McLaren, P., 2014. Sediment trend analysis (STA®): kinematic vs. dynamic modeling.
The number of techniques commonly used to determine sediment transport (its erosion, movement, and deposition) is limited. They include geomorphological observations, tracers, in situ measurements, and numerical modeling, each of which has various practical difficulties or a necessity for assumptions that may be inadequate or incorrect. Another approach, using the relative changes in grain-size distributions to derive the net sediment-transport patterns and sediment behavior, has become increasingly common, and a number of methods applying its theory has been developed. This article concerns itself principally with the technique, developed by the author, known as Sediment Trend Analysis (STA). Unlike a dynamic model in which processes resulting in sediment transport must be assumed, STA is a kinematic model, whereby the behavior of sediment particles is described without regard to the process. Kinematic modeling is, in comparison to dynamic modeling, simple to do and, in many practical situations, may supply sufficient information for most sediment management issues. If not, however, it is suggested that a kinematic model is a necessary prerequisite to assess the most-effective methods for obtaining quantitative information, including directing and validating the more-complex techniques of dynamic modeling.