Sediment Dynamics In Urban Systems - An Holistic Approach To Surface, Drain And Riverine Particulate Transport

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The aim of this research project is to quantify and provide an improved understanding of the movements of particulate materials through urban systems. The project includes:

  • identifying sediment sources
  • assessing opportunities for storage
  • flow generation and routing, including travel times, through urban systems
  • measuring sediment outputs
  • applying hydrological and sediment transport models, eg Hydroworks and MOUSETRAP, to assess and integrate existing models with regard to operation over the full range of flows.




Archive data, field observations and integrated modelling are being used in collaboration with Unilever, the Environment Agency and Yorkshire Water. The project has an holistic approach to particulate transfers through the urban environment, from entrainment at source to eventual deposition within and beyond the immediate town or city. This broad approach is providing a means of focusing on important interfaces between urban and rural systems.

The project is closely linked to a Urban Pollution Management survey of Bradford, Yorkshire and it is complementary to other large scale research.

Start date/duration

October 1998 Three years

Lead Organisations

CEH Wallingford

University of Sheffield


  • an improved understanding of urban sediment pathways, times of travel and pollutant loads
  • support for waste disposal strategies and remediation techniques to reduce pollution.


Environment Agency

Water Companies

Local Authorities

Water users

Further Details

Further information is available from the following contacts:

Lead Researcher: Mr G J L Leeks

Tel: 01491 692203, Fax: 01491 692424, e-mail: