PUBLICATIONS: "Significance of bottom material data in evaluating water quality", by Herman R. Feltz

In Reply Refer To:                        September 23, 1980
EGS-Mail Stop 412


Subject: PUBLICATIONS: "Significance of bottom material data 
         in evaluating water quality", by Herman R. Feltz

The enclosed reprint on the "Significance of bottom material 
data in evaluating water quality" describes the importance of 
sediment as carriers or transporters of chemical substances 
in natural waters. Through the process of adsorption, a high 
degree of correlation can be found between the concentration 
of suspended sediment and the concentrations of substances, 
such as organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, heavy metals, 
and organic residues, including pesticides.

As the velocity of flow in a stream decreases, suspended 
sediment settles to the bottom. The bottom materials, in 
turn, become a storehouse for chemical substances. These 
materials can be further transported as part of the bedload 
or resuspended as water velocities increase.

As discussed in the reprint, the collection of bottom 
materials and the determination of adsorbed substances 
provide valuable information in water-quality studies. The 
significance and use of bottom material data may be 
summarized as follows:

1. as an historical water-quality integrator,
2. as a reconnaissance tool,
3. in planning analytical schedules,
4. in conducting short-termed studies,
5. for deriving short- and long-term trends, and
6. for identification of problem areas.

Please circulate the reprint as widely as possible in all 
district offices.  Additional copies of the reprint are not 

                         R. J. Pickering


WRD Distribution: SL: Regional Hydrologists
                      Regional Water-Quality Specialists
                      District Chiefs
                      District Water-Quality Specialists

Key words: water quality, publications, sampling, sediment, 
           bottom materials, bed material, chemical properties.

Superceded memorandum: None