Flume studies were conducted in order to evaluate the influence of:slope, sediment size, discharge and inflow sediment concentration on sediment deposition by overland flow. Additionally, experiments were carried out to measure transport capacity of overland flow at low slopes, using a wide range of discharges. The experimental data show that the hydraulic conditions where net deposition occurs can be divided into two domains. The first domain is characterized by hydraulic conditions where transport capacity is not significant. In the second domain net deposition still occurs but transport capacity is significant. The size of the latter domain is dependent on the sediment size distribution, on the hydraulic roughness and on the inflow sediment concentration. The experiments clearly indicate the necessity of incorporating a threshold value in any deposition equation, These experiments demonstrate that shear stress is a valuable threshold for deposition modelling. Copyright (C) 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.