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The majority of water and sediment discharge from the small, mountainous watersheds of the US West Coast occurs during and immediately following winter storms. The physical conditions (waves, currents, and winds) within and acting upon the proximal coastal ocean during these winter storms strongly influence dispersal patterns. We examined this river-ocean temporal coherence for four coastal river-shelf systems of the US West Coast (Umpqua, Eel, Salinas, and Santa Clara) to evaluate whether specific ocean conditions occur during floods that may influence coastal dispersal of sediment. Eleven years of corresponding river discharge, wind, and wave data were obtained for each river-shelf system from USGS and NOAA historical...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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The effects from two winter rain storms on the coastal ocean of the Southern California Bight were examined as part of the Bight '03 program during February 2004 and February-March 2005. The impacts of stormwater from fecal indicator bacteria, water column toxicity, and nutrients were evaluated for five major river discharges: the Santa Clara River, Ballona Creek, the San Pedro Shelf (including the Los Angeles, San Gabriel, and Santa Ana Rivers), the San Diego River, and the Tijuana River. Exceedances of bacterial standards were observed in most of the systems. However, the areas of impact were generally spatially limited, and contaminant concentrations decreased below California Ocean Plan standards typically within...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Massachusetts Bay is a semi-enclosed embayment in the western Gulf of Maine about 50 km wide and 100 km long. Bottom sediment resuspension is controlled predominately by storm-induced surface waves and transport by the tidal- and wind-driven circulation. Because the Bay is open to the northeast, winds from the northeast ('Northeasters') generate the largest surface waves and are thus the most effective in resuspending sediments. The three-dimensional oceanographic circulation model Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) is used to explore the resuspension, transport, and deposition of sediment caused by Northeasters. The model transports multiple sediment classes and tracks the evolution of a multilevel sediment...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Ocean surface waves are the dominant temporally and spatially variable process influencing sea floor sediment resuspension along most continental shelves. Wave-induced sediment mobility on the continental shelf and upper continental slope off central California for different phases of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events was modeled using monthly statistics derived from more than 14 years of concurrent hourly oceanographic and meteorologic data as boundary input for the Delft SWAN wave model, gridded sea floor grain-size data from the usSEABED database, and regional bathymetry. Differences as small as 0.5 m in wave height, 1 s in wave period, and 10° in wave direction, in conjunction with the spatially heterogeneous...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Environmental assessment studies are usually required by a country's administration before issuing permits for any industrial activities. One of the goals of such environmental assessment studies is to highlight species assemblages and habitat composition that could make the targeted area unique. A section of the Oregon continental slope that had not been previously explored was targeted for the deployment of floating wind turbines. We carried out an underwater video survey, using a towed camera sled, to describe its benthic assemblages. Organisms were identified to the lowest taxonomic level possible and assemblages described related to the nature of the seafloor and the depth. We highlighted six invertebrate assemblages...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Subbottom profiles and sidescan-sonar images collected on and around the Palos Verdes Shelf show a surficial deposit interpreted to contain effluent from the White's Point diffusers, as well as showing several geologic features that affect the deposit's distribution. The effluent-affected deposit is visible in high-resolution subbottom profiles on the shelf and the adjacent San Pedro basin slope to water depths of 170 m. It has a maximum thickness of 75 cm and was mapped acoustically over an area of 10.8 km2, which encompasses a volume of about 3.2 million m3. The deposit's basal reflector is acoustically distinct over most of the mapped area. implying that the deposit has not been extensively mixed across its base,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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A 6-month deployment of instrumentation from April to October 2012 in 90 m water depth near the outer edge of the mid-shelf mud belt in southern Monterey Bay, California, reveals the importance regional upwelling on water column density structure, potentially accounting for the majority of the variability in internal tidal energy flux across the shelf. Observations consisted of time-series measurements of water-column currents, temperature and salinity, and near-bed currents and suspended matter. The internal tide accounted for 15–25% of the water-column current variance and the barotropic tide accounted for up to 35%. The subtidal flow showed remarkably little shear and was dominated by the 7–14 day band, which...