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Instream Sediment Assessment Resources

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Training Courses:

Agents of Watershed Change.
This EPA Watershed Academy Web online training module provides an overview of natural and human-made change processes and the ways in which they affect the structure and function of watersheds. The module explains how natural and human-caused erosion and sediment deposition in and along waterways affect watershed change.

North Carolina Stream Restoration Institute - River Courses. [BROKEN] Exit EPA Disclaimer
This North Carolina State University-based organization occasionally offers training workshops including:
  • Stream Classification and Assessment
  • Stream Restoration Design Principles
  • Advanced Stream Restoration Design Principles

Protecting Instream Flows: How Much Water Does a River Need?
This EPA Watershed Academy Web online training module discusses an approach for defining and restoring the streamflow conditions that sustain the biological diversity—native riverine species, aquatic and riparian communities, and natural ecosystem functions—of rivers. Instream flows affect the stability of sediment in and around the waterbody.

Stream Corridor Structure.
This EPA Watershed Academy Web online training module is about the physical structure of one of the most ecologically and hydrologically important parts of the watershed and the environment in general -- the stream corridor (defined as the stream, its floodplains, and a transitional upland fringe). The module explains role of sediment and erosion in stream corridor structure.

USACE HEC Training. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hydrologic Engineering Center offers several training courses (See the complete course list.) using its computer software. Courses are open to the public if not filled by USACE employees. Courses include, but are not limited to
  • Sediment Transport in Rivers and Reservoirs. Teaches principles of open channel hydraulics, channel aggradation and degradation, sediment transport, and the application of Scour and Deposition in rivers and Reservoirs computer program (HEC-6) to predict stream behavior.
  • Hydrologic Analysis for River and Wetland Restoration. Provides an understanding of the role of hydrology in river and wetland restoration and equips participants with the tools for the various hydrologic analyses necessary in planning and design of these features.


USGS Sediment-Related Training. (see "Training") Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Geological Survey occasionally offers the following training courses:
  • Geomorphic Analysis of Fluvial Systems
  • Modeling Flow and Transport in a Riverine Environment
  • Sediment Data-Collection Techniques
  • Sediment Records Computation & Interpretation
  • Watershed System Modeling I & II



Software, Models and Databases:

