The river picks up sediment and carries it downstream in different ways.

There are four types of transportation:

  • Traction - large, heavy pebbles are rolled along the river bed. This is most common near the source of a river, as here the load is larger.
  • Saltation - pebbles are bounced along the river bed, most commonly near the source.
  • Suspension - lighter sediment is suspended (carried) within the water, most commonly near the mouth of the river.
  • Solution - the transport of dissolved chemicals. This varies along the river depending on the presence of soluble rocks.
Suspension is sediment carried in the river. Tractions is pebbles rolling along the riverbed. Solution is chemicals dissolved in the water. Saltation are pebbles bounced along the riverbed.