Standard Article

85 Sediment Yields and Sediment Budgets

Part 7. Erosion and Sedimentation

  1. Desmond E Walling

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa087

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Walling, D. E. 2006. Sediment Yields and Sediment Budgets. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 7:85.

Author Information

  1. University of Exeter, Department of Geography, Exeter, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Measurements of sediment transport have been undertaken on many rivers throughout the world. Most of the available data relate to suspended sediment loads and the results provide a wealth of information on the variation of suspended sediment yields in both space and time. This contribution reviews current knowledge regarding land–ocean sediment transfer and sediment fluxes to the oceans, global patterns of sediment yield and their controls, and temporal variability of sediment yields in response to both natural controls and human activity and environmental change. In order to understand the sediment response of a drainage basin, it is important to take account of the complex linkages between sediment mobilisation and sediment output, and particularly the role of both short- and long-term storage. The sediment budget provides a useful conceptual framework for this purpose and current understanding of the structure of catchment sediment budgets is reviewed.


  • sediment loads;
  • bed load;
  • suspended sediment;
  • sediment yields;
  • specific sediment yield;
  • grain size;
  • global patterns;
  • land–ocean transfer;
  • sediment delivery;
  • sediment budgets