Fluvial Sediment and Geomorphology: Resources for Monitoring and Analysis

Science Center Objects

The USGS collects fluvial sediment and geomorphic data and conducts related research at numerous sites across the Nation. This information is essential to informed solutions to sediment-related and overall water resource management issues.

The USGS Fluvial Sediment and Geomorphology Program is responsible for:

  • promoting consistency and accuracy in fluvial sediment data collection within the USGS;
  • developing policies, guidelines, tools, and training resources that support USGS sediment monitoring programs;
  • providing technical assistance to USGS and partner agencies in sediment and geomorphic monitoring topics;
  • developing and promoting new technologies and methods in sediment and geomorphic monitoring, to improve the value, accuracy, and availability of related data;
  • and providing science leadership and coordinating with partner agencies and programs to help address national sediment problems.

These webpages provide information on our activities and resources which support the greater fluvial sediment and geomorphology community.


USGS Training Classes

Contact Molly Wood with questions about course availability and registration.

  • Sediment Data Collection Techniques (SW1091):  Course coordinator, Gary Johnson; Castle Rock, Washington; Typically offered in March, annually
  • Geomorphic Analysis of Fluvial Systems (QW1169):  Coordinator, Allen Gellis; Class location and time varies annually
  • Sediment Records Computation and Interpretation (SW2096): Coordinator, Greg Koltun; Denver, Colorado; Class time varies annually
  • Acoustic Index Method for Estimating Fluvial Suspended Sediment (USGS-H-17-037):  Coordinator, Molly Wood; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Typically offered in summer, annually
  • Field Methods for the Collection of Sediment and Water-Quality Samples with Large Samplers from Boats on Large Rivers (ID1837): Coordinator, Stan Skrobialowski; Vicksburg, Mississippi; Typically offered in January or February, annually


On-Demand Classes

  • Sound Sediment Science: Online, self-paced course on an introduction to the acoustic index method for estimating fluvial suspended sediment
  • Introduction to Suspended Sediment Sampling by Nolan, K. Michael, Gray, John R., and Glysson, G. Douglas, U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2005-5077. The course was originally on a CD-ROM. The content was migrated to a digital, on-demand format and was updated in January 2021. This course presents an introduction to methods currently used by the USGS to sample suspended-sediment concentrations and particle-size distribution in streams.


