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U.S. Geological Survey Quality-Assurance Project for Sediment Analysis

January 1, 1994


Sediment is derived primarily from natural weathering of rock and is an assemblage of individual mineral grains that are then deposited by some physical agent, such as water, wind, ice, or gravity (Fetter, 1988). The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) samples sediments and collects data on the amount of sediment in selected waterways. The most pressing sediment-related problems are associated with environmental questions, such as the transport and fate of attached pollutants, effects of sediment on aquatic biota and their habitats, and effects on sediment transport from land-use changes. Current (2000) sediment issues require that sediment studies address multiple objectives in water-resources management (Koltun and others, 1997).

To support sediment research, the USGS operates laboratories for the analysis of the physical characteristics of sediment. Sediment laboratories producing data for the USGS have two principal functions: (1) the determination of suspended-sediment concentration in samples and (2) the determination of sand/fine separations. The reliability of these determinations and the usefulness of the data are dependent on the accuracy and reliability of the laboratory analyses (Guy, 1969).

Citation Information

Publication Year 2000
Title U.S. Geological Survey Quality-Assurance Project for Sediment Analysis
DOI 10.3133/fs03100
Authors John D. Gordon, Carla Newland
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 031-00
Index ID fs03100
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization U.S. Geological Survey