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Effects of adsorbed natural organic matter on the erosion of kaolinite sediments

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The erosion of kaolinite sediments with various concentrations of adsorbed natural aquatic organic matter was studied. Experiments were conducted in a recirculating flume under uniform flow conditions. The erosion rates were generally lower at the lowest and highest concentrations of adsorbed natural organic matter (NOM) tested. The erosion rates for the intermediate concentrations of adsorbed NOM were slightly higher. As the concentration of adsorbed NOM increased, the water content of the sediment decreased dramatically. This was probably the result of the reorientation of the sediment particles from mostly edge-to-face associations at lower NOM concentrations to mostly face-to-face associations at higher NOM concentrations. The erosion rates increased linearly as bed shear stress increased for all concentrations of adsorbed NOM. The critical shear stress generally decreased as the concentration of adsorbed NOM increased. This result is significant because sediments with higher concentrations of organic matter may be more reactive with environmental contaminants and may also be more susceptible to erosion.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 1998

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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