Sediment Stations

PROJECT PERIOD: Continuous since 1943
PROJECT CHIEF: Greg Nalley Email Greg Nalley
STUDY AREA: Statewide
COOPERATING AGENCIES: Iowa Department of Natural Resources (Geological Survey Bureau), US Army Corps of Engineers.


Water-resource planning and water-quality assessment require a nationwide data base with standardized information. Sediment concentrations and discharges in rivers and streams need to be monitored and defined to achieve this goal.


To provide a national sediment data base for use in Federal programs and Federal management of interstate waters. The State also needs spatial and temporal averages and trends of sediment concentration, sediment discharge, and particle-size distribution of sediment being transported in the rivers and streams for planning and action programs.


Data were collected, and compiled for inclusion in the Annual Data Report due out in February. The 1998 through 2004 Annual Data Reports are online at Publications.

The current (2005) network consists of seven daily sediment stations: 05471040 Squaw Creek near Colfax, 05487540 Walnut Creek near Prairie City, and 05487550 Walnut Creek near Vandalia, all funded by Iowa DNR (GSB); 05470000 Iowa River at Wapello, and 05474000 Skunk River at Augusta, funded by Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District; 06486000 Missouri River at Sioux City, and 06807000 Missouri River at Nebraska City, funded by Corps of Engineers, Omaha District.

Laboratory analyses of sediment samples collected by the Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, and several U.S. Geological Survey Districts throughout the country are performed in the Iowa District sediment laboratory. The laboratory performs the following analyses for suspended sediment: (1) concentration, (2) concentration and determination of material finer than sand, and (3) dissolved solids. Particle-size analyses for suspended sediment, bed material, and bed-load material that are sand are determined by sieve or visual accumulation tube, and particle size of material finer than sand by pipet, and Sedigraph. For a price list of lab services, contact the project chief.