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Sedimentation

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What is the Meaning of Sedimentation?

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Sedimentation can be described as the tendency for the particles which are in suspension to settle out of the fluid content. Here they are entrained and then they come to rest against a specific barrier. This happens due to their own motion through the fluid which is in the response to all the forces that are acting on them. The forces can be because of the gravitational pull, due to the centrifugal caused by acceleration or electromagnetism.

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In terms of geology, sedimentation is generally described as the opposite process of erosion that is the terminal end where the sediment transport. In this sense, it also includes the termination of the transport by the process of saltation or the true bedload transport.   

What is the Process of Sedimentation? 

Sedimentation is the process that allows the different particles which are in the suspended form in water to settle under the gravitational effect. The particles which settle out from the suspension become the sediment, while in water treatment this is known as sludge. When this thick sediment continues to settle, this is called consolidation. In consolidation, the sediment, or sludge, which is assisted by mechanical means is known as the process of thickening.


Sedimentation for water treatment might be used to reduce the concentration of the particles in suspension before the application of coagulation, in order to reduce the amount of coagulating which the chemicals need, or after the coagulation and, possibly after the flocculation. When the sedimentation is applied after coagulation, this purpose is done mainly to reduce the concentrated number of solids which are in suspension so that the subsequent filtration can function well.


Sedimentation is used as one of the other application methods prior to the process of filtration. While other methods include dissolving in air flotation and some other methods of filtration. The solids-liquid separation processes at times are referred to as clarification processes. While there are different processes of sedimentation like horizontal flow and others which we will discuss in our further section. 

Explain Sedimentation

The Method Involved

The simplest sedimentation method is to fill a jar or a tank with water, leave that jar or tank alone, undisturbed for a longer period of time. This will allow the particles to settle and then pour the resulting water into another can. This practice is rarely viable in treating the water for townships hence, sedimentation tanks are operated continuously.


Another simple method of sedimentation is done with the process of rectangular tanks which have a horizontal flow through them. The water with the particles which are in suspension is then introduced at one end of the tank, and then when the water flows to the other end of the tank the settlement of particles in the water occurs here. The aim is simply to settle the particles and to manage the reach of the tank floor before the water is drawn out of the tank at the end. This kind of horizontal flow tank is generally built with a floor that has slopes that are flowing gently down to the inlet end of a hopper. This tank is then fitted with a mechanism that helps to scrape the sediment from the outlet end back to the inlet end and then into the hopper from where the water can be discharged hydraulically. In this design of tanks, attention has to be given to the inlet and the outlet ends to make sure that the water flows from one end to another end as uniformly as possible.

Deposition Definition Science

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A deposition is moreover a geological process where the sediments, soil, rocks get added to a landform or the landmass. The wind, ice, water, and gravity transport previously get weathered into the surface material, which in the kinetic form of energy in the fluid is being deposited and is built up in layers of sediment.  


Deposition occurs when the forces responsible for sediment transportation are no longer sufficient to overcome the forces of gravity and the process of friction. This creates a resistance to motion which is known as the null-point hypothesis. This deposition can also be referred to as the build-up of the sediment from the organic derivation of matter or via the chemical process. 

Types of Sedimentation Tanks 

Horizontal Flow Tanks

They are rectangular in shape which has more length twice their width. This structure is designed as they need to flow more the distance and then to settle all the suspended particles. 

Radial Flow Tanks

The section which is via a typical type of radial flow circular tank has the water entering this tank through the inlet pipe which is centrally located and is placed inside the deflector box.

Inclined Settling

The inclined setting device is designed to increase the settling capability of the basin. This design principle majorly utilizes the fact which the depth of a gravity settler has very little bearing on the settling capacity. These are of great importance for settling areas which are 140 square feet in each of the inclined plates.

Ballasted Sedimentation

In this type of sedimentation process, the density difference which occurs between the water and its particles produced in the water for the treatment by the coagulation, flocs, in general, is quite small. For this reason, they settle slowly. The methods of plain sedimentation (which are horizontal, radial, and inclined sedimentation) are then preceded by a slow mixing process known as flocculation.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What do You Mean by Flocculation?

Ans. Flocculation described in the field of chemistry is a process where the colloidal particles may come out of suspension to the sediment which is under the form of floc or the flake, that is either spontaneously or which is due to the addition of a clarifying agent.


Flocculation is a two-step particle aggregation where it processes in which a large number of small particles are formed into a small number of large flocs.

Q2. What do You mean by the Process of Electromagnetism?

Ans. Electromagnetism is a process in which a magnetic field is being created and then it is done by introducing the current in the conductor. For example, if the current has positive charges while moving in a wire, the production in the magnetic field along the wire, and the direction of magnetic lines is the force that can be determined using the Right-hand Rule.

Q3. What Benefit can be Rendered through the Process of Sedimentation?

Ans. In the process of sedimentation, there is a reduced particle concentration in the water. The main advantage of sedimentation is that the process minimizes the need for coagulation and the need for flocculation. Typically, all the chemicals that are needed for coagulation and flocculation, are improved sedimentation which controls the need for any additional chemicals.