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Proceedings of the Federal Interagency Workshop

"Sediment Technology for the 21st Century"

Organized by:
John Gray, U.S. Geological Survey
Larry Schmidt, U.S. Forest Service

February 17-19,1998
St. Petersburg, Florida



(Larger Version, 388K JPEG)

About this photograph: USGS Tampa Bay 3/22/91 Landsat TM satellite imagery Bands 7,2,1 processed at Center for Coastal Geology, St. Petersburg, Florida


The workshop, "Sediment Technology for the 21'st Century" was held to bring better focus to sediment technology needs and development activities of, or relevant to the U.S. Government. This need was articulated in a 1997 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Sediment Workshop,,

in which 11 U.S. agencies unanimously concurred that new sediment technologies -- better, less-expensive, safer and/or more statistically defensible -- are needed for effective management of our Nation's rivers, estuaries, and coasts. The Technical Committee of the Federal Interagency Sedimentation Project, which includes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Agricultural Research Service, Forest Service (FS), and USGS, agreed. To this end, the Technical Committee resolved to sponsor a short workshop on the subject.

Thus was the "Sediment Technology for the 21'st Century" workshop conceived.

The workshop was organized by John Gray of the USGS and Larry Schmidt of the FS. Representatives from all Technical Committee member agencies other than the Bureau of Land Management attended. Five sediment experts from four universities provided a much-needed non-Federal perspective (click here for the workshop attendance list and associated contact information).

Among the objectives addressed in the workshop were the following five:

  1. Articulate the sediment research and monitoring needs of the participating organizations.

  2. Identify existing or emerging sediment-related technologies and compelling ideas.

  3. Identify principal investigators working toward similar technological ends. Have them summarize progress on the topical area and recommend a path-of-least-resistance toward bringing the technology to fruition through development of pre-proposals.

  4. Identify potential cross-agency partnerships and develop a multi-agency plan to initiate projects on promising technologies or ideas, realizing that sharing resources should result in a large return on investment to contributing agencies.

  5. Provide information to place our results on the World Wide Web and hopefully publish them internationally to stimulate world-wide discussion on the sediment technology of the U.S. and of other countries.

The scope of the workshop centered on any sediment technology of potential relevance to member agencies of the Technical Committee. These included, Sessions on February 17 and 18 were focused on information transfer, which included technical presentations on methods and technologies by principal investigators (click here for abstracts from the presentations). On February 19th, attendees met in two subgroups: One centered on technologies for measuring suspended sediment, the other on the combined topic of bedload and bed topography. Both groups were asked to identify technological "gaps" in addition to the status of technology under their purview.

The subgroups completed a 1-page synposis for each of 25 promising technologies; prioritized them; and initiated development of pre-proposals for those technologies considered most compelling and/or tractable. The draft pre-proposals can be accessed by clicking here. One technological "gap" was identified: Measuring bedload transport in coarse-bedded channelsremotely.

The pre-proposals will be presented at the joint meeting of Subcommittee on Sedimentation and the Technical Committee on May 12-14, 1998, at the USGS National Center in Reston, Virginia. The Technical Committee will be asked to evaluate the technologies and make a determination on which, if any, warrant development into full proposals. The Technical Committee will also be asked to identify potential cross-agency partnerships and to develop a multi-agency plan to initiate projects on technologies considered most worthwhile to the Federal Government.



Workshop Abstracts

Workshop Preproposals

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