Suspended sediment in Minnesota streams

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4312
Prepared in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers



Suspended-sediment samples have been collected by the U.S. Geological Survey from 115 sites on Minnesota streams since October 1960. Data from 42 sites were sufficient for characterizing sediment concentrations and yields. Average concentrations ranged from 4.4 milligrams per liter on the Baptism River in northeastern Minnesota to 190 milligrams per liter on the Root River in the southeast.

Log-linear equations that describe the sediment-transport curve were developed for 33 daily sediment stations and used to estimate long-term sediment yields. Average annual yields ranged from less than 1.0 ton per square mile on the Pelican River, to more than 200 tons per square mile on the Root and Whitewater Rivers and Deer Creek. Estimates indicated that under extreme circumstances the average annual sediment load for 2 years could be transported in slightly more than one day.

Analysis showed that more than 90 percent of the annual sediment load was carried during 3 to 9 months of the year. On the average, almost 25 percent of the annual sediment load was transported during April. Generally, it was found that less than 4 percent of the average annual load was transported during December, January, and February, which indicates that sampling frequency could be reduced during winter.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Suspended sediment in Minnesota streams
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 85-4312
DOI 10.3133/wri854312
Year Published 1986
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location St. Paul, MN
Contributing office(s) Minnesota Water Science Center
Description iv, 33 p.
Country United States
State Minnesota
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N