Skip to main content

New data and new estimates from old data show that rivers with large sediment loads (annual discharges greater than about tons) contribute about tons of suspended sediment to the ocean yearly. Extrapolating available data for all drainage basins, the total suspended sediment delivered by all rivers to the oceans is about tons annually; bedload and flood discharges may account for an additional tons. About 70% of this total is derived from southern Asia and the larger islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, where sediment yields are much greater than for other drainage basins.