Simon Vale

Doctor of Philosophy, (Geography)
Study Completed: 2017
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Application and Evaluation of Sediment Fingerprinting Techniques in the Manawatu River Catchment, New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Suspended sediment is an important component of the river environment. Changes in the quantity of sediment reflect patterns of erosion which can relate to agricultural productivity, and alter aquatic ecosystems by degrading water quality. It is therefore important to identify primary sediment sources and understand rates of sediment delivery into the river system in order to be able to manage this effectively. Mr Vale applied a technique called sediment fingerprinting to characterise the geochemical signatures for sources of fine sediment in order to directly quantify their contribution to the Manawatu River. His research characterised eight geomorphological sediment sources of which the dominant source of sediment was from mudstone deposits. He found that storm analysis showed high temporal variability but was able to distinguish changes between sub-catchment contributions. Large catchments with complex transport patterns combined with inherent geochemical variability complicated source discrimination thus requiring additional information to increase confidence.

Professor Ian Fuller
Dr Les Basher
Dr John Dymond
Professor Jonathan Procter