RIVERMorph Exit EPA Disclaimer
The RIVERMorph software is a database-oriented software system geared towards channel measurement data collection/storage, reference reach data collection/storage, river assessment/monitoring and engineering applications including natural channel design. The software package has been developed into an expert system for the design of natural channels; will allow the user to store all geomorphic data collected in one easy to access location; will facilitate the development of geomorphically derived data such as regional curves; and will provide a medium through which geomorphically derived data can be shared.
STREAM Modules: Spreadsheet Tools for River Evaluation, Assessment and Monitoring. Exit EPA Disclaimer[BROKEN]
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio State University have developed this suite of spreadsheet tools (available for free public use). The modules include
  1. Reference Reach Spreadsheet for reducing channel survey data and calculating basic bankfull hydraulic characteristics
  2. Regime Equations for determining the dimensions of typical channel form
  3. Meander Pattern that dimensions a simple arc and line best fit of the sine-generated curve
  4. Cross-section and Profile that can be used to illustrate the difference between existing and proposed channel form
  5. Sediment Equations which includes expanded and condensed forms of critical dimensionless shear, boundary roughness and common bed load equations and
  6. Contrasting Channels that computes hydraulic and bed load characteristics in a side-by-side comparison of two channels of different user defined forms.
Suspended-Sediment Database: Daily Values of Suspended Sediment and Ancillary Data. [BROKEN]Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maintains an online suspended sediment database for use by researchers and the public. USGS has operated a number of daily suspended sediment stations throughout the country that provide information on sediment flux in the Nation's rivers. Output from a data retrieval provides station identification number, date, daily mean streamflow discharge in cubic feet per second, daily mean streamflow discharge in cubic meters per second, daily mean suspended-sediment concentration in milligrams per liter, suspended-sediment discharge, and suspended sediment discharge in metric tons per day. Some ancillary data are also included in this database, including water temperature, bed material size distribution, and suspended-sediment size distribution. The site also offers supplementary information and sediment-related Web links.
See a summary of the data found in the database.
USACE Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory Software. (click on "Software" on the upper blue bar) Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory offers several types of software to assist with channel design and erosion control, including
  • TABS-MD (Multi-Dimensional) Numerical Modeling System. The TABS-MD Numerical Modeling System is a collection of generalized computer programs and utility codes, designed for studying multi-dimensional hydrodynamics in rivers, reservoirs, bays, and estuaries. These models can be used to study project impacts on flows, sedimentation, constituent transport, and salinity.
  • CHANLPRO Numerical Modeling System. CHANLPRO addresses three areas pertinent to the design of channel protection including riprap placement, gabion mattress sizing, and estimation of scour depth in erodible channels.
  • CH3D-SED. The newly developed mobile bed version of CH3D-WES is called CH3D-SED. It is being utilized to investigate sedimentation on bendways, crossings, and distributaries on the lower Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers. These applications address dredging, channel evolution, and channel training structure evaluations.
  • SAM Hydraulic Design Package for Channels. The SAMwin package is designed to provide hydraulic engineers smooth transition from making hydraulic calculations to calculating sediment transport capacity to making sediment yield determinations. The three main modules of the package can be used in series, as described, or their separate capabilities utilized to aid in various hydraulic design situations.
USACE HEC Software. [BROKEN]Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hydrologic Engineering Center (HEC) offers a variety of software packages for download, including
  • HEC-RAS. The HEC's River Analysis System (HEC-RAS) allows users to perform one-dimensional steady and unsteady flow calculations. HEC expects to add sediment transport computations and water quality analysis in future versions.
  • HEC-GeoHMS. The HEC's Geospatial Hydrologic Modeling Extension (HEC-GeoHMS) is a software package for use with the ArcView Geographic Information System. Analyzing digital terrain information, HEC-GeoHMS transforms the drainage paths and watershed boundaries into a hydrologic data structure that represents the watershed response to precipitation.
  • HEC-ResSim . The HEC's Reservoir Simulation (HEC-ResSim) computer program is comprised of a graphical user interface (GUI), a computational program to simulate reservoir operation, data storage and management capabilities, and graphics and reporting facilities.
  • HEC-FDA. The HEC's Flood Damage Analysis (HEC-FDA computer program was developed to assist Corps staff in analyzing the economics of flood-damage-reduction projects. The program stores hydrologic and economic data necessary for an analysis; provides tools to visualize input data and results; computes damages; and implements risk-based analysis procedures.

USDA ARS Software. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has participated in the development of a series of software tools to assess sediment- and channel-related processes. The following tools are available from the ARS:
  • AGNPS. AGricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Model (AGNPS) is a joint USDA Agricultural Research Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service system of computer models developed to predict nonpoint source pollutant loadings within agricultural watersheds. It contains a continuous simulation, surface runoff model designed to assist with determining BMPs, the setting of TMDLs, and for risk & cost/benefit analyses.
  • Bank Stability and Toe Erosion Model. The Bank Stability Model is an spreadsheet-based model that calculates bank Factor of Safety for new or existing channel banks. The model will help to assess the stability of existing channel banks, predicting the effect that changes in riparian land use will have, or designing new channels.
  • CONCEPTS. The National Sedimentation Laboratory has developed the CONservational Channel Evolution and Pollutant Transport System (CONCEPTS) computer model to simulate the evolution of incised streams and to evaluate the long-term impact of rehabilitation measures to stabilize stream systems and reduce sediment yield.
  • RIST. The Rainfall Intensity Summarization Tool (RIST) is a Windows-based program designed to facilitate analysis of time-and-date stamp tipping-bucket precipitation records.
  • RUSLE 1.06 and 2.0. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equations (RUSLE) are erosion prediction technologies, also referred to as erosion models, that are widely used to estimate rates of soil erosion caused by rainfall and associated overland flow. RUSLE1 and RUSLE2 are used by government agencies around the world to assess and inventory erosion to assist public policy development.

