Sediment Quality Assessment Tools

Background and Objectives

The sediment quality assessment tools developed by SCCWRP are designed to provide environmental managers with a more consistent and reliable scientific foundation for making sediment quality assessments within monitoring and regulatory programs. They also have been developed for use in the State's Sediment Quality Objectives (SQOs) for enclosed bays and estuaries. The Tools for Benthic Assessments relate to evaluating the three lines of evidence needed to assess sediment quality impacts on the benthic community (chemical, biological, and toxicity indicators), as well as integration of these three indicators. The Tools for Human Health Assessments relate to evaluating impacts to consumers of seafood caused by the transfer of sediment contaminants through the food web.

Tools for Benthic Assessments

Tools developed by SCCWRP to support benthic assessment include:

RIVPACS Benthic Index Calculator Tool  - Online benthic index calculator tool based on the River Invertebrate Prediction and Classification System (RIVPACS) to support sediment quality assessment under California’s Sediment Quality Objectives (SQO) program. 

Chemical List - List of the chemicals required for application of the CA LRM and CSI sediment quality guidelines.

Direct Effects Assessment Sample Calculation  - Document describing the calculations needed to interpret the chemistry, toxicity, and benthic infauna data using the sediment quality assessment tools. The calculations are illustrated using a sample data set. 

Benthic Index Calculation Methods for California Embayments -  A description of the steps and calculations needed to apply four benthic indices. The steps include data collection, calculating scores for each benthic index, comparing the benthic index scores to threshold values, and integrating the individual index results to determine the benthic community condition classification.

Species List of Embayment Macrofauna - List of benthic macroinvertebrate species found in California embayments including their taxonomy, pollution tolerance scores, and notes for use in benthic index calculations.

Data and program files for calculating RIVPACS index scores using SAS - Program, habitat characteristics, and sample data files needed for calculation of the RIVPACS benthic index. User must have SAS software to run the program. Instructions for use provided in "Benthic Index Calculation Methods for California Embayments".

LOE Relationship Table - This table displays combinations of the three lines of evidence (toxicity, chemistry, and benthic community) and the sequence of their integration into a single multiple lines of evidence assessment.

MLOE Assessment Categories Table - A listing of the site assessment categories resulting from each of the 64 possible combinations of the chemistry, toxicity, and benthic community lines of evidence. The list is sorted by chemistry category.

Data Integration Tool v5.5 - An Excel workbook that contains formulas for combining MLOE data to produce a station assessment.

List of updates made to the Data Integration Tool

Final Technical Support Manual - Document that provides instructions for measuring sediment quality parameters, data integration, and interpretation.

SCAMIT Taxonomic List 5th Edition - A taxonomic listing of macro- and megainvertebrates from infaunal and epibenthic monitoring programs in the Southern California Bight.

Tools for Human Health Assessments

Tools developed by SCCWRP to support human health assessment include:

Decision Support Tool User Guide. This guide contains information for conducting Tier II analysis using the Decision Support Tool. July 2017.

Decision Support Tool. An Excel workbook that can be used to analyze sediment and tissue data for a Tier II assessment. July 2017.

YASAI User Manual. Document describing the YASAI add-in functions and features. July 2017.

YASAI Add-In. This file contains an Excel add-in designed to conduct a Monte Carlo simulation for use in the Decision Support Tool (DST). This add-in must be installed in Excel before using the DST. July 2017.

For more information on sediment quality assessment tools, contact Steve Bay at steveb@sccwrp.org (714) 755-3204.

This page was last updated on: 10/10/2017