The research was funded by National Institutes of Health grant number P42ES0475 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and was completed with the funding of LOICZ project 014.27.013 (Land Ocean Interaction in the Coastal Zone, funded by NWO-ALW, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research).
Sediment transport, San Francisco Bay
Using in situ, continuous, high frequency (8–16 Hz) measurements of velocity, suspended sediment concentration (SSC), and salinity, we investigate the factors affecting near-bed sediment flux during and after a meteorological event (cold front) on an intertidal flat in central San Francisco Bay. Hydrodynamic forcing occurs over many frequency bands including wind wave, ocean swell, seiching (500–1000 s), tidal, and infra-tidal frequencies, and varies greatly over the time scale of hours and days. Sediment fluxes occur primarily due to variations in flow and SSC at three different scales: residual (tidally averaged), tidal, and seiching. During the meteorological event, sediment fluxes are dominated by increases in tidally averaged SSC and flow. Runoff and wind-induced circulation contribute to an order of magnitude increase in tidally averaged offshore flow, while waves and seiching motions from wind forcing cause an order of magnitude increase in tidally averaged SSC. Sediment fluxes during calm periods are dominated by asymmetries in SSC over a tidal cycle. Freshwater forcing produces sharp salinity fronts which trap sediment and sweep by the sensors over short (∼30 min) time scales, and occur primarily during the flood. The resulting flood dominance in SSC is magnified or reversed by variations in wind forcing between the flood and ebb. Long-term records show that more than half of wind events (sustained speeds of greater than 5 m/s) occur for 3 h or less, suggesting that asymmetric wind forcing over a tidal cycle commonly occurs. Seiching associated with wind and its variation produces onshore sediment transport. Overall, the changing hydrodynamic and meteorological forcing influence sediment flux at both short (minutes) and long (days) time scales.
Talke, Stefan A. and Stacey, Mark T., "Suspended Sediment Fluxes at an Intertidal Flat: The Shifting Influence of Wave, Wind, Tidal, and Freshwater Forcing" (2008). Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty Publications and Presentations. 84.