The aim of this work is to develop a well-balanced finite-volume method for the accurate numerical solution of the equations governing suspended sediment and bed load transport in two-dimensional shallow-water flows. The modelling system consists of three coupled model components: (i) the shallow-water equations for the hydrodynamical model; (ii) a transport equation for the dispersion of suspended sediments; and (iii) an Exner equation for the morphodynamics. These coupled models form a hyperbolic system of conservation laws with source terms. The proposed finite-volume method consists of a predictor stage for the discretization of gradient terms and a corrector stage for the treatment of source terms. The gradient fluxes are discretized using a modified Roe's scheme using the sign of the Jacobian matrix in the coupled system. A well-balanced discretization is used for the treatment of source terms. In this paper, we also employ an adaptive procedure in the finite-volume method by monitoring the concentration of suspended sediments in the computational domain during its transport process. The method uses unstructured meshes and incorporates upwinded numerical fluxes and slope limiters to provide sharp resolution of steep sediment concentrations and bed load gradients that may form in the approximate solutions. Details are given on the implementation of the method, and numerical results are presented for two idealized test cases, which demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of the method and its applicability in predicting dam-break flows over erodible sediment beds. The method is also applied to a sediment transport problem in the Nador lagoon.Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.