Radiometric dating of sediment accumulations by137Cs and210Pb has been successfully initiated in the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. Sedimentation rates measured at 13 locations range from 0.7 to 3.6 cm/y. Chemical analysis has been completed for up to 45 major and trace elements in core samples. The upper Illinois River contains higher metal levels than the Mississippi River. The amount of carbon (energy) lost to sediments in large floodplain rivers is estimated between 370 and 4000 g/m2/y. ?? 1987 Akade??miai Kiado??.