# Particle Settling Rates - Rondout Valley High School

Particle Deposition Settling rate -- the speed at which a particle will settle to the bottom of a body of water (deposition)

There are 3 factors which affect the settling rate of a particle 1) Size The smaller the particle (clay, silt) the slower it will settle out. Larger sediments (cobbles, boulders)

will settle quickly. As the stream slows down, the larger particles settle first 2) Shape Rounder, more spherical particles

settle out faster than flat, angular or irregularly shaped particles. Why is this? Friction is decreased when a particle is rounded and therefore it settles faster. Its like its more aerodynamic - like a sports car. But in this case, its hydrodynamic.

Hydrodynamic particles (round) settle faster than flat or irregular shaped particles 3) Density If two particles have the

same basic size and shape, the denser particle will settle faster. Which will settle faster a glass marble or a lead marble? (PS they are the SAME SIZE marble)

Settling Rate vs. Settling Time Remember what the graph of an inverse relationship looks like Settling Rate (cm/sec)

There is an inverse (indirect) relationship between settling rate and settling time. Think about it, sediments that settle at a faster rate (rate increases) require less time to settle (time decreases)

Time to settle (sec) PLAY Sorting of Deposited Particles

Horizontal Sorting Final deposition of particles (sediments) usually occurs at the mouth of a stream. This is due to the faster flowing stream emptying into a slower larger body of water. Horizontal sorting takes place.

The sediments that were once carried down the stream are arranged from largest to smallest. More Horizontal Sorting PLAY

Vertical Sorting Happens in QUIET WATER (still lake, pond) Particles sort out from bottom to top in layers On bottom largest, roundest, densest particles On top smallest, flattest, least dense particles

Can occur when a depositional event, like a landslide, dumps a large volume of unsorted sediments into a still body of water like a lake It creates graded beds of sediments Play

Vertical Sorting: Graded Bedding One depositional event

One depositional event

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