Articles | Volume 24, issue 2
Research article
 | Highlight paper
03 Mar 2020
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 03 Mar 2020

Changing suspended sediment in United States rivers and streams: linking sediment trends to changes in land use/cover, hydrology and climate

Jennifer C. Murphy

Data sets

Water-quality and streamflow datasets used in the Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS) models to determine trends in the Nation’s rivers and streams, 1972-2012 L. A. De Cicco, L. A. Sprague, J. C. Murphy, M. L. Riskin, J. A. Falcone, E. G. Stets, G. P. Oelsner, and H. M. Johnson

Water-quality trends and trend component estimates for the Nation's rivers and streams using Weighted Regressions on Time, Discharge, and Season (WRTDS) models and generalized flow normalization, 1972-2012 J. C. Murphy, W. H. Farmer, L. A. Sprague, L. A. De Cicco, and R. M. Hirsch

Watershed characteristics for study sites of the Surface Water Trends project, National Water Quality Program J. A. Falcone

Daily streamflow datasets used to analyze trends in streamflow at sites also analyzed for trends in water quality and ecological condition in the Nation's rivers and streams W. H. Farmer, J. C. Murphy, M. L. Riskin, K. R. Ryberg, and R. E. Zuellig

Short summary
Between 1992 and 2012, concentrations of suspended sediment decreased at about 60 % of 137 US stream sites, with increases at only 17 % of sites. Sediment trends were primarily attributed to changes in land management, but streamflow changes also contributed to these trends at > 50 % of sites. At many sites, decreases in sediment occurred despite small-to-moderate increases in the amount of anthropogenic land use, suggesting sediment reduction activities across the US may be seeing some success.