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Sedimentation in Mountain Streams: A Review of Methods of Measurement

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DOI: 10.4236/nr.2013.41011    4,369 Downloads   6,938 Views   Citations


The goal of this review paper is to provide a list of methods and devices used to measure sediment accumulation in wadeable streams dominated by cobble and gravel substrate. Quantitative measures of stream sedimentation are useful to monitor and study anthropogenic impacts on stream biota, and stream sedimentation is measurable with multiple sampling methods. Evaluation of sedimentation can be made by measuring the concentration of suspended sediment, or turbidity, and by determining the amount of deposited sediment, or sedimentation on the streambed. Measurements of deposited sediments are more time consuming and labor intensive than measurements of suspended sediments. Traditional techniques for characterizing sediment composition in streams include core sampling, the shovel method, visual estimation along transects, and sediment traps. This paper provides a comprehensive review of methodology, devices that can be used, and techniques for processing and analyzing samples collected to aid researchers in choosing study design and equipment.


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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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L. Hedrick, J. Anderson, S. Welsh and L. Lin, "Sedimentation in Mountain Streams: A Review of Methods of Measurement," Natural Resources, Vol. 4 No. 1, 2013, pp. 92-104. doi: 10.4236/nr.2013.41011.


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