A new report on Australian stream quality, including the amount of sedimentation, was published in Physics Today last week. It shows that sediment from eroded land fills water holes in streams and rivers, reducing the available water that can help fish and other aquatic creatures to survive times of droughts. The study looked at the impact of large floods on the river profiles and found that even the biggest floods did not completely remove the accumulated sediment from the water holes, leading to stress on the stream ecosystem. Since we also have a lot of erosion in the Southeast, this tells us that reduction of erosion not only helps save nutrients and topsoil but also protects the health of rivers and water bodies downstream of the eroded fields.

Source: USDA ARS