Workshops and Conferences

Policy Memos Related to Fluvial Sediment and Geomorphology

Surface Water

  • sw2016.07 Policy and guidance for approval of surrogate regression models for computation of time series suspended-sediment concentrations and loads [763KB]
  • sw2016.05 Availability of Techniques and Methods 3-C5, Sediment Acoustic Index Method for Computing Continuous Suspended-Sediment Concentrations [76KB]
  • sw2015.01 Policy and Guidelines for Archival of Surface-Water, Groundwater, and Water-Quality Model Applications [400KB PDF]
  • sw13.03 Guidelines for FISP Bag Sampler Intake Efficiency Tests and Operational Velocities [266KB PDF]
  • sw12.05 Creation of Sediment Acoustic Leadership Team (SALT)
  • sw10.03 Policy for the mandatory storage of discrete sediment data and selected metadata in the National Water Information System, and availability of SedLOGIN software to assist in data entry
  • sw10.01 Publication of Techniques and Methods Report Book 3, Chapter C4 “Guidelines and Procedures for Computing Time-Series Suspended-Sediment Concentrations and Loads from In-Stream Turbidity-Sensor and Streamflow Data,” by Patrick P. Rasmussen, John R. Gray, G. Douglas Glysson, and Andrew C. Ziegler
  • sw09.06 Availability of RESSED, a REServoir SEDimentation Website and Database for the United States
  • sw04.02 The Graphical Constituent Loading Analysis System (GCLAS) for computing discharges of suspended sediment and other water-quality constituents
  • sw04.01 Water Resources Discipline Policy on Storage and Publication of Fluvial-Sediment Data with Updated Method Codes
  • sw03.06 Guidance for Bridge Scour Studies
  • sw01.03 Collection and Use of Total Suspended Solids Data
  • sw99.04 Guidelines from the 1998 Sediment Laboratory Chiefs Workshop
  • sw99.02 Sediment and Ancillary Data on the World Wide Web
  • sw99.01 Guidance for Collecting Discharge-Weighted Samples in Surface Water Using an Isokinetic Sampler
  • sw98.05 A National Quality Assurance Program for Sediment Laboratories Operated or Used by the Water Resources Division
  • sw97.04 Distribution of Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4310, Method for Rapid Estimation of Scour at Highway Bridges Based on Limited Site Data, by Stephen R. Holnbeck and Charles Parrett
  • sw96.11 Initiation of a Sediment Laboratory Quality Assurance Project
  • sw96.10 Distribution of "Channel Scour at Bridges in the United States", by Mark N. Landers and David S. Mueller (Federal Highway Administration Publication FHWA RD 95 184), and of "Bridge-Scour Data Management System User's Manual," by Mark N. Landers, David S. Mueller, and Gary R. Martin (U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 95-754)
  • sw96.08 Sixth Federal Interagency Conference Proceedings
  • sw96.07 Sediment Laboratory Procedures
  • sw95.10 Consolidation of Sediment Laboratories
  • sw95.09 Endorsement of Sediment Records Calculation Program (SEDCALC)
  • sw95.06 Distribution of "Evaluation of pipet and x-ray procedures for determining particle-size distributions of sediment," Federal Interagency Project Report KK
  • sw95.01 Information Concerning the Federal Interagency Sedimentation Project
  • sw94.04 Compilation of memorandums and other materials concerning office procedures for sediment records, supplementing sw92.08
  • sw93.21 Policy and technical guidance for conversion of sediment concentration from parts per million (ppm) to milligrams per liter (mg/L)
  • sw93.11 Water Resources Division (WRD) Policy on Publication of Sediment Size Data Determined by use of the Sedigraph
  • sw93.10 Test Results for the Deca (Cone) Splitter
  • sw93.08 Recommendations for use of retransformation methods in regression models used to estimate sediment loads ("The bias correction problem")
  • sw93.04 Correction to Office of Surface Water Technical Memorandum No. 93.01
  • sw93.01 Summary of Documentation that Describes Instrumentation and Field Methods for Collecting Sediment Data
  • sw92.08 PROGRAMS & PLANS--Compilation of memorandums related to sediment
  • sw92.06 PUBLICATIONS--New parameter codes for bedload data
  • sw92.05 PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Policy on suspended sediment filers--The asbestos mat shall not be used. The Whatman 934 AH shall be used
  • sw92.03 PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Guidelines for the Transmittal of Bridge-Scour Information to Cooperators
  • sw91.15 PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Guidelines for the Analyses of Sediment Data
  • sw91.11 TRAINING--Certification Training for Sediment Laboratories
  • sw91.10 PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Dendrogeomorphic Techniques
  • sw91.02 REPORTS--References to Sediment Reports
  • sw90.08 PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Policy and Guidelines for the Collection and Publication of Bedload Data (sw90.08.att HISTORICAL BACKGROUND)
  • sw90.07 PUBLICATIONS--Transmittal of Report, "Twelve Selected Computer Stream Sedimentation Models Developed in the United States"
  • sw90.06 PUBLICATIONS--Notes on Sedimentation Activities, Calendar Year 1988
  • sw90.05 PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Transport Modeling System Announced
  • sw89.10 "Use of Surface-Geophysical Methods to Assess Riverbed Scour at Bridge Piers"
  • sw88.17 Distribution of Open-File Report "Field Methods for Measurement of Fluvial Sediment" and the Proposed Water Resources Division
  • sw88.01 PUBLICATIONS--Notes on Sedimentation Activities, Calendar Year 1986
  • sw87.07 "Pilot Study for Collection of Bridge Scour Data"
  • sw87.02 PUBLICATIONS--Notes on Sedimentation Activities, Calendar Years 1985 and 1986
  • sw86.06 EQUIPMENT--DH-81 Suspended-Sediment Sampler


Water Resources Division

  • WRD82.28 Acceptability and Use of Water-Quality Analytical Methods


Water Quality

  • qw81.02 EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES: Operation and availability--D-77 Water-Quality Sampler
  • qw80.18 Equipment and Supplies: Samplers--Problems with installation of plastic nozzles on samplers
  • qw80.17 EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES--New sample splitter for water-quality samples
  • qw80.06 EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES--Samplers; color-coded nozzles for sediment samplers
  • qw80.03 EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES: Samplers--P-61 and P-63 Point-Integrating Sediment Samplers
  • qw78.03 EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES -- Churn Splitters
  • qw77.08 PUBLICATIONS: Open-File Report, Relationship of Sediment Discharge to Streamflow
  • qw77.03 EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES: DH-75 Suspended-Sediment Sampler
  • qw76.17 WATER QUALITY--Sampling mixtures of water and suspended sediment in streams
  • qw72.13 PUBLICATION -- TWRI Book 3, Chapter C3, Computations of fluvial-sediment discharge, by George Porterfield
  • qw72.04 PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Instructions for use of sediment samplers for the collection of samples to be analyzed for organic substances
  • qw71.09 PROGRAMS AND PLANS--Guidelines for sampling and analysis of water-quality constituents associated with solids
  • qw71.05 PROGRAMS AND PLANS - Sampling and analysis of water-quality constituents associated with suspended solids