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Sediment sampling in Large Rivers; Experiences from the Kasai River in the Congo Basin
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  • Catherine Mushi,
  • Preksedis Marko Ndomba,
  • Raphael Muamba Tshimanga,
  • Mark A Trigg,
  • Felix Mtalo,
  • Jeffrey Neal
Catherine Mushi
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Corresponding Author:awidicathy04@gmail.com

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Preksedis Marko Ndomba
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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Raphael Muamba Tshimanga
University of Kinshasa, Congo DRC.
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Mark A Trigg
University of Leeds, UK.
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Felix Mtalo
University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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Jeffrey Neal
University of Bristol, UK.
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Land use change due to population growth and an increase in anthropogenic activities such as logging and mining (mostly illegal) have led to an increase in the sediment load of the Kasai River in the Congo River Basin. However, even with recent developments in technologies such as remote sensing and improvements in erosion prediction models to study sediment transport in water bodies; this phenomenon has been little studied in this poorly gauged catchment and the wider Congo River Basin due to lack of field-based sediment concentration measurements required to calibrate the results of such studies. The present study describes recently concluded field excursions to set up a high frequent sediment sampling station on one of the major tributaries of Congo River, the Kasai River. The station is fitted with an ISCO 6712 automatic pumping sampler to enable high frequency sampling. The ISCO is coupled with an OBS 501 turbidity sensor to collect even higher frequent sediment concentration data. The site is also fitted with other instruments to measure other hydrologic and climatic variables such as a manual staff gauge and an automatic water levels logger. The preliminary sampling efforts have been designed to guide a comprehensive sediment sampling programme which is part of a wider study to build a sediment yield model for the Congo River Basin in order to study the impacts of sedimentation on hydropower planning.