Gabriele Lamparter

Department: Geography
Research Centre/Unit: Department of Geography

Project Summary

Since autumn 2008 I am privileged to research as a fully funded PhD student at the Department of Geography at the University of Exeter. My doctorate is co-funded by Great Western Research, ADAS UK and the University of Exeter. My doctoral research focuses on fine sediment dynamics in gravel-bed rivers. Gravel bed rivers provide an irreplaceable habitat for a multitude of organisms, many of which are dependent on the porous nature of the river substrate. Change in agricultural land use lead to increased fine sediment delivery to water courses and associated fine sediment infiltration in the bed causing clogging of pore space and habitat degradation. Especially winter floods carry vast amounts of sediment and cause problems during the sensible spawning season of salmonids. This problem is well established. However, current quantitative understanding of the processes involved remains poor. I am developing robust modelling tool to quantify the clogging of gravel pores. It is a physically based numerical model and it quantifies the relationship between fine sediment deposition and flow as well as sediment characteristics (i.e. velocity, shear stress, grain size distribution). With very little available data on in-bed sediment deposition and remobilisation, my research proved to be a ground-up project, ranging from the conceptual planning, over the development and setup of a model to the generation of adequate data for model calibration and validation. My data comes from both large scale flume experiments and field investigation at the River Culm, Devon. The initial setup and calibration is based on the results from 12 large scale flume experiments. For the application on catchment scale the model was up-scaled and tested with data based on field investgations in three study reaches along the River Culm in Devon. Field data was complimented by simulations of a fine meshed hydrodynamic model of all three study reaches.

Supervisory Team

Andrew Nicholas, University of Exeter; Katarina Michaelides, University of Bristol; Adrian Collins, ADAS, UK

Wider Research Interests

Water Quality, Fluvial Landscapes, Fluvial Ecology, Hydrology, Geoecology, Water Security, Flood Security, Hydraulic Modelling