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River and Flume Sediment-Transport, and Reservoir-Sedimentation Databases: An International Questionnaire

The U.S. Subcommittee on Sedimentation ( — in cooperation with the World Association for Sedimentation and Erosion Research (WASER), and UNESCO’s International Sedimentation Initiative (ISI) — is seeking general descriptive information on useful fluvial-sediment and reservoir databases from around the world. Information of interest includes river and flume physical-sediment data (suspended-sediment, bedload, and bed-material); reservoir-sedimentation rates; and descriptive/related data for both.

SCOPE: The scope of information sought on databases is fourfold:

  1. Instantaneous-value (sample) data: This includes suspended-sediment, concentrations and particle-size distributions, bed-load discharges and associated water-discharges,water-temperatures, water-surface slope, and other hydraulically relevant data for a river or flume site and time.
  2. Short-term time-integrated (minutes-to-hours) data: This includes average cross-sectional suspended-sediment concentrations, and bedload or total-load discharges for a given water discharge in a river or flume.
  3. Longer-term time-integrated data: This includes sub-daily, daily, monthly, or annual suspended-sediment or total-load discharges in a river or flume.
  4. Reservoir-sedimentation data.

GOALS: The short-term goal of this request is to generate a summary of useful and reliable databases, and, where possible and permissible, provide a means for potential web users to freely access the sediment and ancillary data in selected distributed databases.

Our long-term goal is to enable any user to freely obtain sediment and ancillary data for rivers, research flumes, and reservoirs through the website based on geographic, hydrologic or hydraulic criteria via a search engine.

DATABASE CRITERIA: Criteria for a qualifying fluvial-sediment database include:

Criteria for reservoir-sedimentation databases include availability of information on dam location and date that the reservoir was closed; original reservoir physical attributes; and the differential in full-pool water capacity calculated from two or more bathymetric surveys, or else based on stratigraphic evidence such as cores of or trenches in the deposited sediment.

QUESTIONNAIRE: If you are a manager of a riverine/flume-sediment and (or) reservoir-sediment database, or are familiar with a database that might meet these criteria, please complete the 3-part questionnaire. Also, please share this request with anyone that might have the reason and desire to participate in this survey. The contact information entered in Parts I-A and 1-B of this 3-part questionnaire is confidential and will not be shared with the public unless you indicate otherwise in Part 1-B.

The theme for completion of the questionnaire is "Do the best that you can without taking an undue amount of time." The total time to complete either Part II or III to describe one database is on the order of 10 minutes. Other than your confidential contact information, there are only 4 fields in each of Parts II and III that must be completed. Where numerical information is sought, it is entirely acceptable to provide approximate values.

Those with more than one river and flume database, or reservoir sedimentation database, are asked to enter each one sequentially into the questionnaire by submitting the first, and then re-entering Part II or III as appropriate and adding the information for additional databases.

If you have questions or comments on this request or the questionnaire, please send email to Thanks in advance for your time, effort, and cooperation.

View Sample Questionnaires

Part II: Fluvial-Sediment Databases
Part III: Reservoir-Sedimentation Databases

On behalf of colleagues Waite R. Osterkamp, Daniel J. Sullivan, and Jonathan B. Laronne,

John R. Gray
U.S. Geological Survey Representative on the Subcommittee on Sedimentation, and
Council Member, World Association for Sedimentation and Erosion Research
415 National Center
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive
Reston, Virginia, USA 20192-0002

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