USGS Surface Water Software. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed numerous software packages for assessing surface water and sedimentation. Some might be applicable for instream sediment assessment, including
  • BSDMS. Bridge Scour Data Management System
  • CAP. Culvert Analysis Program
  • CGAP. Channel Geometry Analysis Program
  • DAFLOW. Streamflow routing in upland channels or channel networks
  • MODEIN. Computation of total sediment discharge by the modified Einstein procedure
  • NCALC. Manning's n value calculation program
  • NFF. National Flood Frequency program
  • SEDDISCH. Computation of fluvial sediment discharge
  • SEDSIZE. Particle-size statistics of fluvial sediments
Two other sediment-related USGS software packages (click on "Software") are
  • SLEDS. Cascades Volcano Observatory SedLab - SLEDS Program
  • GCLAS. Graphical Constituent Loading Analysis System


Publications, Web Sites & Other Resources:

Climate Change, Sediment Transport Capacity, Arroyo Development, and Vegetation Change in Streams of the Southwestern United States. [BROKEN] Exit EPA Disclaimer
This 1999-2002 USGS project studied used stratigraphy and tree-ring counts on 200 buried tamarisk stems to reconstruct the timing and amount of sediment deposited in 6 trenches across the Rio Puerco arroyo. The researchers also used a Sediment Transport Capacity Index to investigate how shifts in the intensity of extreme precipitation events were related to sediment transport and the arroyo cycle in fifteen streams on the Colorado Plateau.
Collection and Use of Total Suspended Solids Data. (Gray and Glysson, 2003). Exit EPA Disclaimer
This USDA Forest Service Stream Systems Technology Center's newsletter article reviews several studies and discusses which of the methods of total suspended solids data collection and analysis used were most successful.

About PDF Files...
Many of the documents listed on this site are PDF files. Viewing a PDF file requires use of Adobe's free Acrobat Reader software.  *EPA's PDF page  provides information on downloading the software.

Comparability of Suspended-Sediment Concentration and Total Suspended Solids Data. Exit EPA Disclaimer
Several USGS publications discuss comparisons between suspended-sediment concentration (SSC) and total suspended solids (TSS) analytical methods and derivative data. For more information see the following:
Concentrations and Loads of Suspended Sediment and Nutrients in Surface Water of the Yakima River Basin, Washington, 1999-2000 - With an Analysis of Trends in Concentrations [BROKEN](Ebbert et al., 2003). (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This U.S. Geological Survey report (Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4026) is one of several developed as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program in the Yakima Basin. The report assesses spatial and temporal variations in concentrations and loads of suspended sediment and nutrients in surface water of the Yakima River Basin using data collected during 1999-2000.
Coping with Uncertainty: A Case Study in Sediment Transport and Nutrient Load Analysis (Osidele et al., Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, Vol. 129, No. 4, July/August 2003, pp. 345-355). Exit EPA Disclaimer
This article presents a computational approach for identifying the significance of uncertainty in assessing the consequences of sediment and nutrient transport in a section of the Chattahoochee River south of Lake Lanier, as it passes through Atlanta, Georgia. The present a computational framework that integrates a recently developed sediment-nutrient dynamics model with a Monte Carlo-based methodology for model uncertainty evaluation.
DRI's Truckee River Sediment Assessment Projects. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The Desert Research Institute (DRI), the nonprofit research campus of the University and Community College System of Nevada, has led environmental research on the Truckee River for 30 years. DRI's recent sediment projects include:
  • Water Quality Assessment and Modeling of the California Portion of the Truckee River Basin. DRI provided the technical analysis and review necessary to begin developing a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for sediment for the California portions of the Truckee River watershed.
  • Suspended Sediment Analysis of Middle Truckee River. DRI's principal goal is to estimate the sediment load for the Truckee River in California, and to characterize the existing range of sediment flux and variability according to total amount, maximum, duration, timing and frequency of sediment transport events. DRI hopes to develop a sediment surrogate that can be measured continuously.
Environmental and Hydrologic Overview of the Yukon River Basin, Alaska and Canada (Brabets et al., 2000). (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report (NO. 99-4204) summarizes the environmental, flow, and water-quality characteristics of the Yukon River Basin, the fourth largest drainage basin in North America. The summary includes a large section on sediment processes in the basin.
Evaluation of Sediment-Surrogate Technologies for Computation of Suspended-Sediment Transport (Gray et al., 2003). (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This paper discusses on-going USGS research to characterize suspended-sediment transport using a variety of in-situ sediment-surrogate technologies in concert with traditional techniques. Results show that techniques based on optics, acoustics, and laser principles have been successful in a limited number of test sites. The approach using a pressure-differential principle shows promise for use in highly concentrated streamflows.
Evaluation of Sediment Transport Data for Clean Sediment TMDLs. (National Sedimentation Laboratory Report No. 17, USDA Agricultural Research Service, 2000). Exit EPA Disclaimer
This report
  1. compiles a list of historical sediment-transport data sets,
  2. evaluates the Rosgen-Troendle technique, and
  3. explores and evaluates alternative strategies independent of and building on the Rosgen-Troendle technique.
Field Methods for Measurement of Fluvial Sediment. (Edwards and Glysson, 1998) (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This USGS publication describes equipment and procedures for collection and measurement of fluvial sediment. The "Sediment-Sampling Equipment" section encompasses discussions of characteristics and limitations of various models of depth- and point integrating samplers, single-stage samplers, bed-material samplers, bedload samplers, automatic pumping samplers, and support equipment. The "Sediment-Sampling Techniques" section includes discussions of representative sampling criteria, characteristics of sampling sites, equipment selection relative to the sampling conditions and needs, depth and point-integration techniques, surface and dip sampling, determination of transit rates, sampling programs and related data, cold-weather sampling, bed-material and bedload sampling, measuring total sediment discharge, and measuring reservoir sedimentation rates.

