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Sediment transport in the Hope River, Jamaica: a tropical drainage basin characterized by seasonal flow Peter Allan Wood Abstract The Hope River, Jamaica, is characterized by periodic high magnitude floods and seasonal flow. A general relationship of suspended sediment concentration to discharge indicates that concentrations of over 60 000 mg/1. may be expected with discharges of 20 m 3 /s. Suspended sediment concentrations are higher for the same discharge during the rising stage of the hydrograph than during the falling stage, and data from individual rating loops indicate that over 8000 tonnes of suspended sediment have been lost in just over 30 h. Competence determinations for bed material transport suggest that for the Hope River, D and 2D/3 are poor approximations for R, and that very large material is capable of being transported during high magnitude events. Transport de sédiments dans la Rivière Hope, Jamaique: un bassin versant tropical caractérisé par un écoulement saisonnier Résumé. La rivière Hope, en Jamaique, est caractérisée par des crues périodiques de grande amplitude et par un écoulement saisonnier. Une relation générale entre la charge en suspension et le débit montre que des concentrations supérieures à 60 000 mg/1. sont possibles avec des débits de 20 m 3 /s. Les charges en suspension sont à débit égal plus élevées au cours du stade de montée des eaux qu'à la décrue, et les données des courbes de tarage individuelles en boucles indiquent que plus de 8000 tonnes de sédiments ont été entraînés en suspension en un peu plus de 30 heures. Les déterminations de compétence du charriage de fond suggèrent que, dans le cas de la rivière Hope, D et 2D/3 constituent des approximations peu précises de R, et que des éléments de grande dimension sont susceptibles d'être transportés lors d'événements de grande amplitude. INTRODUCTION Sediment transport studies are widespread in the literature, especially for river channels in Europe and the United States. However, little has been published concerning tropical areas, particularly the islands of the Caribbean Sea. Ehlmann (1968) and Gupta (1975), working in Puerto Rico and Jamaica respectively, undertook some observations of fluvial processes, but neither author determined sediment transport rates. The present paper partly fills the gap of knowledge concerning sediment transport in a tropical environment of seasonal flow and large floods. STUDY BASIN Geology and channel morphology Figure 1(A) and (B) indicates the channel network and geology of the Hope River basin. The drainage evolution of the area has been outlined (Wood, 1976), and channel morphology of the present Hope River is related to this evolutionary history with four morphological zones being identified [Fig. 1(C)]. The channels developed in zones II, III and IV are characteristically ephemeral, as during low flow waters issuing from the mountain tract are lost by influent seepage into the Liguanea Formation. The channel at the study section [location S on Fig. 1(A)] drains an area of 52 km 2 149

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