Event Title

Improving Estimates of Suspended Sediment Concentration and Flux in the Little Bear River

Presenter Information

Brant Whiting

Location

ECC 303/305

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

4-4-2012 1:50 PM

End Date

4-4-2012 2:10 PM

Description

In the United States, suspended sediment is cited as the most common impairment to water quality. In addition to suspended sediment being a primary pollutant of concern, many other contaminants and nutrients can be associated with suspended sediment particles. Suspended sediment has significant ecological impacts stemming from changes in physical, chemical and biological characteristics of surface waters and the benthic environment. The ability to accurately quantify suspended sediment concentrations and fluxes at appropriate temporal and spatial scales is critical in assessing whether streams are meeting their designated beneficial uses and in implementing and evaluating watershed management and mitigation plans and restoration efforts. Currently, new methods for quantifying suspended sediment concentrations and fluxes are being used throughout the United States that convert high frequency, in situ measurements of surrogates such as turbidity into high frequency estimates of suspended sediment concentration. Regressions between turbidity and suspended sediment concentrations have been shown to be site specific and are affected by several factors, including the size and characteristics of suspended sediment particles. Additionally, most surrogate relationships have been developed from a single in situ sensor and grab samples of suspended sediment that may not be representative of conditions throughout the entire stream cross section. In this research we are investigating potential effects of particle size on relationships between turbidity and suspended sediment in efforts to determine why these relationships are site specific. We are also examining the variability in point versus width and depth integrated suspended sediment sampling to develop methods for accounting for these within surrogate relationships between turbidity and suspended sediment and improve resulting estimates of suspended sediment concentrations and fluxes based on these relationships.

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Apr 4th, 1:50 PM Apr 4th, 2:10 PM

Improving Estimates of Suspended Sediment Concentration and Flux in the Little Bear River

ECC 303/305

In the United States, suspended sediment is cited as the most common impairment to water quality. In addition to suspended sediment being a primary pollutant of concern, many other contaminants and nutrients can be associated with suspended sediment particles. Suspended sediment has significant ecological impacts stemming from changes in physical, chemical and biological characteristics of surface waters and the benthic environment. The ability to accurately quantify suspended sediment concentrations and fluxes at appropriate temporal and spatial scales is critical in assessing whether streams are meeting their designated beneficial uses and in implementing and evaluating watershed management and mitigation plans and restoration efforts. Currently, new methods for quantifying suspended sediment concentrations and fluxes are being used throughout the United States that convert high frequency, in situ measurements of surrogates such as turbidity into high frequency estimates of suspended sediment concentration. Regressions between turbidity and suspended sediment concentrations have been shown to be site specific and are affected by several factors, including the size and characteristics of suspended sediment particles. Additionally, most surrogate relationships have been developed from a single in situ sensor and grab samples of suspended sediment that may not be representative of conditions throughout the entire stream cross section. In this research we are investigating potential effects of particle size on relationships between turbidity and suspended sediment in efforts to determine why these relationships are site specific. We are also examining the variability in point versus width and depth integrated suspended sediment sampling to develop methods for accounting for these within surrogate relationships between turbidity and suspended sediment and improve resulting estimates of suspended sediment concentrations and fluxes based on these relationships.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2012/AllAbstracts/52