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Sediment deposition rate in the Falefa river basin, Upolu Island, Samoa

Terry, James P. and Kostaschuk, R.A. and Garimella, Sitaram (2006) Sediment deposition rate in the Falefa river basin, Upolu Island, Samoa. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 86 (1). pp. 45-63. ISSN 0265-931X

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Abstract

The 137Cs method was employed to investigate the recent historical rate of sediment deposition on a lowland alluvial floodplain in the Falefa River basin, Upolu Island, Samoa. Caesium stratigraphy in the floodplain sediment profile was clearly defined, with a broad peak at 145–175 cm depth. The measured rate of vertical accretion over the last 40 years is 4.0 ± 0.4 cm per year. This rate exceeds observations in humid environments elsewhere, but is similar to that recorded on other tropical Pacific Islands. Available flow data for the Vaisigano River in Samoa give a ‘near-catastrophic’ index value of 0.6 for flood variability. This is associated with the occurrence of tropical cyclones and storms in the Samoa area. Large floods therefore probably contribute to the high rate of floodplain sedimentation on Upolu Island. A small but growing body of evidence suggests that fluvial sedimentation rates on tropical Pacific islands are some of the highest in the world.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Engineering and Physics
Depositing User: Ms Neha Harakh
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2006 15:01
Last Modified: 23 May 2012 16:34
URI: http://repository.usp.ac.fj/id/eprint/4051
UNSPECIFIED

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