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Keywords:

  • deposited sediment;
  • sediment sampling;
  • streams;
  • monitoring;
  • fine sediment;
  • streambed;
  • water quality

Turner, Andy W., Jeff J. Hillis, and Charles F. Rabeni, 2012. A Sampler for Measuring Deposited Fine Sediments in Streams. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 48(2): 366-378. DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2011.00618.x

Abstract:  Improvements and standardization of methodologies to quickly and accurately quantify deposited sediment in streams will allow advances in our understanding of biological effects of sedimentation. Most methods used to evaluate streambed conditions as part of biological monitoring or assessment programs are selected for ease of use, but can be subjective, inappropriate, and often of unknown accuracy. We developed a portable, light-weight device to quantify deposited unconsolidated sediment (particles <2 mm) in wadeable streams. This deposited sediment sampler is a hand-held unit that circumscribes an area of the streambed and through suction creates a force that suspends unconsolidated materials into a collector. Laboratory evaluations determined the efficiency (percent of available deposited sediment recovered) of the sampler to collect different sizes and concentrations of deposited sediment under differing streambed conditions, which allowed appropriate correction factors to be applied to each of four categories of streambed particle size. Field trials comparing our sampler to other methods commonly used by many state and federal agencies showed high comparability. The sampler can be constructed in just a few hours from inexpensive, easily obtained materials.