National Research Program

Movement and Storage of Sediment in River Systems

Sediment moves through a river system in response to specific events and changing conditions in the drainage basin. The movement of sediment is usually discontinuous. Episodes of movement are separated by periods of storage that can range from less than a year to more than one thousand. Understanding the movement and storage of sediment in rivers is important to navigation, flood control, and other aspects of river engineering, as well as to the prediction of the fate of contaminants adsorbed on sediment particles. This project's objectives are to assess: (1) changes in river sediment loads over periods of decades or longer, and the factors (natural or artificial) that cause the changes; (2) rates at which sediment is stored in river systems and the residence times of sediment particles in storage; and (3) sources, pathways, and sinks of sediment particles in river systems.


Meade, R.H., and Moody, J.A., 2010, Causes for the decline of the suspended-sediment discharge in the Mississippi River System, 1940-2007: Hydrological Processes, v. 24, no. 1, p. 35-49. (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 493 KB, published as a U.S. Government work in the public domain by John Wiley & Sons)

Meade, R.H., and Moody, J.A., 2008, Changes in the discharge of sediment through the Missouri-Mississippi River system, 1940-2007: Encontro Nacional de Engenharia de Sedimentos, 8th, Campo Grande, Brazil, 2-8 November 2008, Proceedings, 27 p. [On CD only -- no print publication]

Moody, J.A., and Meade, R.H., 2008, Terrace aggradation during the 1978 flood on Powder River, Montana, USA: Geomorphology, v. 99, p. 387-403. (on line abstract of journal article)

Pizzuto, J.E., Moody, J.A., and Meade, R.H., 2008, Anatomy and dynamics of a floodplain, Powder River, Montana, U.S.A .: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 78, no. 1, p. 16-28. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Meade, R.H., 2007, Transcontinental moving and storage - the Orinoco and Amazon Rivers transfer the Andes to the Atlantic, in Gupta, A., ed., Large Rivers - Geomorphology and Management: Chichester, John Wiley & Sons, p. 45-63.

Meade, R.H., 2006, New Orleans revival recipes [Discussion]: Issues in Science and Technology Online, v. 22, no. 3.(on-line discussion)

Richey, J.E., Victoria, R.L., Mayorga, E., Martinelli, L.A., and Meade, R.H., 2004, Case Study 1, Integrated analysis of a humid tropical region--The Amazon Basin, in Kabat, P., Claussen, M., Dirmeyer, P.A., Gash, J.H., de Guenni, L.B., Meybeck, M., Pielke Sr., R.A., Worosmarty, C.J., Hutjes, R.W.A., and Lutkemeier, S., eds., Vegetation, water, humans and the climate--A new perspective on an interactive system: Berlin, Springer Verlag, p. 415-428.

Moody, J.A., Meade, R.H., and Jones, D.R., 2003, Lewis and Clark's observations and measurements of geomorphology and hydrology, and changes with time: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1246, 110 p. (link to viewing Circular on-line as .DJVU or as a group of images)

Richey, J.E., Victoria, R.L., Mayorga, L.A., and Meade, R.H., 2003, Integrated analysis of a humid tropical region - the Amazon Basin, in Kubat, P., and others, eds., Vegetation, water, humans, and the climate: Berlin, Springer, p. 415-428.

Meade, R.H., 2002, Flood of 1993 on Upper Mississippi River: a selective overview, in Wu, B.-S., and others, Flood Defence 2002 [Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Flood Defence, Beijing, September 2002]: New York, Science Press, p. 759-764.

Warne, A.G., Meade, R.H., White, W.A., Guevara, E.H., Gibeaut, J., Smyth, R.C., Aslan, A., Tremblay, T., 2002, Regional controls on gemorphology, hydrology, and ecosystem integrity in the Orinoco Delta, Venezuela: Geomorphology, v. 44, p. 273-307. (on-line abstract)

 For information on additional projects in the National Research Program, see Indexes to NRP projects and bibliographies

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