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Dynamique des flux sédimentaires et des éléments métalliques en lien avec l’exploitation courante et exceptionnelle d’un barrage hydroélectrique

Abstract : Dam reservoir contexts concentrate social, economic and environmental issues. Their presence modifies both natural water and sediments continuity. Water level can be stable or fluctuate according to hydrological cycles and exploitation, leading to more or less pronounced sediments and associated contaminants remobilization. In such context, this work aims at studying spatio-temporal changes in concentrations, fluxes as well as speciation of metallic elements during natural and anthropologically-driven sediments accumulation and resuspension phases. For this purpose, a 19 months field survey was performed upstream and downstream from the dam during both routine and exceptional exploitation. The water and sediments quality during two sluicing events, performed in order to re-erode deposited reservoir sediments and flush them downstream through the bottom valves of the dam during high flows, were notably monitored. As for the influence of the main physicochemical parameters (i.e., solid/liquid ratio, pH, redox potential, drying) on metallic elements fate and speciation as well as the different processes involved, they were studied through laboratory experiments, statistical analyses and modeling. Results highlighted that during routine exploitation, dam presence leads to a significant discontinuity in metallic element dissolved concentrations, fluxes and speciation, mainly through pH changes magnified by water flow artificial lowering. During sluicing management, the high local pH, redox and S/L changes of the downstream water, mainly following maximum sediments release, enhance As, Fe and Mn solubilization through desorption or metallic oxydes dissolution. Nevertheless, given the overall low mobility of the metallic elements and bearing phases stability, dissolved fluxes remain far lower than particular ones. Recurrent sluicing management permits to minimize sediments and metallic fluxes, limiting toxicity towards aquatic biota.
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Franck Frémion. Dynamique des flux sédimentaires et des éléments métalliques en lien avec l’exploitation courante et exceptionnelle d’un barrage hydroélectrique. Sciences de la Terre. Université de Limoges, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016LIMO0102⟩. ⟨tel-01479004⟩

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