The relationship between the particulate scattering coefficient () and the concentration of suspended particulate matter (SPM), as represented by the mass-specific scattering coefficient of particulates (), depends on particle size distribution (PSD). This dependence is quantified for minerogenic particle populations in this paper through calculations of for common minerals as idealized populations (monodispersed spheres); contemporaneous measurements of , SPM, and light-scattering attributes of mineral particles with scanning electron microscopy interfaced with automated image and x-ray analyses (SAX), for a connected stream–reservoir system where minerogenic particles dominate ; and estimates of and its size dependency (through SAX results-driven Mie theory calculations), particle volume concentration, and . Modest changes in minerogenic PSDs are shown to result in substantial variations in . Good closure of the SAX-based estimates of and particle volume concentration with bulk measurements is demonstrated. Converging relationships between and particle size, developed from three approaches, were well described by power law expressions.
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