In the fall and early winter of 2009, a demonstration project was done at Santa Cruz Harbor, California, to determine if 450 m3/day of predominantly (71 percent) mud-sized sediment could be dredged from the inner portion of the harbor and discharged to the coastal ocean without significant impacts to the beach and inner shelf. During the project, more than 7600 m3 of sediment (~5400 m3 of fine-grain material) was dredged during 17 days and discharged approximately 60 m offshore of the harbor at a depth of 2 m on the inner shelf. The U.S. Geological Survey's Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center was funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Santa Cruz Port District to do an integrated mapping and process study to investigate the fate of the mud-sized sediment dredged from the inner portion of Santa Cruz Harbor and to determine if any of the fine-grain material settled out on the shoreline and/or inner shelf during the fall and early winter of 2009. This was done by collecting highresolution oceanographic and sediment geochemical measurements along the shoreline and on the continental shelf of northern Monterey Bay to monitor the fine-grain sediment dredged from Santa Cruz Harbor and discharged onto the inner shelf. These in place measurements, in conjunction with beach, water column, and seabed surveys, were used as boundary and calibration information for a three-dimensional numerical circulation and sediment dynamics model to better understand the fate of the fine-grain sediment dredged from Santa Cruz Harbor and the potential consequences of disposing this type of material on the beach and on the northern Monterey Bay continental shelf.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
The dynamics of fine-grain sediment dredged from Santa Cruz Harbor