Commercially available, daylight and near-ultraviolet fluorescent, colored dyes can be used in long- or short-lived surface coatings on coarse sediments. Such tracer coatings make possible day- or nighttime visual and quantitative determination of river or beach sediment transport. Testing of five commercial coatings led to formulation of two additional coatings. A wide selection of dye colors is available for use in four coating mixtures. All coatings are insoluble in fresh or saline water. Single-application coating thicknesses range between 0.0003 and 0.0024 inches. Still air drying time at room temperature for separated particles varies from 40 seconds to 14 minutes depending on coating mixture used. Volume production of marked particles in the field is possible.

Extensive sediment sampling in particle transport studies possibly may be eliminated by measuring visible light emission from coated particles under nearultraviolet excitation. A battery operated, portable photometer was assembled from a light cell, linear amplifier, and metering circuit. Laboratory calibration indicates that 5% differences in areal concentration of marked particles at given sampling locations can be determined.

Color coded sizes of fluorescent sand and gravel were used in a test of foreshore sediment transport pattern over a single tidal cycle. Initial trajectory (minimum transport angle) of particles moved by beach drifting is approximately equal to deep water angle of wave approach relative to the shoreline. Angular magnitude of the dispersion zone for each group of particles seems to be a function of particle size and point of introduction on the foreshore. Minimum average transport velocity of particles was 0.42 ft./min under test conditions.