Computation of the grain-size distribution of the suspended load above a sand bed must take into consideration: (1) sorting processes from the bed to the bed layer and (2) sorting between the bed layer and suspension. Grain-size distributions of the bed layers above sand beds of three different types have been computed in this work, both by the Einstein and the Gessler methods. Using these as references, suspended load distributions have been obtained in each case by the Rouse suspension equation. A new formula has also been developed in partial modification of Hunt's method for direct computation of bed load and suspended load from a bed's grain-size distribution and flow parameters.

Comparison of the computed data with actual observations in laboratory flumes show that no one method is particularly superior to the others, but the present method is advantageous because it affords direct computation of the suspended load from a bed's grain-size distribution, without going through an intermediate stage (bed load). The possible sources of error in each of the methods have been discussed.