Sediments in the Freshwater Environment

February 2015

This review of current knowledge (ROCK) is concerned with the movement of sediments in the freshwater environment, an important subject but a very complex one. The ROCK provides an outline of the subject and a description of some of the principles used in the analysis of the many complex processes. However, for details of the analytical methods it is necessary to consult major text books on the subject.

Erosion of the earth's surface by water, wind and ice has occurred over geological time scales. Sediments released in this way undergo successive periods of deposition and re-erosion as the landscape changes.

In the distant past the processes of erosion and deposition were natural phenomena which were largely unaffected by man. However in the last millennium there have been significant changes caused by the activities of man and these changes have intensified since the start of the industrial revolution. The rapid growth in population together with changes in land use practices for industry, housing and agriculture mean that man now has a significant influence on the movement of sediments.

A knowledge of the complete cycle of detachment, entrainment, transportation, deposition and consolidation of sediments, as outlined in this ROCK, provides an understanding of how sediments move through the landscape. It also provides a means of predicting future changes as affected by the activities of man.

Copies of the ROCK are available from the Foundation, price 15.00, less 20% to FWR members.

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