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Abstract

Hydropower is an important pillar of the electricity production in Switzerland and its extension is planned in the next decades. Therefore, a more sustainable management of hydropower plants is needed. Sediment replenishment combined with artificially-triggered flood pulses are gaining increasing interest to restore residual flow reaches. In the Sarine river in Switzerland, such a measure was conducted. Mimicking laboratory experiments for the first time, four deposits, totaling 1000 m3 of sediment, were added to the river downstream of Rossens dam. Some 489 pebbles were equipped with RFID PIT tags and distributed among them. After the flood pulse passed, 57% of the tags were re-located. The maximum detected travel distance of a pebble was 284 m. Some deposits were eroded, while others resisted. Due to a limited submergence, mainly lateral erosion was observed. Nevertheless, erosion of deposits as well as deposition of eroded material in clusters resulted in the same scheme as observed in laboratory experiments which could be validated with this field experiment.

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