Silt Deposits in Streams *
AbstractSilt is a fine sediment that collects on the bottoms of rivers, streams and lakes. The natural process of the decay of organisms into the water can lead to the production of silt at the bottom of a lake. Silt can be a rich source of nutrients for fish and bottom dwellers like crayfish. However, it can also be introduced by unnatural processes. One problem for rivers, lakes and streams is the buildup of excess fine sediment introduced by industry. Because it often contains harmful chemicals it can turn a beautiful clear lake into a brown, contaminated, sludge-filled pond. Silt can be introduced into streams and lakes by mining, agriculture, other industries, and sewage. Test an aquatic environment for the presence of silt. Is it above or below normal levels? Can you test upstream and downstream of a potential industrial site? Do the types of organisms you find change in areas with an excess silty bottom? Use a water test kit to test for the presence of contaminants. Are the contaminants enriched in silty lakes compared to clear lakes? Study the silt under a microscope; is the silt layer enriched with micro-organisms? (WMC, 2006; NPS, 2006; EPA, 2006)
Cite This Page
Last edit date: 2017-07-28
- EPA, 2006. "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," Washington, D.C. [accessed: 3/1/2006] http://www.epa.gov/.
- NPS, 2006. "National Park Service," Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior. [accessed: 3/1/2006] http://www.nps.gov/.
- WMC, 2006. "Watershed Management Council: Advancing the Art and Science of Watershed Management," Boise, ID: Watershed Management Council. [accessed: 3/1/2006] http://www.watershed.org/wmc/index.php.
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