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Surface Water Hydrology

  1. Chih Ted Yang,
  2. Pierre Y. Julien

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.sw861

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Yang, C. T. and Julien, P. Y. 2005. Sedimentation. Water Encyclopedia. 3:401–404.

Author Information

  1. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Sedimentation is a science of interest to geologists, river morphologists, environmentalists, and engineers. Geologists are interested in the formation, mineral content, and age of sedimentary rocks. River morphologists are interested in the formation of rivers, their patterns, and profiles. Environmentalists are interested in the impacts of sediments on water quality, aquatic habitat, and ecosystems. Engineers are interested in the movement of sediment and its impact on the engineering design and operation of hydraulic structures. Due to these differences of interests and emphases, sedimentation studies can vary from qualitative to quantitative or a combination of both.

This article emphasizes the hydraulics of sediment transport. Due to the complexity of sediment transport, only basic assumptions and approaches used by engineers are summarized here.


  • sediment transport;
  • bed load;
  • suspended load;
  • total load