Sediment transport across bay–marsh interfaces depends on wave energy, vegetation, and marsh-edge morphology, and varies over a range of timescales. We investigated these dynamics in a tidal salt marsh with a gently-sloped, vegetated edge adjacent to northern San Francisco Bay. Spartina foliosa (cordgrass) inhabits the lower marsh and Salicornia paciﬁca (pickleweed) predominates on the marsh plain. We measured suspended-sediment concentration (SSC) and hydrodynamics in bay shallows and along a 100-m cross-shore transect in the marsh, during winter and summer. Four-year averaged accretion measured with marker-horizon plots was twice as great along the marsh transect as adjacent to a tidal creek, 50 m from the bay. We estimated deposition and trapping eﬃciency from the time-series data to assess its variation with season and wave energy. At high tide the transition zone (between cordgrass and pickleweed) was usually erosional, the pickleweed zone was depositional, and both erosion and deposition increased with wave energy, as did the landward position of maximum deposition. Erosion from the transition zone accounted for approximately one-third of the sediment ﬂux into the pickleweed. In the pickleweed zone, SSC, the diﬀerence between ﬂood- and ebb-tide SSC and trapping eﬃciency were greater in summer than winter for comparable wave conditions, which we attribute to increased sediment trapping by dense summer cordgrass. Moderate waves in summer (46%) accounted for more annual accretion in the pickleweed zone than larger waves in winter (28%), although the contribution of winter storms was diminished by the dry winter during the study.
|Title||Seasonal variation in sediment delivery across the bay-marsh interface of an estuarine salt marsh|
|Authors||Jessica R. Lacy, Madeline R. Foster-Martinez, Rachel (Contractor) Allen, Matthew C. Ferner, John C. Callaway|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Journal of Geophysical Research C: Oceans|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center|