Suspended sediment transport on the shelves off Santa Cruz and Davenport, California is studied using field measurements and bottom boundary layer modeling. Strong transport events mostly occur during storms in winter; the volume of winter sediment transport is at least one order of magnitude greater than that of summer/spring transport. Rock outcrops on the inner shelf (< 40 m of water) indicates an erosional environment, but an elongated mid-shelf mud deposit evidently suggests a depositional environment on the mid-shelf. The seafloor geology appears to correlate to the poleward and offshore sediment transport pattern. This study also suggests that suspended sediment moves out of Monterey Bay, roughly along the isobaths of the northern bay. This fine material, originally from river sources, and the material from the coastal cliff erosion that is subsequently introduced to the transport system through cross-shelf sediment transport, are believed to be the sources of the mid-shelf mud deposit. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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Suspended sediment transport on the continental shelf near Davenport, California