|Fine sediment deposits in shelf seas|
|Dronkers, J.; Miltenburg, A.G. (1996). Fine sediment deposits in shelf seas. The coastal ocean in a global change perspective 7(Special Issue 2-4): 119-131|
|In: Djenidi, S. (Ed.) (1996). The coastal ocean in a global change perspective. Journal of Marine Systems, 7(Special Issue 2-4). Elsevier: Amsterdam. 117-438 pp., more|
|In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more|
From field observations it appears that the top layer of a shelf bottom in general exhibits an intricate geographical pattern of sediment formations. Sediments of different composition are confined in distinct regions. This contradicts the idea that current and wave forces stir up bottom sediment and disperse it in a random way over the shelf; the dispersal process is counteracted by sorting mechanisms. In this paper the bottom patterns of fine cohesive sediments are considered. A specific sorting mechanism is studied which may explain the patchy structure of fine sediment deposits. It is shown that fine sediments can be trapped in bottom deposits which contain a fine sediment fraction high enough to prevent pore water motion in the shelf bed. This mechanism opposes sediment dispersal away from existing deposits. It may also explain the formation or the preservation of mud patches, even in regions where the bottom shear stress is relatively high.