Distribution of biologic, anthropogenic, and volcanic constituents as a proxy for sediment transport in the San Francisco Bay Coastal System
- Mary McGann , Li H. Erikson , Elmira Wan , Charles Powell II , and Rosalie F. Maddocks
- Edited by:
- P.L. Barnard , B.E. Jaffee , and D.H. Schoellhamer
Although conventional sediment parameters (mean grain size, sorting, and skewness) and provenance have typically been used to infer sediment transport pathways, most freshwater, brackish, and marine environments are also characterized by abundant sediment constituents of biological, and possibly anthropogenic and volcanic, origin that can provide additional insight into local sedimentary processes. The biota will be spatially distributed according to its response to environmental parameters such as water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, organic carbon content, grain size, and intensity of currents and tidal flow, whereas the presence of anthropogenic and volcanic constituents will reflect proximity to source areas and whether they are fluvially- or aerially-transported. Because each of these constituents have a unique environmental signature, they are a more precise proxy for that source area than the conventional sedimentary process indicators.
This San Francisco Bay Coastal System study demonstrates that by applying a multi-proxy approach, the primary sites of sediment transport can be identified. Many of these sites are far from where the constituents originated, showing that sediment transport is widespread in the region. Although not often used, identifying and interpreting the distribution of naturally-occurring and allochthonous biologic, anthropogenic, and volcanic sediment constituents is a powerful tool to aid in the investigation of sediment transport pathways in other coastal systems.
Additional publication details
- Publication type:
- Publication Subtype:
- Journal Article
- Distribution of biologic, anthropogenic, and volcanic constituents as a proxy for sediment transport in the San Francisco Bay Coastal System
- Series title:
- Marine Geology
- Year Published:
- Contributing office(s):
- Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, San Francisco Bay-Delta
- 30 p.
- First page:
- Last page:
- United States
- San Francisco Bay