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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-467
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-467
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 25 Oct 2018

Research article | 25 Oct 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Sediment budget analysis of the Guayas River using a process-based model

Pedro D. Barrera Crespo1,4, Erik Mosselman1,2, Alessio Giardino2, Anke Becker2, Willem Ottevanger2, Mohamed Nabi2, and Mijail Arias Hidalgo3 Pedro D. Barrera Crespo et al.
  • 1Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands
  • 2Deltares, Delft, the Netherlands
  • 3ESPOL, Facultad de Ingeniería en Ciencias de la Tierra, Guayaquil, Ecuador
  • 4HIDRODICON, Cuenca, Ecuador

Abstract. The Equatorial Daule and Babahoyo rivers meet and combine into the tidal Guayas River, which flows into the largest estuary on the Pacific coast of South America. The city of Guayaquil, located along the Guayas, is the main port of Ecuador but, at the same time, the planet's fourth most vulnerable city to future flooding due to climate change. Fluvial sedimentation, which has increased in the recent years, is seen as one of the factors contributing to the risk of flooding. The planning and design of effective mitigation measures requires a good understanding of the causes which have led to the current hazards. In this study, the process-based Delft3D FM model was used in order to explain the dominant processes in the river and the effects that past interventions along the river and its estuary have had in the overall sediment budget. Additionally, a simulation including sea level rise was used in order to understand the possible future impact of climate change on the sediment budget. Results indicate that the increased import of marine sediment is the result of the recent increase in tidal asymmetry due to land reclamation and a decrease of episodic flushing by river floods due to upstream dam construction. This is in contrast with the local perception of the problem, which ascribes sedimentation to deforestation in the upper catchment. Only the deposition of silt and clay in connected stagnant water bodies could perhaps be ascribed to upstream deforestation.

Pedro D. Barrera Crespo et al.
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Short summary
Guayaquil, the commercial capital of Ecuador, is located along the Guayas river. The city is among the most vulnerable cities to future flooding ascribed to climate change. Fluvial sedimentation is seen as one of the factors contributing to flooding. This paper describes the dominant processes in the river and the effects of past interventions in the overall sediment budget. This is essential to plan and design effective mitigation measures to face the latent risk that threatens Guayaquil.
Guayaquil, the commercial capital of Ecuador, is located along the Guayas river. The city is...
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