Skip to main content



The deposition of material suspended in a liquid. Sedimentation is normally considered a function of water deposition of the finer soil separates of sand, silt , and clay, but it may also include organic debris. Sometimes this is referred to as the siltation process, although there may be other fractions of material present other than silt. The term can be applied to wind-transported sediments as well. Sedimentation can be both harmful and beneficial. River and stream channels, reservoirs, and other water bodies may be degraded because of the deposition of sediment materials. Many of the most important food- and fiber-producing soils of the world have been developed from the deposition of fine particulates by both water and wind. In some cases, large topographic land forms are the result of long-term sedimentation processes.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Sedimentation." Environmental Encyclopedia. . 24 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Sedimentation." Environmental Encyclopedia. . (April 24, 2019).

"Sedimentation." Environmental Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 24, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.