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  • Recent river channel change detections in the section of the River Tisza above Tiszaújlak (BИЛОК)

    In the section above Tiszaújlak, despite the presence of embankments, the River Tisza shows active meandering tendency and it splits into branches resulting in side channels, dead channels and backwaters that follow the main channel. In our work we examined the right- and the left-side riverbank sections of the River Tisza, between Tiszaújlak (Вилок) and Tiszasásvár (Тросник), as well as between Tiszaújlak and Tiszapéterfalva (Пийтерфолво), to reveal the extent of bar depositions between 2006 and 2015, and to what extent the intensity and direction of the riverbank formation processes were influenced by the material of the bank and the plant coverage, its rate and characteristics. We tried to reveal which sections were eroded by the river and what security risks they have for the safety of the settlements along the Tisza River. On the right side of the Tisza River riverbank 51, and on the left side 62 main measuring points were recorded by GPS positioning satellite in 2009, 2010 and 2015. Our results were compared to the satellite images of Google Earth taken in 2006, too. According to our experience, in several bends of the examined sections of the river, active bar deposition can be observed; in some cases more than 100 m of bar depositions were detected.

  • Active point bar development and river bank erosion in the incising channel of the lower Tisza river, Hungary

    The development of point-bars and bank erosion are critical near-bank processes, as they indicate the sediment and hydraulic regime of a river system, thus, they refer to the equilibrium conditions of a channel. However, throughout history, rivers have been modified for various benefits which change the development of point-bars and the rate of bank erosion. In the Lower Tisza River (Hungary), river regulations influenced the channel and floodplain development, altering the natural fluvial processes. The aim of the research was to determine the rate of near-bank processes and to make trajectory for future river evolution to support future engineering works. The bank erosion and point-bar development at human-influenced and freely meandering sections of the Tisza River were monitored since 2011. Behind a collapsed revetment, the bank erosion rate was 0.6 m/y, while at a freely meandering section it was 2.3 m/y. The studied point-bars are located in revetted and freely meandering sections. Their surface eroded within the period. These intensive erosional processes refer to an incising meandering channel, which must be considered during future planning of in-channel structures (e.g. revetments, bridges), thus, geomorphic methods must be considered in any river engineering scheme.

  • Heavy metal content of flood sediments and plants near the River Tisza

    The River Tisza is Hungary’s especially important river. It is significant not only because of the source of energy and the value insured by water (hydraulical power, shipping route, stock of fish, aquatic environment etc.) but the active floodplain between levees as well. Ploughlands, orchards, pastures, forests and oxbow lakes can be found here. They play a significant role in the life of the people living near the river and depend considerably on the quality of the sediments settled by the river. Several sources of pollution can be found in the catchment area of the River Tisza and some of them significantly contribute to the pollution of the river and its active floodplain. In this paper we study the concentration of zinc, copper, nickel and cobalt in sediments settled in the active floodplain and the ratio of these metals taken up by plants. Furthermore, our aim was to study the vertical distribution of these elements by the examination of soil profiles. The metal content of the studied area does not exceed the critical contamination level, except in the case of nickel, and the ratio of metals taken up by plants does not endanger the living organisms. The vertical distribution of metals in the soil is heterogeneous, depending on the ratio of pollution coming from abroad and the quality of flood.

  • Long-term analysis of River Tisza water level data with regard to the ecological water demand of floodplain water bodies

    One of the main threats of our time is the increasing water demand not only globally, but also locally. These are often met at the expense of ecological water demand, jeopardizing the structural and operational conditions necessary to maintain good ecological status in aquatic and wetland habitats. This is why it is of great importance to explore possible water retention options. In 2019, based on the long-term data series on the water level of River Tisza, we studied the frequency and extent of flooding in the floodplain between Tiszabercel and Gávavencsellő, where there are valuable wetlands, including a ‘sanctuary’-type backwater. This was necessary because recently the floodplains have undergone negative changes. Their water volume has gradually decreased, their valuable wildlife has become rarer, some of them have completely dried out in the autumn and even one of them has burned out. From the analysis of the examined 48-years data, it could be concluded that flooding was relatively frequent in the sampled area, but the extent of water coverage had no significant effect either in space or time. It was also found that only water levels above 700 cm (based on the water meter of Tiszabercel, 98.36 mBf) could adequately ensure that the water bodies are filled up and flushed out. However, there is little chance of this, because of four reasons: (1) water levels of this height are becoming rare; (2) the duration and height of high water levels are mostly short in time; (3) water levels of several water bodies are artificially decreased; (4) the drainage effect of the River Tisza – which has been significantly incised after the river regulation – prevails in the area. Due to all, in the future, there would be a great need to maintain the water levels in the floodplain wetlands as efficiently as possible after the floods – for which we have made specific proposals for the places and methods to preserve the ecologically necessary amount of water.

  • Water chemical analysis of the oxbow lakes near the Upper-Tisza River

    The Tisza river plays an important role in the life of Eastern Hungary. Beside the river there are several oxbow lakes, cut off meanders. In this paper the water quality of these lakes was examined from the section of Tarpa to Rakamaz. 45 oxbow lakes were sampled and the chemical parameters were determined. Sodium was used as a pollutant (sewage water) indicator and 2 lakes were found extremely polluted. The lakes outside the dam were slightly polluted because of the lack of renewal of the water body and the ones in the active floodplain had good quality parameters.

  • Field pedological characterisation of two transects along the inner and outer sides of a sixty years old Tisza dike - a contribution to the problem of primary and secondary alkali grasslands

    Two transects were studied by field pedological investigations and soil bulk electrical conductivity measurements in order to understand the effect of a 60 year old dike along the Tisza River on soil formation and vegetation composition. There were no great differences in the soil properties. The soil is more saline and wetter inside the dike and vegetation reflected this environment. We hypothesize that the increasing build up of the riverbed might contribute to the contrast in soil and groundwater salinity between the area inside and the area outside the dike, similarly as conceptualised by Kuti (1989) for the Danube area, but at a much smaller distance.

  • Land use changes and their effect on floodplain aggradation along the Middle-Tisza River, Hungary

    Land-use changes and their effect on overbank sediment accumulation were investigated on the floodplain of Middle-Tisza River. Military survey maps (1783, 1860, 1883 and 1890) and aerial photos (1950, 1965, 1980 and 2000) were used to evaluate land-use changes and to calculate the vegetational roughness of the area. To determinate the rate of overbank sedimentation sediment samples were collected from a pit, the grain-size, content of organic matter, heavy metal content (Pb, Cu, Zn, Ni and Cd) and pH were measured. Until 1950 meadows and pastures were typical on the floodplain, gallery-forest was along the river, the oxbow-lake and the artificial levee. Notable landuse changes were detected in the second half of the 20th century, as the aerial photo taken in 1965 shows extensive forestry in the area. These land-use changes affected the average vegetational roughness, as it has been doubled since the disappearance of grasslands. Land-use changes highly affect the aggradation, as the increased roughness decreases the flood velocity on the floodplain, causing accelerated aggradation. Using Pb marker horizons and grain-size changes the studied sediment profile was compared to dated profiles (Braun et al. 2003), thus, the sediment accumulation rate could be determined for the periods of 1858-1965 and 1965-2005. According to our measurements the accumulation rate was doubled since 1965, very likely in connection with the doubled vegetational roughness.