Effect of water level regulation on gradients and levee deposits in the Lake Øyeren delta, Norway

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Water level changes resulting from a hydropower regulation have influenced water flow, gradients and sediment processes in the Lake Øyeren delta for about 150 years. They are reflected in the morphology of the islands on the delta plain. Under current regulation practices, water levels during the mean annual flood are maintained at about 1 m lower than during the previous regime prior to 1978. As the channels continue to mature, the recently deposited tongues and levees in the southern part will therefore probably maintain a distinctly lower elevation than that of the older islands. The influence of flood regulation on levee deposits during the extreme 1995 flood was estimated by comparing simulated overbank deposits resulting from different flood regulation schemes. The simulations showed that reduced water levels during floods in the presence of older islands extend the period of in-channel flow and promote the development of levee-like deposits in the lower part of the delta plain. This explains some of the characteristics observed in the morphological development, most notably the increased number of lagoons resulting from a higher number of levees.

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