In this paper the effects of density stratification in sand-bed rivers are studied by the application of a model of vertical velocity and concentration profiles, coupled through the use of a turbulence closure that retains the buoyancy terms. By making the governing equations dimensionless, it is revealed that the slope is the additional dimensionless parameter introduced by inclusion of the buoyancy terms. The primary new finding is that in general density stratification effects tend to be greater in large, low-slope rivers than in their smaller, steeper brethren. Under high flow conditions the total suspended load and size distribution of suspended sediment can be significantly affected by density stratification, and should be accounted for in any general theory of suspended transport. ?? ASCE.