The First Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds (ICRW): In-Stream Sediment Assessment Papers. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The ICRW was held in Benson, Arizona, in October 2003. The conference proceedings are available online and include a number of number of streambank sediment assessment-related documents, such as
  • Combined Geomorphic and Numerical-Modeling Analyses of Sediment Loads for Developing Water-Quality Targets for Sediment
  • Effect of Peak Flow Increases on Sediment Transport Regimes Following Timber Harvest, Western Cascades, Oregon
  • Incorporating Bank-Toe Erosion by Hydraulic Shear into a Bank-Stability Model: Missouri River, Eastern Montana
  • An Interregional Comparison of Channel Structure and Transient Storage in Streams Draining Harvested
  • Modeling Hydrologic Variables and Terrain Features for Strategically Locating Riparian Buffers
  • Sediment Yield from Semiarid Watersheds
  • Simulating Channel Geomorphic Change in Semi-Arid Watersheds
  • Soil Contributions to Sediment Properties in Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed: Influence of Slope Factors
See the Web site for a complete list.


History of Streamflow and Suspended-Sediment Collection in the Rio Puerco Basin, New Mexico. Exit EPA Disclaimer
This U.S. Geological Survey Web site reviews suspended-sediment data and trends occurring in New Mexico's Rio Puerco basin. The Rio Puerco basin transports some of the highest average annual sediment concentrations in the world.


Instructional Manual for USGS Sediment Observers (Johnson, 1997). (PDF) 
This instruction manual provides an overview of the U.S. Geological Survey Sediment Program, presents basic theory on sediment transport, and provides step-by-step instructions on when and how to sample for sediment.

Numerical Modeling of Flow and Sediment Transport in Rivers. Exit EPA Disclaimer
This Web site describes an ongoing project seeking to develop a three-dimensional, two-phase flow computational model using Lagrangian particle trajectory analysis procedures for sediment transport, deposition, and resuspension processes. The specific objective is to develop a physical model relating particle size distribution in the sedimentary bed as a function of the river geometric features and flow conditions. The project is being conducted by Clarkson University with funding by the US Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory.
Oak Creek Sediment Transport Research. Exit EPA Disclaimer
Oregon State University has conducted bedload and suspended load sediment transport studies in the forested, mountainous Oak Creek watershed in Oregon since the late 1960s. This Web site provides introductory text and a long list of references (some with abstracts) for publications written based on research obtained at Oak Creek.
Open Channel Flow Slide Presentation. Exit EPA Disclaimer
This slide presentation was developed by the STream Restoration, Ecology, & Aquatic Management Solutions (STREAMS) Project, based at Ohio State University. STREAMS is a multi-agency initiative whose goal is to provide education, information, technology and communication on stream management strategies. This online teaching tool reviews the equations governing open channel flow.
Pesticides Associated with Suspended Sediments in the San Francisco Bay During the First Flush, December 1995 (Bergamaschi et al., 1995). (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This U.S. Geological Survey report describes an analysis of water and suspended sediment samples collected at the head of the San Francisco Bay during a peak in suspended sediment concentration, following the first major storm. The study found an average of 10 of 19 identified pesticide compounds on the samples. DDT and its metabolites were found on all suspended sediment samples.


