River sediments can teach scientists a number of things about a river and its watershed. Most obviously, measuring the amount of sediment that a river carries reveals how powerful a river is and how fast it can flow. Additionally, by studying the composition of river sediment, scientists can learn about the nutrients avialable in the river and surrounding areas. This can help scientists better understand how the aquatic and terrestrial animals are living. By measuring pollution in river sediments, we can also learn about how polluted the surrounding areas are with heavy metals and other toxins.
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