River Sediment Flux Shows Human Footprint

Recent research by Evan Dethier, Carl Renshaw, and Frances Magilligan shows how human activities have altered sediment transport and ocean deposition from river sediment. In the global north, the amount of sediment reaching the oceans has drastically decreased while transport in the global south has increased. The team, all from Dartmouth, analyzed satellite imagery from the 1980s onward and ground truthed this data with over 100,000 measurements, to anaylze how ocean deposition has changed during that time. In the global north, a main driver of change has been dam building (though the location of new dam building is shifting from North America to Asia) and in the global south a main driver is deforestation and land use change (though future dam building may again alter sediment transport).

A summary of the research can be read on Earth.com - https://www.earth.com/news/rivers-show-widespread-change-from-human-activity/

View the publication in the journal Science - https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.abn7980