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

Table of Contents




Sediment-sampling equipment

Sediment characteristics, source, and transport

Data needs


Suspended-sediment samplers

Depth- and point-integrating samplers

Hand-held samplers-US DH-81, US DH-75, US DH-48, US DH-59, and US DH-76

Cable-and-reel samplers-US D-74, US D77, US P-61, US P-63, and US P-72

Sampler accessories




Single-stage samplers

Bed-material samplers


Hand-held samplers-US BMH-53, US BMH-60, and US BMH-80

Cable-and-reel sampler-US BM-54

Bedload samplers

Automatic pumping-type samplers

Development and design

Installation and use criteria

Placement of sampler intake

Sampler advantages and disadvantages

Intake orientation

Data analysis

Intake efficiency

Cross-section coefficient

Description of automatic pumping-type samplers - US PS-69, US CS77, US PS82, Manning 54050, and ISCO 1680

Support equipment

Sediment-sampling techniques

Site selection

Equipment selection and maintenance

Suspended-sediment sampling methods

Sediment-discharge measurements

Single vertical

Surface and dip sampling


The equal-discharge-increment method

The equal-width-increment method

Advantages and disadvantages of equal-discharge-increment and equal-width-increment methods

Point samples

Number of verticals

Transit rates for suspended-sediment sampling

Observer samples

Sampling frequency, sediment quantity, sample integrity, and identification

Sampling frequency

Sediment quantity

Sample integrity

Sample identification

Sediment-related data

Water temperature

Stream stage

Cold-weather sampling

Bed-material sampling

Materials finer than medium gravel

Materials coarser than medium gravel

Location and number of sampling verticals

Sample inspection and labeling

Bedload sampling technique

Computation of bedload-discharge measurements

Measurements for total sediment discharge

Reservoir-trap efficiency

Inflow measurements

Outflow measurements

Sediment accumulation

Other sediment data-collection considerations

Selected references



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