Polyacrylamide (PAM) Research Project. Exit EPA Disclaimer
This site, maintained by the USDA's Northwest Irrigation Soils and Research Lab, provides information about the use of PAM to reduce turbidity in surface water. The site offers links to publications, PAM-related regulations, and information about other PAM projects throughout the world.

Post Workshop Summary, The Sino-U.S. Joint Workshop on Sediment Transport and Sediment Induced Disasters. (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This report summarizes the presentations at the workshop (held March 15-17, 1999 in Beijing, China) and the discussions following each. Presentation topics fell into one of nine categories:
  1. Physical and Numerical Modeling of Sedimentation
  2. Morphological Changes and Disasters
  3. River training and Strategies for Sediment Disaster Reduction
  4. Alluvial Sedimentation
  5. Sediment Movement in Rivers
  6. Fluvial Hydraulics and Sediment Transport
  7. Slope and Channel Erosion Control
  8. Human Activities Induced Sediment Problem
  9. Reservoir Sedimentation and Irrigation

Stream Systems Technology Center Publications. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The USDA Forest Service's Stream Systems Technology Center, or "STREAM TEAM," is a national technical center that aims to serve as a catalyst to stimulate research, a conduit for efficient technology transfer, and a source of scientific solutions for water allocation issues. The site provides links to the following instream sediment assessment publications:
  • Quantifying Channel Maintenance Instream Flows: an approach for gravel-bed streams in the Western United States (Schmidt and Potyondy, 2004)
  • Stream Channel Reference Sites: An Illustrated Guide to Field Technique (Harrelson et al., 1994)
  • Sampling Surface and Subsurface Particle-Size Distributions in Wadable Gravel-Bed Streams (Bunte and Abt, 2001)
  • A Bank-Operated Traveling Block Cableway for Stream Discharge and Sediment Measurements (Paradiso, 1999)
  • Fluvial Classification: Neanderthal Necessity or Needless Normalcy (Goodwin, 1999)
  • Measuring Bedload in Coarse-grained Channels: Procedures, Problems, and Recommendations (Ryan and Troendle, 1999)
Recent Advances in Statistical Methods for the Estimation of Sediment and Nutrient Transport in Rivers [BROKEN](Cohn, 1994). Exit EPA Disclaimer
This paper reviews methods (1994 and prior) for estimating fluvial transport of suspended sediment and nutrients.
Recent Progress in the Development of a SPARROW Model of Sediment for the Conterminous U.S. (Schwarz et al., 2003). (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This paper reports on recent progress made to empirically address the question of sediment fate and transport on a national scale. The model presented is based on the SPAtially Referenced Regression On Watershed attributes (SPARROW) methodology, first used to estimate the distribution of nutrients in streams and rivers of the US, and subsequently shown to describe land and stream processes affecting the delivery of nutrients.
Relation of Land Use to Nutrient and Suspended-Sediment Concentrations, Loads, and Yields in the Upper Chattahoochee River Basin, Georgia, 1993-98 (Frick and Buell, 1999: in Hatcher, K.J., (ed.), Proceedings of the 1999 Georgia Water Resources Conference, Athens, Ga., Institute of Ecology, The University of Georgia, p.170-179). (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This report, developed as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program's Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basin study, describes how various land uses affected the fluvial transport of nutrients and suspended sediment during different hydrologic conditions within the upper Chattahoochee River basin from 1993 to 1998. The report found that yields of suspended sediment and total phosphorus were about six times larger at the Chattahoochee River site downstream from Metropolitan Atlanta than upstream.

Report of the Community Sediment Transport Modeling Workshop. Exit EPA Disclaimer
A group of 55 scientists and engineers from nine countries met in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, on June 22-23, 2000 to explore a community approach to improving deterministic models of sediment transport in coastal seas, estuaries, and rivers. This report summarizes talks on processes, models, and community efforts. Workshop participants developed the following conclusions:
  1. Wide acceptance of a community sediment transport model would make the model a more effective tool for scientific research;
  2. A better understanding is needed of the basic physics that control sedimentary processes such as bottom roughness, aggregation or flocculation and disaggregation, erosion and deposition, and bed consolidation; and
  3. Coordination of the community modeling effort should be by an impartial organization with long-term stability.

