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Sediment Source Assessment Using Sediment Fingerprints

September 26, 2018


Sediment is one of the most common causes of loss of stream-biologic integrity, whether in suspension in the water column, or as deposition on a stream or lake bottom. Fine-grained silts and clays are of particular concern because they can degrade habitat and often carry phosphorus and (or) other contaminants harmful to humans and aquatic life. Sediment-impaired water bodies, usually identified by fair to poor macroinvertebrate index scores, are placed on the 303(d) list of impaired waters, where a sediment Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) is developed under the Clean Water Act ( In order to effectively manage sediment, it is necessary to identify the sediment sources and locations of “hot spots” of erosion and deposition.

Publication Year 2018
Title Sediment Source Assessment Using Sediment Fingerprints
DOI 10.3133/fs20183008
Authors Allen C. Gellis, Lillian E. Gorman Sanisaca, Matthew J. Cashman
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 2018-3008
Index ID fs20183008
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Cooperative Water Program