Historic accretion of sediment on the Palos Verdes margin off Los Angeles County, CA, is dominated by two sources, effluent from Whites Point outfall and sediment eroded from the toe of Portuguese Bend landslide. In this paper, we document the recent history of sedimentation from these non-marine sources from 1937 until the late 1990s, and attempt to estimate the amount of material preserved on the shelf. Toward that end, we characterized offshore sediment by physical and geotechnical testing, using non-destructive gamma-ray whole-core logging techniques and conventional geotechnical strength tests, and X-ray diffraction. Results are reported within a geographic information system framework that allows for: (1) the evaluation of the spatial variability of the measured properties, and (2) assessment of the influence of these properties on processes affecting the effluent-affected Sediment layer. In the inner shelf, material eroded by wave action from the toe of the Portuguese Bend landslide since 1956 has contributed 5.7-9.4 million metric tons (Mmt) of sediment, from a total eroded mass of 12.1 Mmt. A lesser fraction (???2.7Mmt) of sediment is incorporated into the mid- and outer-shelf effluent-affected sediment layer. Evidence from X-ray diffractograms clearly indicates that landslide material has mixed with the mid- and outer-shelf effluent. From 1937-1987, it is estimated that 3.8 Mmt of solid anthropogenic effluent was discharged into the water column and onto the Palos Verdes Shelf.
Additional publication details
Influence of the Portuguese Bend landslide on the character of the effluent-affected sediment deposit, Palos Verdes margin, southern California