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Mechanisms of sediment flux between shallows and marshes

December 31, 2015

We conducted a field study to investigate temporal variation and forcing mechanisms of sediment flux between a salt marsh and adjacent shallows in northern San Francisco Bay. Suspended-sediment concentration (SSC), tidal currents, and wave properties were measured over the marsh, in marsh creeks, and in bay shallows. Cumulative sediment flux in the marsh creeks was bayward during the study, and was dominated by large bayward flux during the largest tides of the year. This result was unexpected because extreme high tides with long inundation periods are commonly assumed to supply sediment to marshes, and long-term accretion estimates show that the marsh in the study site is depositional. A water mass-balance shows that some landward transport bypassed the creeks, most likely across the marsh-bay interface. An estimate of transport by this pathway based on observed SSC and inferred volume indicates that it was likely much less than the observed export.

Publication Year 2015
Title Mechanisms of sediment flux between shallows and marshes
DOI 10.1142/9789814689977_0082
Authors Jessica R. Lacy, L.M. Schile, J.C. Callaway, M.C. Ferner
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70157104
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center