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Hurricane Sandy was a large and intense storm with high winds that caused total water levels from combined tides and storm surge to reach 4.0 m in the Atlantic Ocean and 2.5 m in Great South Bay (GSB), a back-barrier bay between Fire Island and Long Island, New York. In this study the impact of the hurricane winds and waves are examined in order to understand the flow of ocean water into the back-barrier bay and water level variations within the bay. To accomplish this goal, a high resolution hurricane wind field is used to drive the coupled Delft3D-SWAN hydrodynamic and wave models over a series of grids with the finest resolution in GSB. The processes that control water levels in the back-barrier bay are investigated...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Side-scan sonar records collected during March and April 1981 and 1982 off northern California contain elongate depressions whose sizes and shapes are similar to sea-floor gouges made by feeding gray whales (Eschrichtius robustus) in the northern Bering Sea and in shallow embayments off British Columbia. The discovery of the whale gouges in the sonar records was unexpected, and supports some of the previous speculation that gray whales feed opportunistically during migration. Gouges occupy about 0.032% of the 7.6 km2 of sea floor that was surveyed, which represents about 575 metric tons of excavated material. Although seemingly minor in amount, the total amount of bottom sediment removed from the central and northern...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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A coupled wave-circulation numerical model of Hanalei Bay, Hawaii, was constructed to investigate controls on nearshore hydrodynamics and overall circulation of a bathymetrically-complex coral reef embayment that is exposed to large waves and river floods several times per annum. The model was calibrated using in situ data representative of the two conditions that dominate the region's wave climate: one associated with local trade winds and associated trade-wind waves, and the other with distant-source episodic large swells. The model results were improved by including spatially-varying hydrodynamic bed roughness and making the semi-empirical wave-breaking parameter dependent on incident wave steepness and reef...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Long-term (60-yr) predictions of vertical profiles of p,p???-DDE concentrations in contaminated bottom sediments on the Palos Verdes shelf were calculated for three locations along the 60-m isobath using a numerical solution of the one-dimensional advection-diffusion equation. The calculations incorporated the following processes: sediment deposition (or erosion), depth-dependent solid-phase biodiffusive mixing, in situ diagenetic transformation, and loss of p,p???-DDE across the sediment-water interface by two mechanisms (resuspension of sediments by wave action and subsequent loss of p,p???-DDE to the water column by desorption, and desorption from sediments to porewater and subsequent molecular diffusion to the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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We combine direct observations, longer-term wave data, and model calculations to characterize resuspension and transport of fine-grained, effluent-affected sediment on the Palos Verdes shelf. Near-bed waves, currents, and suspended sediment concentrations were monitored during the winter of 1992-93 with a bottom tripod and current-meter mooring at a 63-m-deep site. Wave conditions that winter were moderate (??? 2 year recurrence interval), and mean current was alongshelf to the northwest; currents were not significantly correlated with wave conditions. Seven wave events during the winter (December-March) produced near-bed wave orbital velocities at the study site in excess of 14 cm s-1, the observed threshold for...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Natural concentrations of 238U and ??234U values were determined in estuarine surface waters and pore waters of the Amazon and Fly (Papua New Guinea) Rivers to investigate U transport phenomena across river-dominated land-sea margins. Discharge from large, tropical rivers is a major source of dissolved and solid materials transported to the oceans, and are important in defining not only oceanic mass budgets, but also terrestrial weathering rates. On the Amazon shelf, salinity-property plots of dissolved organic carbon, pH and total suspended matter revealed two vastly contrasting water masses that were energetically mixed. In this mixing zone, the distribution of uranium was highly non-conservative and exhibited...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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To understand how chronic sediment burial and scour contribute to variation in the structure of algal and invertebrate communities on temperate bedrock reefs, the dynamics of the substrate and communities were monitored at locations that experience sand inundation and adjacent areas that do not. Co-located benthic scuba-transect surveys and high-resolution swath-sonar surveys were completed on bedrock reefs on the inner shelf of northern Monterey Bay, CA, in early winter 2009, spring 2010, and summer 2010. Analysis of the sonar surveys demonstrates that during the 8 months over which the surveys were conducted, 19.6% of the study area was buried by sand while erosion resulted in the exposure of bedrock over 13.8%...