86 Measuring Sediment Loads, Yields, and Source Tracing
Part 7. Erosion and Sedimentation
Published Online: 15 APR 2006
Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences
How to Cite
Leeks, G. 2006. Measuring Sediment Loads, Yields, and Source Tracing. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 7:86.
- Published Online: 15 APR 2006
The sediment load of rivers is, for both practical purposes and field research, usually divided into the finer suspended load and coarser bed load. A range of instruments can be used, depending on the mode of sediment transport. Measurements of the bed load can be made using fixed and portable traps, samplers and tagging methods, and electronic detection systems. Suspended sediment load is usually measured with both manual and automatic samplers. Continuous measurements are made possible by using turbidity as a surrogate measure of suspended sediment concentrations. An advantage in the use of the manual and automatic samplers is to provide samples which can be subjected to further analysis (e.g. of particle size distributions or chemistry). One of the opportunities this can provide is to identify up-catchment sediment sources, including channel, gully, sheet/rill, and surface erosion under different land uses. Source “fingerprints” are identified from combinations of sediment properties. Multivariate analysis and mixing models can then be used to quantify the relative contributions from individual sources.
- bed load;
- particle properties;
- sediment monitoring;
- sediment transport;
- source tracing;
- suspended load;