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Approach To Small Dam's Siltation Study In Arid Areas Of Morocco: Parameters Identification And Statistical Analysis

Congress: 2015
Author(s): Naima Alahiane, Ahmed Elmouden, Abderrahmane Aitlhaj

Laboratory of Applied Geology and Geo Environment1, National Agency for Development of Oasis areas and Argan2



Keyword(s): Sub-theme 7: Global challenges for water governance,
Abstract

Tackling siltation of dams is not obvious. This phenomenon has perplexed every hydraulic engineer since the first dam was constructed. The problem is more studied for the large dams than for the smaller ones even if it is more important. Because, the smaller the catchment area the higher the sediment yield. Moreover, small dams are a way to adapt to climate change mainly in arid areas such as our study area in Souss Massa Deraa. Studying factors explaining siltation is of great interest before planning and implementing new small dam projects. Soil erosion is the natural cause of siltation. It is related to many factors which include: total annual rainfall and its intensity, runoff, slope and soil type, and vegetation cover upon the entire watershed. But we need to know the most influencing factors. In this study, geomorphological watershed attribute data and some easily quantified parameters such as catchment size, slope, specific vertical drop, soil erodibility, drainage efficiency and land cover, are analyzed to define the most ones controlling sediment yield variability in high Atlas, anti Atlas and Siroua Mountains of Morocco. Sediment yield data were acquired for 23 catchments above small reservoirs. Geomorphological and other quantified catchment attributes were extracted for each reservoir from different sources including digital elevation models, satellite images, topographic and lithological maps, and surveyed data. Different statistical analyses such as Pearson's correlation, principal components and multiple regression were implemented to analyze the relationship between sediment yield and catchment characteristics and to determine the significant factors controlling the variability of sediment yield. The result shows that catchment form, specific vertical drop, soil erodibilty and land cover explain most of the variability in sediment yield among the catchments. This study and the generated results will be used for better optimize future projects of small dams. They will be used by governmental institutions and other stakeholders involved in the planning, implementation, management and monitoring of small dams.

Keywords: siltation, small dams, watershed, statistics, Morocco.

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