Partrac CSM (Cohesive Strength Meter)

Portable instrument to measure critical entrainment stress, erosion rate and settling velocity of sediment.

The 8th International Conference on Scour and Erosion — September 15, 2015

The 8th International Conference on Scour and Erosion

The 8th International Conference on Scour and Erosion will take place in Oxford, UK from 12-15 September 2016. The conference provides a platform for scientists and engineers from around the world to exchange ideas and share advances in research and practice on the scientific and engineering challenges related to scour and erosion.

The broad topics covered in ICSE conferences include fundamental mechanisms of erosion and scour, modelling (both physical and numerical) of erosion and scour processes and engineering applications that involve scour and erosion processes. The ICSE conferences have been well attended by scientists and engineers from broad areas such as civil engineering, hydraulic engineering, coastal and offshore Engineering. One of the strong features of the ICSE conferences has been the cross disciplinary collaborations.

The four keynote speakers of the 2016 conference are:

  • Catherine Avila
  • Dr Jean-Jacques Fry
  • Dr Scott Draper
  • Prof Subhasish Dey

The International Scientific Committee of ICSE 2016 welcomes submissions from all areas with relevance to the following general conference themes:

  • Internal erosion
  • Sediment transport: grain scale to continuum scale
  • Advanced numerical modelling of scour and erosion
  • Terrestrial scour and erosion
  • River and estuarine erosion including scour around structures
  • Coastal and offshore scour and erosion
  • Management of scour/erosion and sediment, including hazard management and sedimentation in dams and reservoirs.

Papers of a theoretical and practical nature are welcome, including case histories, field observations, analysis and prediction of real life problems, through to the use of advanced numerical methods in all of the above categories.

For further details about the conference please see or email

ICSE 2016

Partrac CSM used in STELAR project – Mekong River — April 21, 2015

Partrac CSM used in STELAR project – Mekong River

The Partrac Cohesive Strength Meter (CSM) is being used in the STELAR-S2S project. The overall aim of the STELAR project is to understand the importance of climatic and autogenic controls in determining the transfer of sediment from source-to-sink in one of the world’s largest rivers – the Mekong.

Floodplain characteristics and sedimentation will be obtained using the CSM and core sampling along the river channel. The CSM will be used for the initial characterisation of river bank materials and supplemented by floodplain bank stratigraphic analysis.

Floodplain accretion will be calculated using 210Pb activity from each of the cores.

Additional field studies are being completed to gather data for input into the model: bathymetry, current profiles, multibeam and suspended sediment data.

The STELAR project will provide the first comprehensive quantification of controls on riverine sediment fluxes, leading to new generic understanding of the relationships between climatic variability, fluvial processes and sediment flux to deltaic zones and the ocean.

Read more about the project here:

Project Outputs:

Software (including a MatLab script for CSM data analysis)

Decoding the drivers of bank erosion on the Mekong river: The roles of the Asian Monsoon, tropical storms, and snowmelt. Darby, S.E., Leyland, J., Kummu, M., Räsänen, T.A. and Lauri, H. (2013), Water Resources Research, 49, 2146 – 2163, doi: 10.1002/wrcr.20205.

This Open Access article is available to download free here.

Louisiana University – Exopolymers and Void Ratio on the Erosional Resistance of Cohesive Sediments —

Louisiana University – Exopolymers and Void Ratio on the Erosional Resistance of Cohesive Sediments

Louisiana University purchased a Cohesive Strength Meter (CSM) from Partrac, and used it to investigate the possibility of using exopolymers to improve sediment stability in the coastal environment. Conventional soil amendments for erosion control such as lime and Portland cement carry environmental risks due to their caustic or toxic effects. The paper by Nugent et al describes how the erosional resistance of a pure kaolinite clay was enhanced using two exopolymer analogues. The CSM was used to measure the critical value of shear stress in the resultant muds, and the findings and practical applications are discussed.

The paper was published in Geo-Frontiers –

Nugent, R., Zhang, G., and Gambrell, R. (2011) The Effect of Exopolymers and Void Ratio on the Erosional Resistance of Cohesive Sediments. Geo-Frontiers 2011: pp. 1493-1502.

doi: 10.1061/41165(397)153