Standard Article

Sediment Load Measurements

Surface Water Hydrology

  1. Wayne D. Erskine

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.sw846

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Erskine, W. D. 2005. Sediment Load Measurements. Water Encyclopedia. 3:397–401.

Author Information

  1. State Forests of New South Wales, Beecroft, New South Wales, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005

Abstract

Two modes of sediment transport by rivers, suspended load and bed load, are usually recognized on behavioral grounds. Suspended load refers to the relatively fine part of the total sediment load that is transported in continuous or intermittent suspension. For sediment to remain in suspension, flow turbulence and velocity must be sufficiently great to counter the tendency of suspended sediment to settle to the riverbed. The two main factors determining sediment settling velocity are grain size and density. Bed or traction load refers to the relatively coarse part of the total sediment load that is transported along or close to the riverbed by rolling, sliding, or saltation. The latter term refers to sand movement in a series of hops across a riverbed in a distinct, concentrated layer.

Keywords:

  • suspended load;
  • bed;
  • load;
  • wash load;
  • traction load;
  • depth-integrating sampler;
  • point-integrating sampler;
  • pump sampler;
  • turbidity;
  • pressure difference sampler;
  • Birkbeck sampler