An understanding of the temporal variation in reservoir sedimentation and identification of the main sources of sediment are necessary for the maintenance of sustainable reservoirs. For this purpose, field measurements, sampling, and fingerprinting of reservoir sediment were undertaken from July 2005 to November 2007. Source fingerprinting of reservoir sediment was conducted using cesium-137 (137Cs). The relative contributions of gully bank and forest road, and forest floor material to reservoir sediment were calculated using a mixing model. Bank and forest road material, estimated to make up about 96% of the reservoir sediment, was the dominant source. Enormous reservoir sedimentation, which amounted to about 60% of the total reservoir sedimentation during the observation period, occurred during a heavy rainstorm with an 80-year recurrence time. To maintain the sustainability of the reservoir in this study, therefore, temporal and spatial preparation strategies for heavy rainstorms and bank and forest road erosion should be considered. However, spatial information on sediment sources from 137Cs fingerprinting is limited. To better identify the sediment sources spatially and temporally, further studies applying soil erosion models and more detailed field studies are needed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.