, Volume 176, Issue 1, pp 99–110 | Cite as

Sediment dispersion: part 1, fine sediments and significance of the silt/clay ratio

  • P. G. Sly
Sediment dynamics, transport and deposition, and distributions


The dispersion of fine sediment is greatly influenced by factors that induce flocculation, and which thereby determine whether particulates will settle in aggregate form or as discrete grains. The transport and deposition of silt and clay particulates in both marine and non-marine environments may be influenced by flocculation. Because the transport of sediment-associated contaminants is largely influenced by the behaviour of sub sand-size material, it is important to understand the factors which influence patterns of deposition. The silt/clay ratio has been used in an attempt to simplify description of the physical processes of sediment/water interaction, and most examples have been drawn from the Great Lakes. The silt/clay ratio has been related to other characteristics of the total particle-size distribution. As an indicator of many sedimentary conditions, it must be coupled with other measurements of particle-size.

Key words

sediment texture fine sediments silt/clay ratio dispersion Great Lakes 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. G. Sly
    • 1
  1. 1.Canada Centre Inland WatersEnvironment CanadaBurlingtonCanada

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