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Journal Articles Hydrobiologia Year : 1995

In situ observation of suspended solid aggregates in rivers

M.A. Maldiney
  • Function : Author
Jean-Marie Mouchel


Suspended solids are a major pathway of the biogeochemical fate of many contaminants in aquatic systems. Aggregation processes of particles are poorly reported in rivers but they are likely to exist at low flow, mostly because of sticky polysaccharides produced by living organisms. These processes affect suspended particle transport by changing particle sizes and densities and may also limit exchanges of matter between solid and dissolved phases. The main difficulty in floc studies is aggregate fragility, which requires the use of specialized in situ techniques to analyze aggregated suspended solids. We describe two in situ methods for observing suspended particles which do not need heavy field equipment. The first one is based on the filtration of a thin water layer in the natural flow through a membrane which can subsequently be observed by microscope. The second one is based on in situ video snapshots of suspended solids by an endoscope. The video camera linked to the microscope or the endoscope supplies images which are automatically analyzed by image processing to give size distributions. Procedures and validation for both methods are described and results compared with a standard method. The filtration method has been used to trace suspended solids from sewer overflows in the Seine River downstream of Paris. Freshwater flocs are described and a discussion of the fate of aggregates is presented. © 1995 Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Dates and versions

hal-00779549 , version 1 (22-01-2013)



M.A. Maldiney, Jean-Marie Mouchel. In situ observation of suspended solid aggregates in rivers. Hydrobiologia, 1995, 300-301 (1), pp.365. ⟨10.1007/BF00024477⟩. ⟨hal-00779549⟩
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