Sediment Yield

The word sediment yield is quite unfamiliar in most petroleum exploration studies, yet it is of key importance in sediment source to sink studies in which quantification of the 'amount' of produced sediment (in mass or volume) is aimed at. We want to know how much sediment is transported to the offshore basins, at which rates, and through which river mouths. Furthermore, we want to know how this happened in the past. This takes us to hydrological and watershed analysis

Sediment Yield (SY) of a catchment (drainage basin or watershed), is the amount of sediment that leaves a drainage basin, per unit of time, and per unit of area. It is hence not a property of one particular drainage basin, but rather of an area. Data are sparse and subject to many temporal, spatial and physical variables and measurement biases. Yet, global databases have been compiled, but those of Africa are less complete. 

Understanding of SY is crucial to understand global denudation rates, this is the amount of lowering of relief and landforms due to erosion and weathering, per unit of time. 

A global dataset of SY has been compiled by Streamstar Geosolution, to model denudation rate for a given set of variables. The dataset also includes information on past denudation rates and aims at reconstructing long-term average denudation rates, which fluctuate in a different way than the short-term (e.g. Holocene) denudation rates. Our model outcomes are in agreement with results and observations in literature, e.g. Syvitski and Milliman, 2007, Vanmaercke et al., 2014 and others.  

Back to Methods, or to Highlights.