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Dynamics and facies model of a macrotidal sand-bar complex, Cobequid Bay—Salmon River Estuary (Bay of Fundy)
Dalrymple, R.W.; Knight, R.J.; Zaitlin, B.A.; Middleton, G.V. (1990). Dynamics and facies model of a macrotidal sand-bar complex, Cobequid Bay—Salmon River Estuary (Bay of Fundy). Sedimentology 37(4): 577–612. hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1365-3091.1990.tb00624.x
In: Sedimentology. Wiley-Blackwell: Amsterdam. ISSN 0037-0746, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Brackish water

Authors  Top 
  • Dalrymple, R.W.
  • Knight, R.J.
  • Zaitlin, B.A.
  • Middleton, G.V.

Abstract
    The 40-km-long, Cobequid Bay—Salmon River estuary has a maximum tidal range of 16·3 m and experiences limited wave action. Sediment, which is derived primarily from areas seaward of the estuary, is accumulating faster than the high-tide elevation is rising, and the system is progradational. The deposits consist of an axial belt of sands, which is flanked by mudflats and salt marshes in the inner half of the estuary where a funnel-shaped geometry is developed, and by erosional or non-depositional foreshores in the outer half where the system is confined by the valley walls. The axial sands are divisible into three facies zones: zone 1—elongate, tidal sand bars at the seaward end; zone 2—sand flats with a braided channel pattern; zone 3—the inner, single-channel, tidal—fluvial transition. Tidal current speeds reach a maximum in zone 2, but grain sizes decrease headward (from medium and coarse sand in zone 1, to fine and very fine sand in zones 2 and 3) because the headward termination of the major flood channels prevents the coarse, traction population from entering the inner part of the estuary.Longitudinal progradation will produce a 20-m-thick, upward-fining succession, the lower 1/2–2/3 of which will consist of cross-bedded, medium to coarse sand deposited on the zone 1 sand bars. The ebb-dominated portion of this unit will be finer grained than the flood-dominated part, and will contain trough crossbedding produced by 3-D megaripples; the flood-dominated areas, by contrast, will consist mainly of compound cross-bedding created by sandwaves with superimposed megaripples. Headward migration of swatchways (oblique channels that link the ebb- and flood-dominated areas) will create packages of ebb cross-bedding that is orientated at a high angle to the long axis of the estuary and that contains headwardinclined, lateral-accretion surfaces. The overlying fine and very fine sands of zones 2 and 3 will be composed mainly of upper-flow-regime parallel lamination. The succession will be capped by a 4-m-thick unit of mixed flat, mudflat and salt marsh sediments. A review of other macrotidal estuaries with tidal ranges greater than 10 m suggests that the major elements of the model have general applicability.

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