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Hydro-meteorological influences and multimodal suspended particle size distributions in the Belgian nearshore area
Fettweis, M.; Baeye, M.; Lee, B.J.; Chen, P.; Yu, J.C.S. (2012). Hydro-meteorological influences and multimodal suspended particle size distributions in the Belgian nearshore area, in: Baeye, M. Hydro-meteorological influences on the behaviour and nature of sediment suspensions in the Belgian-Dutch coastal zone = Hydro-meteorologische effecten op het gedrag en samenstelling van sedimentsuspensies in de Belgisch-Nederlandse kustzone. pp. 89-110
In: Baeye, M. (2012). Hydro-meteorological influences on the behaviour and nature of sediment suspensions in the Belgian-Dutch coastal zone = Hydro-meteorologische effecten op het gedrag en samenstelling van sedimentsuspensies in de Belgisch-Nederlandse kustzone. PhD Thesis. Ghent University: Ghent. 170 pp., more

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Suspended particulate matter; particle size distribution; statistical handling; coastal turbidity maximum; wind impact; seabed variations

Authors  Top 
  • Chen, P.
  • Yu, J.C.S.

Abstract
    Suspended particulate matter (SPM) concentration and particle size distribution (PSD) were assessed in a coastal turbidity maximum area (southern North Sea) during a composite period of 37 days in January–April 2008. PSDs were measured with a LISST 100X and classified using entropy analysis in terms of subtidal alongshore flow. The PSDs during tide-dominated conditions showed distinct multimodal behaviour due to flocculation, revealing that the building blocks of flocs consist of primary particles (<3 µm) and flocculi (15 µm). Flocculi comprise clusters of clay minerals, whereas primary particles have various compositions (calcite, clays). The PSDs during storms with a NE-directed alongshore subtidal current (NE storms, Case NEW) are typically unimodal and characterised by mainly granular material (silt, sand) re-suspended from the seabed. During storms with a SW-directed alongshore subtidal current (SW storms, Case SWW), by contrast, mainly flocculated material can be identified in the PSDs. The findings emphasise the importance of wind-induced advection, alongshore subtidal flow and high-concentrated mud suspensions (HCMSs) as regulating mechanisms of SPM concentration, as well as other SPM characteristics (cohesiveness or composition of mixed sediment particles) and size distribution in a high-turbidity area. The direction of subtidal alongshore flow during SW storm events results in an increase in cohesive SPM concentration, HCMS formation, and the armouring of sand; by contrast, there is a decrease in cohesive SPM concentration, no HCMS formation, and an increase in sand and silt in suspension during NE storms.

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