Sediment-Transport Books and Collections. [BROKEN]Exit EPA Disclaimer
Through an arrangement with Amazon.com, Guideme.com has developed a page of older sediment transport books and collections available for purchase online. Some of the highlighted publications include
  • Dynamics of Gravel-Bed Rivers (Billi et al., 1992)
  • Earth surface sediment transport (Statham, 1977)
  • Hydraulic Processes on Alluvial Fans (French, 1987: Developments in Water Science, Vol 31)
  • Hydraulics of Sediment Transport (Graf, 1984)
  • Loose Boundary Hydraulics (Raudkivi, 1990)
  • Mechanics of Sediment Transport: Proceedings (Garde, 1983)
  • The Physics of Sediment Transport by Wind and Water: A Collection of Hallmark Papers (Bagnold, 1988)
  • Sediment Transport: Theory and Practice (Yang, 1995)
  • Sediment Transport and Depositional Processes (Pye, 1994)
  • Sediment Transport in Gravel-Bed Rivers (Thorne et al., 1987)
  • Sediment Transport in the Lower Missouri and the Central Mississippi Rivers, June 26 through September 14, 1993 (Holmes, 1996)
  • Sediment Transport Technology (Simon and Senturk, 1992)
  • Turbulence: Perspectives on Flow and Sediment Transport (Hardisty et al., 1993)

Sediment Transport in Low-Order Channels on the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed. (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This 2004 slide presentation by Mary Nichols of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service's Southwest Water Research Center describes efforts to characterize and quantify the sediment transported in Walnut Gulch, Arizona. The research found that a slot sampler underestimates the amount of coarse sediment transported.
Mary Nichols has published a number of papers about her sediment transport research. (Type "Nichols" into the author search box.) Vies one of her papers, "A Radio Frequency Identification System for Monitoring Coarse Sediment Particle Displacement (PDF)," online.

Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices (FISRWG, 1998 - revised 2001). Exit EPA Disclaimer
Developed by the Federal Interagency Stream Restoration Working Group, this document represents an unprecedented cooperative effort by the 15 participating federal agencies to produce a common technical reference on stream corridor restoration. The manual, available online, discusses the ecological processes, structure, and functions forming stream corridor systems; stream corridor characterization and condition analysis; developing a restoration plan; and restoration design, implementation, and monitoring.

Taconite Inlet Project. Exit EPA Disclaimer
This Web site describes a research program focused on a glacial lake on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's Northwest Territory. The program's objective was to understand the paleoclimatic signal in varved sediments from the lake by studying the primary controls on sediment flux to the lake, and sediment transport within the lake. Research was supported by a U.S. National Science Foundation grant to the University of Massachusetts.


Teaching Case Studies in Reservoir Siltation and Catchment Erosion (Chanson and James, 1998). (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This paper presents fours Australian case studies where reservoir designers failed to properly consider all elements influencing a watershed's hydrology, including structural features, hydraulics, hydrology, sediment transport, erosion, and watershed management policy. The authors wrote the paper to be used as teaching examples for engineering students and professionals to highlight the complexity of reservoir design, and the interactions between sediment transport and watershed erosion.


USDA ARS National Sedimentation Laboratory: Sediment Research Projects. (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) maintains the National Sedimentation Laboratory (NSL) in Oxford, MS. The NSL focuses on three areas of research:
  1. Channel and Watershed Processes Research,
  2. Water Quality and Ecology Research, and
  3. Upland Erosion Processes Research.
Users may download a brochure (PDF) or go on a virtual tour for a summary of the history and current research pursued by the NSL. The NSL's major research projects include Descriptions and contact information for the individual NSL projects being carried out under the umbrella of the above major research projects may be reviewed online. Type your keyword of interest, such as "sediment" or "transport," in the search box. Some examples of the NSL's instream sediment assessment projects underway include

USDA ARS National Sediment Laboratory: Instream Sediment Assessment Publications. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) maintains the National Sedimentation Laboratory (NSL) in Oxford, MS. The NSL focuses on three areas of research:
  1. Channel and Watershed Processes Research,
  2. Water Quality and Ecology Research, and
  3. Upland Erosion Processes Research.
The Web site contains abstracts, citations, and contact information for NSL authored or co-authored publications. Some examples of publications listed include

USDA's ARS Southwest Water Research Center: Sediment Transport Publications. Exit EPA Disclaimer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service's (ARS) Southwest Water Research Center has published a number of sediment transport-related documents. To view lists of publications, type "sediment transport" and "sediment load" into the search box.

