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Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources
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Introduction and Objective: Large-scale and regional planning requires observed data on environmental variables, such as runoff and suspended sediment load from watersheds. Data is the fundamental for generating information and knowledge, and scientific management of a system is impossible without a monitoring and measurement plan. Management of the watershed systems and water resources is no exception to this axiom. With ongoing trends in socio-economic development, climate change, increasing pressure on natural resources and watersheds, and, consequently, an increase in floods and the sediment yield, there will be a greater need for more accurate information about sediment and runoff processes in near future. Although many tools and instruments for measuring runoff and sediment components have been produced and marketed by a number of foreign companies, on the one hand, their cost is very high in Iran, and on the other hand, a device that measures both components at once is very rare. Therefore, this study aimed to design and construct an automated flood and sediment load monitoring device with the ability to record the runoff height of watersheds and a planned sampling of runoff for measuring suspended sediment using cheap sensors and tools.
Material and Methods: In this research, analog hygrometer sensors were used to measure the height of runoff with 3 cm intervals (measurement accuracy 3 cm). DC pumps with valves were used to collect the sediment sample, which by creating a vacuum in the sampling container, causes the runoff sample to be transferred into the container. To evaluate the device's capabilities in real and natural conditions, it was installed at the outlet of a subwatershed in the eastern loess lands of the Golestan province, located in upstream of the Qapan Aliya village in the Kalaleh district for two years period in order to record the hydrograph of likely flood events and take runoff samples at the user-defined depths of flood (2 samples at depths of 20 and 60 cm in rising limb and one sample at the depth of 20 cm in recession limb of hydrographs), store them in a 0.5 liter containers, and inform the user by sending SMS to replace the filled containers with empty ones.
Results: During these two years, only three rainfall events leading to runoff and flooding occurred in this subwatershed, and the designed device successfully recorded the hydrograph of all three events and informed the user. Also, in each of these recorded flood events, at least two runoff samples (one sample in the rising limb and one sample in the recession limb of the hydrograph) were collected and stored by the device in order to be transferred to the laboratory to determine the suspended load.
Conclusion: Therefore, the prototype of the designed device showed that this device has a good capability for the industrial production of an inexpensive runoff and sediment monitoring tool to scientifically manage small-scale watersheds.
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: بلايای طبيعی (سيل، خشکسالی و حرکت های توده ای)
Received: 2023/08/21 | Revised: 2024/01/19 | Accepted: 2024/01/20

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