Patterns and controls of surface sediment distribution: West-central Florida inner shelf

Marine Geology
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

The west-central Florida inner shelf represents a transition between the quartz-dominated barrier-island system and the carbonate-dominated mid-outer shelf. Surface sediments exhibit a complex distribution pattern that can be attributed to multiple sediment sources and the ineffectiveness of physical processes for large-scale sediment redistribution. The west Florida shelf is the submerged extension of the Florida carbonate platform, consisting of a limestone karst surface veneered with a thin unconsolidated sediment cover. A total of 498 surface sediment samples were collected on the inner shelf and analyzed for texture and composition. Results show that sediment consists of a combination of fine quartz sand and coarse, biogenic carbonate sand and gravel, with variable but subordinate amounts of black, phosphorite-rich sand. The carbonate component consists primarily of molluskan fragments. The distribution is patchy and discontinuous with no discernible pattern, and the transition between sediment types is generally abrupt. Quartz-rich sediment dominates the inner 15 km north of the entrance into Tampa Bay, but south of the Bay is common only along the inner 3 km. Elsewhere, carbonate-rich sediment is the predominate sediment type, except where there is little sediment cover, in which cases black, phosphorite-rich sand dominates. Sediment sources are likely within, or around the periphery of the basin. Fine quartz sand is likely reworked from coastal units deposited during Pleistocene sea-level high stands. Carbonate sand and gravel is produced by marine organisms within the depositional basin. The black, phosphorite-rich sand likely originates from the bioerosion and reworking of the underlying strata that irregularly crop out within the study area. The distribution pattern contains elements of both storm- and tide-dominated siliciclastic shelves, but it is dictated primarily by the sediment source, similar to some carbonate systems. Other systems with similar sediment attributes include cool-water carbonate, sediment-starved, and mixed carbonate/siliciclastic systems. This study suggests a possible genetic link among the three systems. ?? 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Patterns and controls of surface sediment distribution: West-central Florida inner shelf
Series title Marine Geology
DOI 10.1016/S0025-3227(03)00189-0
Volume 200
Issue 1-4
Year Published 2003
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Marine Geology
First page 307
Last page 324