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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In 2001, the U.S. Geological Survey, together with several other federal and municipal agencies, began a series of field programs to determine along and cross-shelf transport patterns over the continental shelves in the central Southern California Bight. As a part of these programs, moorings that monitor winds were deployed off the Palos Verdes peninsula and within San Pedro Bay for six 3–4 month summer and winter periods between 2001 and 2008. In addition, nearly continuous records of winds for this 7-year period were obtained from a terrestrial site at the coast and from a basin site offshore of the long-term coastal site. The mean annual winds are downcoast at all sites. The alongshelf components of wind stress,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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This study investigates the relationship between spatial and temporal patterns of wave-driven sediment mobility events on the U.S. East Coast continental shelf and the characteristics of the storms responsible for them. Mobility events, defined as seafloor wave stress exceedance of the critical stress of 0.35 mm diameter sand (0.2160 Pa) for 12 or more hours, were identified from surface wave observations at National Data Buoy Center buoys in the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) and South Atlantic Bight (SAB) over the period of 1997-2007. In water depths ranging from 36-48 m, there were 4-9 mobility events/year of 1-2 days duration. Integrated wave stress during events (IWAVES) was used as a combined metric of wave-driven...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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The western margin of the Gulf of Maine is a bedrock-framed, glaciated continental shelf that has only recently been geologically mapped. The bathymetry is divisible into four physiographic areas: nearshore basins, shelf valleys, rocky zones, and outer basins. The nearshore basins are largely floored by mud except near rock outcrops where shelly gravel occurs. Shelf valleys extend seaward from nearshore basins and estuaries and generally possess less sediment than nearshore basins. Abundant exposures of Pleistocene sediment with rippled substrates suggest that contemporary reworking is occurring. Rocky zones are the most abundant physiographic area and include both exposed bedrock and glacial gravel outcrops. Shell...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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In many coastal plain estuaries light attenuation by suspended sediments confines the photic zone to a small fraction of the water column, such that light limitation is a major control on phytoplankon production and turnover rate. For a variety of estuarine systems (e.g. San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound, Delaware Bay, Hudson River plume), photic-zone productivity can be estimated as a function of phytoplankton biomass times mean irradiance of the photic zone. Net water column productivity also varies with light availability, and in San Francisco Bay net productivity is zero (estimated respiratory loss of phytoplankton balances photosynthesis) when the ratio of photic depth (Zp) to mixed depth (Zm) is less than about...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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The ephemeral Santa Clara River delivers large amounts of freshwater and sediment to the eastern Santa Barbara Channel during brief, episodic discharge events. This discharge into the channel was characterized here with shipboard measurements during floods of 1997 and 1998. Within approximately 1-km of the river mouth, the river discharge quickly stratifies into a freshened, turbid surface plume and a bottom nephloid layer. Observations immediately off the Santa Clara River mouth on a peak day of river discharge revealed that sediment rapidly settled from the freshened surface waters, as suspended sediment in the freshened surface plume contained only ???6% of the sediment mass expected if the sediment mixed conservatively....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Recent observations of inner continental shelves in many regions show numerous collections of relatively coarse sediment, which extend kilometers in the cross-shore direction and are on the order of 100m wide. These "rippled scour depressions" have been interpreted to indicate concentrated cross-shelf currents. However, recent observations strongly suggest that they are associated with sediment transport along-shore rather than cross-shore. A new hypothesis for the origin of these features involves the large wave-generated ripples that form in the coarse material. Wave motions interacting with these large roughness elements generate near-bed turbulence that is greatly enhanced relative to that in other areas. This...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research


map background search result map search result map Burial and exhumation of temperate bedrock reefs as elucidated by repetitive high-resolution sea floor sonar surveys: Spatial patterns and impacts to species' richness and diversity The influence of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycles on wave-driven sea-floor sediment mobility along the central California continental margin Burial and exhumation of temperate bedrock reefs as elucidated by repetitive high-resolution sea floor sonar surveys: Spatial patterns and impacts to species' richness and diversity The influence of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycles on wave-driven sea-floor sediment mobility along the central California continental margin