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Research Technical Report

Towards a Sediment Budget for the Santa Cruz Shelf

Eittreim, S.L., J.P. Xu, M. Noble, and B.D. Edwards (2002)

Marine Geology 181:235-248.


A conceptual model is presented for the northern Monterey Bay continental shelf in which coarse sediment moves southward along the coast in the littoral zone while fine sediment moves to the north by advection and diffusion along the midshelf. Data from measurements and estimates of various sediment sources and sinks show that the midshelf mudbelt is the dominant sink for fine-grained sediment introduced into Monterey Bay. The principal sources of the fine sediment are the three rivers that enter Monterey Bay: the San Lorenzo, Pajaro and Salinas rivers. Accumulation rates in the midshelf mudbelt are high relative to documented yields of rivers and cliff erosion, and also are high relative to other documented mud accumulations of the west coast continental shelves.

Reviewed: April 11, 2024
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