Coastal Sedimentary Environments by L. D. Wright (auth.), Richard A. Davis Jr. (eds.)

By L. D. Wright (auth.), Richard A. Davis Jr. (eds.)

The quarter the place land and sea meet consists of a number of advanced environments. The coastal components of the realm comprise a wide percent of its inhabitants and are hence of utmost financial significance. commercial, residential, and leisure advancements, in addition to huge city complexes, occupy a lot of the coastal margin of so much hugely built international locations. definitely destiny enlargement in lots of undeveloped maritime nations can be focused on coastal components. Accompanying our career of coasts during this age of expertise is a dependence on coastal environments for transportation, foodstuff, water, security, and sport. with the intention to make the most of the coastal sector to its potential, and but no longer plunder its assets, we should have huge wisdom of the complicated environments contained alongside the coasts. the various environments in the coastal sector contain bays, estuaries, deltas, marshes, dunes, and shorelines. A vastly extensive diversity of stipulations is represented by means of those environments. Salinity may perhaps diversity from basically clean water in estuaries, reminiscent of alongside the east coast of the U.S., to severe hypersaline lagoons, equivalent to Laguna Madre in Texas. Coastal environments might be in far more than 100 meters deep (fjords) or may well expand numerous meters above sea point within the type of dunes. a few coastal environments are good safe and aren't subjected to excessive actual power with the exception of occasional storms, while seashores and tidal inlets are constantly transformed by way of waves and currents.

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In a few instances, unidirectional coastal currents may be as swift as the river outflow itself. Under such circumstances, the sediment-laden river effiuent may merge with the coastal current and be deflected laterally along the adjacent coastline without significant loss of sediment-transporting capacity. This process may result in arresting the seaward progradation of the delta front while causing extensive accumulation of river-derived clastics downdrift from the river outlet. Probably the most prominent example of a delta influenced by strong coastal currents is the Amazon River mouth and delta system (Figure 1-28).

Wright and Coleman, 1974). Figure 1-18 illustrates the typical river-mouth depositional pattern associated with buoyant effiuents. This type of depositional geometry is well represented at the mouths of the Mississippi and reflects the secondary flow characteristics just described. Owing to the initially slow rate of effiuent Fo Fo River Deltas 29 Figure 1-17. Sharp frontal boundaries off the mouth of South Pass, Mississippi River Delta. deceleration, the bar crest-the locus of the most rapid deposition of the coarsest material-is situated farther seaward of the outlet (4-6 outlet widths) than is the case for other etlluent types.

The process environments of tide-dominated deltas are distinguished by at least three important characteristics: (1) Mixing by tidal activity obliterates vertical density stratification so that the effects of 34 L. D . ::----- 8 , Plan view Figure 1-21. Depositional patterns characteristic of river mouths influenced by high wave energy: (a) normal wave incidence; (b) oblique wave incidence (from Wright, 1977). buoyancy at the river mouths are negligible. (2) For at least part of the year, tides account for a greater fraction of the sediment-transporting energy than the river, and flow in and seaward of the river mouth is subject to reversals over a tidal cycle that cause bidirectional sediment transport.

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