Sediment transport through mountain rivers forms and maintains aquatic habitat through physical processes such as erosion, bank undercutting, sandbar formation, aggradation, gullying, and plugging. It also has important implications for water resource infrastructure. However, sediment transport cannot be understood without also considering the hydrology and geomorphology of an aquatic ecosystem. In the Rocky Mountains, sediment yield is expected to increase in a warming climate.
RMRS hosts a variety of sediment transport data collected in mountain rivers of the western United States. RMRS scientists have synthesized existing data from Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming. This research highlights the importance of sediment transport relationships and the necessity of sediment transport when considering restoration techniques for both watershed and river restoration. Specific research includes: