Comparison of fluvial suspended-sediment concentrations and particle-size distributions measured with in-stream laser diffraction and in physical samples

Water Resources Research
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Laser-diffraction technology, recently adapted for in-stream measurement of fluvial suspended-sediment concentrations (SSCs) and particle-size distributions (PSDs), was tested with a streamlined (SL), isokinetic version of the Laser In-Situ Scattering and Transmissometry (LISST) for measuring volumetric SSCs and PSDs ranging from 1.8-415 µm in 32 log-spaced size classes. Measured SSCs and PSDs from the LISST-SL were compared to a suite of 22 datasets (262 samples in all) of concurrent suspended-sediment and streamflow measurements using a physical sampler and acoustic Doppler current profiler collected during 2010-12 at 16 U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging stations in Illinois and Washington (basin areas: 38 – 69,264 km2). An unrealistically low computed effective density (mass SSC / volumetric SSC) of 1.24 g/ml (95% confidence interval: 1.05-1.45 g/ml) provided the best-fit value (R2 = 0.95; RMSE = 143 mg/L) for converting volumetric SSC to mass SSC for over 2 orders of magnitude of SSC (12-2,170 mg/L; covering a substantial range of SSC that can be measured by the LISST-SL) despite being substantially lower than the sediment particle density of 2.67 g/ml (range: 2.56-2.87 g/ml, 23 samples). The PSDs measured by the LISST-SL were in good agreement with those derived from physical samples over the LISST-SL's measureable size range. Technical and operational limitations of the LISST-SL are provided to facilitate the collection of more accurate data in the future. Additionally, the spatial and temporal variability of SSC and PSD measured by the LISST-SL is briefly described to motivate its potential for advancing our understanding of suspended-sediment transport by rivers.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Comparison of fluvial suspended-sediment concentrations and particle-size distributions measured with in-stream laser diffraction and in physical samples
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1002/2014WR015697
Volume 51
Issue 1
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher AGU Publications
Contributing office(s) Illinois Water Science Center
Description 21 p.
First page 320
Last page 340
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N