Advancing monitoring and assessment of suspended sediments in temperate streams and rivers

  • Magdalena Grove

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Suspended sediments (SS) are a natural component of streams and rivers, critical for habitat heterogeneity and ecological functioning. However, human activities can cause a significant deviation in the dynamics of SS from the ‘natural’ or ‘reference’ condition, resulting in serious ecological degradation and a decline in valuable ecosystem services. In recognition of the potential for SS to cause aquatic degradation, and in an effort to minimise this, government-led environmental organisations around the world have established water quality guidelines and standards that state recommended targets for SS (sometimes referred to as suspended solids, and occasionally assessed through proxy measurements such as turbidity). However, at present these guidelines are often blanket values that do not recognise the natural spatial and temporal variation of SS in streams/rivers, are poorly linked to the biological/ecological impact evidence, and therefore ultimately may not reflect the specific requirements of the biological communities that they are designed to protect.
Date of AwardJul 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Brighton

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