Contemporary suspended sediment yield of Caucasus mountains
Processes linked to climate change and intensified anthropogenic pressure influence the environment, the hydrology and by extent the denudation processes in the Caucasus mountain belt. Quantitative assessments of sediment fluxes and their temporal evolution in this mountain region are required for various environmental and engineering purposes, including the planning and maintenance of water reservoirs and other structures. In this paper, we present a first analysis of the hitherto largest suspended sediment yield (SSY) database for the Caucasus region, comprising data from 198 catchments (> 4000 catchment-years of observations). We present an overview of the existing contemporary SSY data from gauging stations observations. Based on these data and different models, we propose preliminary maps of the spatial patterns of SSY and denudation rates in the Caucasus region.