Processes Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #359897

Research Project: Managing Water and Sediment Movement in Agricultural Watersheds

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research

Title: Rapid assessment of urban mega-gully and landslide events with Structure-from-Motion techniques validates link to water resources infrastructure failures

Author
item GUDINO-ELIZONDO, NAPOLEON - Centro De Investigacion Cientifica Y De Educacion Superior De Ensenada
item BRAND, MATTHEW - University Of Southern California
item BIGGS, TRENT - San Diego State University
item GOMEZ-GUTIERREZ, ALVARO - University Of Extremadura
item Langendoen, Eddy
item Bingner, Ronald - Ron
item YUAN, YONGPING - Us Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
item SANDERS, BRETT - University Of Southern California

Submitted to: Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Sediment generation due to infrastructure failure such as breaks on water supply networks can result in chronically high soil erosion and sediment production, thus further damage to downstream infrastructure, communities and ecosystems. In developing country contexts, in particular, this erosion and sediment generation process can be frequent and may comprise a significant fraction of the sediment yield. This study used photogrammetry techniques to quantify the volume of sediment generated by a large gully formed along an unpaved road due to infrastructure failure of a storm-water pipeline break following a storm event on December 22, 2016, in the Los Laureles Canyon Watershed (LLCW), a rapidly urbanizing watershed in Tijuana, Mexico. The sediment yield from this gully was 78 times the sediment yield of all other gullies formed on unpaved roads in the same neighborhood . Although the contributing area of this gully was only 0.2% of the watershed, it contributed 57% of the total sediment load at the outlet of LLCW for the storm events that caused the pipeline break, and 9% of the annual sediment load from LLCW. This source of sediment due to infrastructure failure is important to understanding the total sediment budget at the watershed scale and should be a primary consideration in restoration efforts.

Technical Abstract: Sediment generation due to infrastructure failure such as breaks on water supply networks can result in chronically high soil erosion and sediment production, thus further damage to downstream infrastructure, communities and ecosystems. In developing country contexts, in particular, this erosion and sediment generation process can be frequent and may comprise a significant fraction of the sediment yield. This study used Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry techniques to quantify the volume of sediment generated by a large gully formed along an unpaved road due to infrastructure failure of a storm-water pipeline break following a storm event on December 22, 2016, in the Los Laureles Canyon Watershed (LLCW), a rapidly urbanizing watershed in Tijuana, Mexico. The sediment yield from this gully (1,606 tons/ha) was 78 times the sediment yield of all other gullies formed on unpaved roads in the same neighborhood (20.5 tons/ha). Although the contributing area of this gully (2.7 ha) was only 0.2% of the watershed that contains it (LLCW, 1,158 ha), it contributed 57% of the total sediment load at the outlet of LLCW for the storm events that caused the pipeline break, and 9% of the annual sediment load from LLCW. We concluded that this source of sediment due to infrastructure failure is important to the total sediment budget at the watershed scale and should be a primary consideration in restoration efforts.