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Document Type

Book Chapter


Virginia Institute of Marine Science


Paula Hill and Steve Nelson, editors.

Publication Date


Book Title

Toward a Sustainable Coastal Watershed: The Chesapeake Experiment. Proceedings of a Conference 1-3 June 1994. Norfolk, VA


Chesapeake Research Consortium


Edgewater, MD


Chesapeake Research Consortium Publication No. 149


Using the VIMS Sea Carousel to conduct in-situ experiments in lower Chesapeake Bay, we found significant spatial a.nd temporal difference of the critical bed shear stress for sediment resuspension, tcr- At the Wolftrap site, tcr varied from 1.1 Pa in the summer to 1.9 Pa in the winter. At the Burwell Bay site, although the bed was too soft for anchoring our research vessel against the changing tide, we identified that tcr was 0.045 Pa. At the Old Plantation site, there was a small amount of fluffy material on top of the bed. At a winter deployment at the Cherrystone site, we found a layer of consolidating fluffy sediment at the surface. Within this layer, there was a transition from fluid mud (without erosion resistance) to bed (with erosion resistance). A typical "type I" behavior of sediment resuspension has been identified at all sites. For this type of behavior, the resuspension rate decreases with time for a given constant bed shear stress larger than tcr. This implies that the erosion resistance increases with depth. The natural sediments behave like cohesive sediments because of the biochemical processes.

Resuspension Behavior In The Lower Chesapeake Bay

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