Author(s): Walling DE
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Abstract Recent years have seen a growing awareness of the wider environmental significance of the suspended sediment loads transported by rivers and streams. This includes the importance of fine sediment in the transport of nutrients and contaminants, including phosphorus (P). Sediment source exerts a key control on the physical and geochemical properties of suspended sediment, including its P content, and will also influence the potential for implementing effective sediment and diffuse source pollution control strategies. Information on suspended sediment source, defined in terms of both source type and spatial origin, is therefore increasingly needed. Such information is difficult to obtain using traditional monitoring techniques, but source tracing or fingerprinting techniques afford a valuable and effective alternative approach to establish the relative importance of potential sediment sources. This contribution reviews the development of source fingerprinting techniques, presents several examples of their application in UK catchments and discusses the need for future development of the approach and the potential for extending its application.
This article was published in Sci Total Environ
and referenced in Forest Research: Open Access