A Preliminary SPARROW Model of Suspended Sediment for the Conterminous United States

Open-File Report 2008-1205



This report describes the results of a preliminary Spatially Referenced Regression on Watershed attributes (SPARROW) model of suspended sediment for the conterminous United States. The analysis is based on flux estimates compiled from more than 1,800 long-term monitoring stations operated by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) during the period 1975-2007. The SPARROW model is structured on the Reach File 1 (RF1) stream network, consisting of approximately 62,000 reach segments. The reach network has been modified to include more than 4,000 reservoirs, an important landscape feature affecting the delivery of suspended sediment. The model identifies six sources of sediment, including the stream channel and five classes of land use: urban, forested, Federal nonforested, agricultural and other, and noninundated land. The delivery of sediment from landform sources to RF1 streams is mediated by soil permeability, erodibility, slope, and rainfall; streamflow is found to affect the amount of sediment mobilized from the stream channel. The results show agricultural land and the stream channel to be major sources of sediment flux. Per unit area, Federal nonforested and urban lands are the largest landform sediment sources. Reservoirs are identified as major sites for sediment attenuation. This report includes a description for how the model results can be used to assess changes in instream sediment flux and concentration resulting from proposed changes in the regulation of sediment discharge from construction sites.

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title A Preliminary SPARROW Model of Suspended Sediment for the Conterminous United States
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2008-1205
DOI 10.3133/ofr20081205
Edition -
Year Published 2008
Language ENGLISH
Publisher Geological Survey (U.S.)
Contributing office(s) U.S. Geological Survey
Description iii, 7 p.
Time Range Start 1975-01-01
Time Range End 2007-12-31
Online Only (Y/N) Y