Field Methods for Measurement of Fluvial Sediment

U.S. Geological Survey, Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations, Book 3, Chapter C2

By Thomas K. Edwards and G. Douglas Glysson

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This chapter describes equipment and procedures for collection and measurement of fluvial sediment. The complexity of the hydrologic and physical environments and man’s ever-increasing data needs make it essential for those responsible for the collection of sediment data to be aware of basic concepts involved in processes of erosion, transport, deposition of sediment, and equipment and procedures necessary to representatively collect sediment data.

In addition to an introduction, the chapter has two major sections. The “Sediment-Sampling Equipment” section encompasses discussions of characteristics and limitations of various models of depth- and point-integrating samplers, single-stage samplers, bed-material samplers, bedload samplers, automatic pumping samplers, and support equipment. The “Sediment-Sampling Techniques”` section includes discussions of representative sampling criteria, characteristics of sampling sites, equipment selection relative to the sampling conditions and needs, depth and point-integration techniques, surface and dip sampling, determination of transit rates, sampling programs and related data, cold-weather sampling, bed-material and bedload sampling, measuring total sediment discharge, and measuring reservoir sedimentation rates.

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