Estimates of Suspended-Sediment Yields for Select Streams in Mississippi

Author(s): Runner, M.

Stream quality can be impaired by changes in the quantity and quality of suspended sediment and stream paths and flows can be altered by erosion and deposition. Thus, it is important to monitor suspended-sediment loads and yields of stream basins to establish reference or background sediment- transport characteristics for streams in a given region or basin, as well as to help determine where potential sediment-related impairments may exist.

Reference suspended-sediment transport rates at an effective discharge equal to the 1.5-year recurrence intervals have been developed for various ecoregions of the United States and include several stream basins in Mississippi. Preliminary analysis of historical USGS sediment and flow data for sites in these select basins indicate that there is a correlation between sediment yield at the effective discharge and certain basin characteristics, including basin slope and drainage area, and these relationships may improve the ability of water-resource managers to identify potentially impaired streams and set target sediment yields at more attainable levels.

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