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- Particulate material, including soil, sand, and minerals, transported and deposited by water or wind (see erosion). Waterborne sediments cloud the water diminishing sunlight available to aquatic plants; sediments deposited in reservoirs, rivers, and harbors destroy fish and wildlife habitat and may fill shipping channels. Farming, mining, and building and construction activities that expose soil to wind and rain are major sources of sediments.
- Soil, sand, and minerals washed from land into water, usually after rain. They pile up in reservoirs, rivers and harbors, destroying fish and wildlife habitat, and clouding the water so that sunlight cannot reach aquatic plants. Careless farming, mining, and building activities will expose sediment materials, allowing them to wash off the land after rainfall.
Source: Terms of the Environment