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Sediment movement along the U.S. east coast continental shelf-II. Modelling suspended sediment concentration and transport rate during storms

January 1, 1990

Long-term near-bottom wave and current observations and a one-dimensional sediment transport model are used to calculate the concentration and transport of sediment during winter storms at 60-80 m water depth along the southern flank of Georges Bank and in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. Calculations are presented for five stations, separated by more than 600 km alongshelf, that have different bottom sediment texture, bedforms and current conditions. A modified version of the sediment transport model presented by Grant and Glenn (1983, Technical Report to the American Gas Association), Glenn (1983, D.Sc. Thesis, M.I.T.), and Glenn and Grant (1987, Journal of Geophysical Research, 92, 8244-8264) is used to examine the influence of wave-current interaction, sediment stratification, and limitations on the erodibility of the bottom sediments on the concentration of sediment in the water column and on transport. Predicted suspended sediment concentrations are higher than observed, based on beam transmissometer measurements, unless an erosion limit of order a few millimeters for sediments finer than 94 ??m is imposed. The agreement between predicted and measured beam attenuation is better at stations that have significant amounts of silt plus clay in the surficial sediments than for stations with sandy sediments. Sediment concentrations during storms estimated by Moody et al. (1987, Continental Shelf Research, 7, 609-628) are within 50% of the model predictions. Sediment transport rates for sediments 94 ??m and finer are determined largely by the concentrations in the surficial sediment and the erosion depth limit. Large alongshelf transports in the direction of storm-driven currents are inferred for stations in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. During a 115-day period in winter 1979-1980, the net transport of sediment along the shelf was westward; benthic storms (defined as periods when the bottom wave stress exceeded the current stress by 2 dyn cm-2) occurred between 23 and 73% of the time, and greater than 91% of the net alongshelf transport was during storms. ?? 1990.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1990
Title Sediment movement along the U.S. east coast continental shelf-II. Modelling suspended sediment concentration and transport rate during storms
DOI 10.1016/0278-4343(90)90049-R
Authors V.D. Lyne, B. Butman, W.D. Grant
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Continental Shelf Research
Series Number
Index ID 70016188
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center