Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Ocean Sciences Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT.
The complex bio-geo-physical nature of muddy particles in coastal and estuarine environments has limited our understanding of finegrained sediment dynamics. An ongoing sedimentalogical study within the York River Estuary is investigating controls on cohesive bed erodibility by assessing changes in seabed properties over varying timescales. During the spring and summer of 2010 and 2011, multiple GOMEX box cores were collected and subsampled for grain size, fecal pellet content, Gust chamber erodibility, and water content. Initial findings suggest that erodibility of the seabed increased during periods following seasonal deposition events. Higher erodibility was also generally found to coincide with peak spring tides and following storm events, perhaps in response to enhanced physical bed disturbance. In addition, a higher percentage of flocculated sediment relative to resilient pellets was found to makeup the surface of the seabed during high erodibility depositional periods. These findings build upon results of companion York River Estuary “MUDBED” studies, where it was suggested that increased erodibility is due to ephemeral deposition associated with a secondary turbidity maximum, whereas lower erodibility was associated with eroded or biologically reworked conditions.
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Kraatz, L. M.; Friedrichs, Carl T.; Cartwright, Grace M.; and Fall, K. A.. "Relationships between erodibility and fine-grained seabed properties on tidal to seasonal time-scales, York River Estuary, Virginia". 2-20-2012. Ocean Sciences Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT..