NORTH DAKOTA STATE UNIVERSITY - FARGO, N D


SUSPENDED LOAD,
BILLINGS COUNTY, N.D.



Click on the photo for an enlarged image. (77K)

Most streams transport the largest component of their sediment load in suspension. This is certainly true in North Dakota, where the parent sediments (shaly bedrock, clay-rich tills, and lacustrine silts and clays) yield large quantities of fine-grained sediments into low-gradient rivers. Suspended load is visible as a cloud of sediment in transport.

Some historians conjecture that the Red River of the North received its name due to its reddish-brown appearance under high suspended load.

In this photograph, the Little Missouri River appears brown under its high suspended load, introduced into the drainage by erosion of clay-rich sediments in this semi-arid region of badlands.

(Photo by D.P. Schwert, North Dakota State University).



[ Stream Features of North Dakota ]