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Sediment Dynamics Drive Contaminant Dynamics. David Schoellhamer Greg Shellenbarger Neil Ganju U.S. Geological Survey Jay Davis Lester McKee San Francisco Estuary Institute. NASA. Why study sediment dynamics? Contaminants are associated with sediment. RMP. Data retrieval in gage house.

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Sediment Dynamics Drive

Contaminant Dynamics

David Schoellhamer

Greg Shellenbarger Neil Ganju

U.S. Geological Survey

Jay Davis

Lester McKee

San Francisco Estuary Institute



Why study sediment dynamics?

Contaminants are associated with sediment



Data retrieval

in gage house

Van Dorn sampler



Fouled sensor

and cable

Clean sensor

and cable




RMP Sources, Pathways, and Loadings Workgroup:

What is the loading from the Central Valley?


Delta Sediment Inflow

Gilbert, Porterfield, Krone, OBA, McKee et al.


Contaminant Distribution: Petaluma River

2000 RMP Pulse of the Estuary





Petaluma River

  • Trapped sediment mass
  • Tidal oscillation
  • Persists throughout year
  • Large suspended- sediment concentration
  • Sonoma Creek too

2000 RMP Pulse of the Estuary


Sediment and Contaminant Budgets

  • Sources and sinks
  • New data and studies
  • Sediment supply decreasing
  • Proposed alterations
  • Revising sediment budget
  • Legacy contaminants in bed
  • Add sediment and PCBs to salinity box model

San Pablo Bay


Jaffe and Smith, in review

Uncles and Peterson 1995

sedimentation studies scientific integration
Sedimentation StudiesScientific Integration
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Watershed
  • Wetlands
  • Oceanography
sedimentation studies programmatic integration
Sedimentation StudiesProgrammatic Integration
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (RMP)
  • SF Regional WQ Control Board
  • CV Regional WQ Control Board
  • Calif. Coastal Conservancy/USFWS/DFG
  • CALFED Bay/Delta Program
  • Interagency Ecological Program
  • USGS Place-based Program
  • USGS Federal/State Coop Program
future of rmp sediment studies
Future of RMP Sediment Studies
  • Long-term data: watershed supply
  • Variability of contaminants: Petaluma River
  • Legacy contaminant trends: bed dynamics
  • Development and restoration projects

Project staff 1993-present

Lee Bergfeld, Matt Brennan, Greg Brewster, Paul Buchanan, Laurie Campbell, Randal Dinehart, Trinia Dzurny, Neil Ganju, Tom Hankins, Jessica Lacy, Larry Lindsay, Megan Lionberger, Cathy Ruhl, David Schoellhamer, Greg Shellenbarger, Rob Sheipline, Brad Sullivan, Ann Tobin, Rob Turner, John Warner, and Scott Wright


Collaborators and Colleagues

Rick Adorador, Mike Barad, Curt Battenfeld, Brian Bergamaschi, Matt Brennan, Jeremy Bricker, Jon Burau, Melissa Carlozzi, Ralph Cheng, Jim Cloern, Jay Cuetara, Jay Davis, Jim DeRose, Judi DeVarnne, Judy Drexler, Jeff Gartner, Roger Fujii, Bruce Jaffe, Brian Jennings, Noah Knowles, Jeff Koseff, Kathryn Kuivila, Jessica Lacy, Lisa Lucas, Lester McKee, Kris May, Keith Miles, Ed Moon, Steve Monismith, Rick Oltmann, Francis Parchaso, Cathy Ruhl, Carol Sanchez, Geoff Schladow, Mike Simpson, Larry Smith, Pete Smith, Rich Smith, Mark Stacey, Robin Stewart, Rick Stumpf, John Takekawa, Jan Thompson, John Warner, Jon Yokomizo, Tom Young, and more …

Reports and Data