USDA FS Water & Watersheds Web Site.

 Exit EPA Disclaimer
This U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (FS) site (www.fs.fed.us/psw/topics/water) offers links to FS sediment project Web sites, including
  • Caspar Creek Watershed Study. This Web site provides extensive information about the nature of hydrologic, erosion, and sedimentation impacts of logging operations on this northern California watershed.
  • Fine Sediment in Pools. This Web site describes how fine sediment can influence channel form, and offers links to publications.
  • Turbidity Threshold Sampling. This Web site detailed information about turbidity threshold sampling, an automated procedure for measuring turbidity and sampling suspended sediment. The site describes ongoing projects and provides links to many publications.

USGS Bedform Sedimentology Web Site. Exit EPA Disclaimer
This U.S. Geological Survey Web site describes cross-bedding and provides links to cross-bedding pictures and movies. An online version of the USGS publication titled "Cross-Bedding, Bedforms, and Paleocurrents" (Rubin, 1987), is provided. This document provides information about how modern bedforms behave--how they migrate, how they change in morphology, and how they interact with other bedforms.


USGS Geomorphology and Sediment Transport Projects. Exit EPA Disclaimer
This Web site provides lists and descriptions of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Research Program project disciplines. The following geomorphology and sediment transport deposition projects support research to understand stream-channel morphology and erosion processes that govern the source, mobility, and deposition of sediment. Click on each of the following projects for a more complete description and a list of related publications:
  • River Mechanics: The primary focus of this research project is to understand the dynamics and rate of river channel change and develop numerical models to make predictions of river channel characteristics given a particular change in flow regime and sediment supply.
  • Environmental Fluid Dynamics: The morphology of alluvial river channels is determined by relatively complicated mutual interaction between the pattern of flow in the channel, the transport of sediment through the channel as suspended load and bedload, and the topography of the bed and banks of the channel. This project specifically addresses fluid and sediment-transport physics within the context of river channel morphodynamics.
  • Sediment Impacts from Disturbed and Undisturbed Lands. Objectives of this project are to
    1. evaluate the extent and utility of sediment data from a variety of land-use areas;
    2. predict the movement of sediment from drainage basins affected by those land uses; and
    3. assess existing techniques and develop new ones based on geomorphic principles and the application of statistics, geochemistry, and botany to the limited data available as aids in improving interpretive capabilities.
  • Applications of Fluid and Sediment Mechanics to Basin and Regional Scale Hydrologic and Geomorphic Problems. The long-term goal of this project is to develop precise, process-based algorithms for flow, sediment transport, stream channel adjustment, erosion, and deposition in characteristic segments of a wide variety of fluvial systems. These algorithms then can be used to assess local environmental problems along particular types of stream segments, or they can be coupled with each other and with analogous algorithms for hill slope processes in order to produce models for erosion, sediment transport, and deposition on a regional scale.
  • Response of Fluvial Systems to Climatic Change. The objectives of this project are to define historic climatic variability in the western United States over the past century; to identify specific time periods of statistically stationary precipitation, discharge, flood frequency, and sediment transport; to assess the net effects of climatic variability on watershed conditions and fluvial systems; and to determine the extent that historic changes reflect Holocene climatic fluctuations.
USGS Research on Surrogate Measurements for Suspended Sediment (Gray et al., 2003). (PDF) Exit EPA Disclaimer
This paper describes the U.S. Geological Survey's efforts to evaluate potentially useful surrogate instruments and methods for inferring the physical characteristics of suspended sediments. USGS is testing bulk acoustic, bulk and digital optic, laser, and pressure-differential technologies for their usefulness to Federal agencies in providing quantifiably reliable information on bed-material and bed-topography characteristics, and on concentrations, size distributions, and transport rates of sediments in suspension and as bedload.

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