Backwater tidal sloughs are commonly found at the landward boundary of estuaries. The Cache Slough complex is a backwater tidal region within the Upper Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta that includes two features that are relevant for resource managers: (1) relatively high abundance of the endangered fish, delta smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus), which prefers turbid water and (2) a recently flooded shallow island, Liberty Island, that is a prototype for habitat restoration. We characterized the turbidity around Liberty Island by measuring suspended-sediment flux at four locations from July 2008 through December 2010. An estuarine turbidity maximum in the backwater Cache Slough complex is created by tidal asymmetry, a limited tidal excursion, and wind-wave resuspension. During the study, there was a net export of sediment, though sediment accumulates within the region from landward tidal transport during the dry season. Sediment is continually resuspended by both wind waves and flood tide currents. The suspended-sediment mass oscillates within the region until winter freshwater flow pulses flush it seaward. The hydrodynamic characteristics within the backwater region such as low freshwater flow during the dry season, flood tide dominance, and a limited tidal excursion favor sediment retention.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Suspended-sediment flux and retention in a backwater tidal slough complex near the landward boundary of an estuary|
|Series title||Estuaries and Coasts|
|Contributing office(s)||California Water Science Center, San Francisco Bay-Delta|
|Other Geospatial||Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, San Francisco Bay|