Water and river bed sampling

We can undertake water sampling or collect samples of bed material taken from rivers and other inland waterways. This information, together with water flow and sediment fall-velocity measurements, is often used to predict deposition or erosion rates of estuarine sediments for example.

The sampling methods may include:

  • through-depth water sampling using conventional water samplers or pumped sampling methods

  • long-term water sampling at fixed locations using an autonomous and programmable sampling carousel

  • surface grab/core sampling of bed material

In addition to collecting samples in order to determine their basic physical properties such as suspended solids concentrations, particle size distribution or total organic content; they may also be obtained for the purposes of determining the prevalence of benthic biota in a given habitat for example. In the former case, the analyses can be undertaken at the WES laboratory facility at Wallingford. For the determination of chemical or biological composition they may instead be forwarded to other UKAS-accredited laboratories.

Pictured below is a 'Valeport' settling tube being used to determine the in-situ fall velocity of suspended sediments.

'Valeport' settling tube    (click image to enlarge)

Below is the industry standard 'Van Veen' grab sampler which is commonly used to obtain surface samples of river or lake bed material.

'Van Veen' grab sampler    (click image to enlarge)