Geostatistical techniques were used to study the spatial continuity of the thickness of effluent-affected sediment in the offshore Palos Verdes Margin area. The thickness data were measured directly from cores and indirectly from high-frequency subbottom profiles collected over the Palos Verdes Margin. Strong spatial continuity of the sediment thickness data was identified, with a maximum range of correlation in excess of 1.4 km. The spatial correlation showed a marked anisotropy, and was more than twice as continuous in the alongshore direction as in the cross-shelf direction. Sequential indicator simulation employing models fit to the thickness data variograms was used to map the distribution of the sediment, and to quantify the uncertainty in those estimates. A strong correlation between sediment thickness data and measurements of the mass of the contaminant p,p???-DDE per unit area was identified. A calibration based on the bivariate distribution of the thickness and p,p???-DDE data was applied using Markov-Bayes indicator simulation to extend the geostatistical study and map the contamination levels in the sediment. Integrating the map grids produced by the geostatistical study of the two variables indicated that 7.8 million m3 of effluent-affected sediment exist in the map area, containing approximately 61-72 Mg (metric tons) of p,p???-DDE. Most of the contaminated sediment (about 85% of the sediment and 89% of the p,p???-DDE) occurs in water depths < 100 m. The geostatistical study also indicated that the samples available for mapping are well distributed and the uncertainty of the estimates of the thickness and contamination level of the sediments is lowest in areas where the contaminated sediment is most prevalent. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Geostatistical mapping of effluent-affected sediment distribution on the Palos Verdes shelf