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Sediment dispersal from a typical Mediterranean flood: the Têt River, Gulf of Lions

Sediment dispersal from a typical Mediterranean flood: the Têt River, Gulf of Lions
Sediment dispersal from a typical Mediterranean flood: the Têt River, Gulf of Lions
This paper describes an integrated study of a typical Mediterranean flood event in the Gulf of Lions. A flood with a 5-year return interval occurred in the Têt River basin and adjacent inner-shelf in the Gulf of Lions, northwest Mediterranean, during April 2004. Data were collected during this flood as part of event-response investigations of the EU-funded Eurostrataform (European Margin Strata Formation) project. Southeasterly storm winds led to a flood which directly modified the inner-shelf hydrodynamics. Sediment delivery to the coastal zone during this flood represented more than half of the mean annual discharge of the Têt River to the Gulf of Lions. This river transported a large amount of sand in suspension, representing 25% of the total suspended load, and as bedload representing 8% of the total load, during this event. Sand introduced in the nearshore was transported northwards during the peak storm and nourished a small delta. Fine sediments were separated from coarse sediments at the river mouth, and were advected southwards and seawards by the counter-clockwise general circulation. Fine-grained sediments were transported via a hypopycnal plume along the coast towards the southern tip of the Gulf of Lions and the Cap Creus canyon. The along-shore currents, which intensified from north to south of the Gulf of Lions, particularly between the Cap Creus promontory and the Cap Creus canyon, favoured the transfer of fine-grained sediments from the continental shelf of the Gulf of Lions towards the continental slope. Our results show that floods with a few-year return interval in small coastal rivers can play a significant role in the transport of sediments on microtidal continental margins and their export from the shelf through canyons.

Flash-flood, Sediment transport, Hypopycnal river plume, Têt River, Gulf of Lions, Northwest Mediterranean
0278-4343
1895-1910
Bourrin, F.
99f1d994-be90-4c12-afb3-eab6b0d63374
Friend, P.L.
600afae0-5185-4e55-8322-34bb8e0ae1f4
Amos, C.L.
d0a18a13-bccd-4fdc-8901-aea595d4ed5c
Manca, E.
b18a8474-73fc-47b3-8ec3-c4a94af8e402
Ulses, C.
6a30de68-4ca7-4f18-bf6d-53aa8966fbdc
Palanques, A.
28bb9666-657f-4bbd-b759-ce1da31cfa3e
Durrieu de Madron, X.
ad0de6e2-447b-4446-be38-4d142c7df47a
Thompson, C.E.L.
2a304aa6-761e-4d99-b227-cedb67129bfb
Bourrin, F.
99f1d994-be90-4c12-afb3-eab6b0d63374
Friend, P.L.
600afae0-5185-4e55-8322-34bb8e0ae1f4
Amos, C.L.
d0a18a13-bccd-4fdc-8901-aea595d4ed5c
Manca, E.
b18a8474-73fc-47b3-8ec3-c4a94af8e402
Ulses, C.
6a30de68-4ca7-4f18-bf6d-53aa8966fbdc
Palanques, A.
28bb9666-657f-4bbd-b759-ce1da31cfa3e
Durrieu de Madron, X.
ad0de6e2-447b-4446-be38-4d142c7df47a
Thompson, C.E.L.
2a304aa6-761e-4d99-b227-cedb67129bfb

Bourrin, F., Friend, P.L., Amos, C.L., Manca, E., Ulses, C., Palanques, A., Durrieu de Madron, X. and Thompson, C.E.L. (2008) Sediment dispersal from a typical Mediterranean flood: the Têt River, Gulf of Lions. Continental Shelf Research, 28 (15), 1895-1910. (doi:10.1016/j.csr.2008.06.005).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper describes an integrated study of a typical Mediterranean flood event in the Gulf of Lions. A flood with a 5-year return interval occurred in the Têt River basin and adjacent inner-shelf in the Gulf of Lions, northwest Mediterranean, during April 2004. Data were collected during this flood as part of event-response investigations of the EU-funded Eurostrataform (European Margin Strata Formation) project. Southeasterly storm winds led to a flood which directly modified the inner-shelf hydrodynamics. Sediment delivery to the coastal zone during this flood represented more than half of the mean annual discharge of the Têt River to the Gulf of Lions. This river transported a large amount of sand in suspension, representing 25% of the total suspended load, and as bedload representing 8% of the total load, during this event. Sand introduced in the nearshore was transported northwards during the peak storm and nourished a small delta. Fine sediments were separated from coarse sediments at the river mouth, and were advected southwards and seawards by the counter-clockwise general circulation. Fine-grained sediments were transported via a hypopycnal plume along the coast towards the southern tip of the Gulf of Lions and the Cap Creus canyon. The along-shore currents, which intensified from north to south of the Gulf of Lions, particularly between the Cap Creus promontory and the Cap Creus canyon, favoured the transfer of fine-grained sediments from the continental shelf of the Gulf of Lions towards the continental slope. Our results show that floods with a few-year return interval in small coastal rivers can play a significant role in the transport of sediments on microtidal continental margins and their export from the shelf through canyons.

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More information

Published date: August 2008
Additional Information: Special issue: Sediment Dynamics in the Gulf of Lions; the Impact of Extreme Events
Keywords: Flash-flood, Sediment transport, Hypopycnal river plume, Têt River, Gulf of Lions, Northwest Mediterranean

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 63392
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/63392
ISSN: 0278-4343
PURE UUID: 6b4f2ed6-5b9b-4301-856e-62ea5eea77fa

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Date deposited: 03 Oct 2008
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 20:25

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Contributors

Author: F. Bourrin
Author: P.L. Friend
Author: C.L. Amos
Author: E. Manca
Author: C. Ulses
Author: A. Palanques
Author: X. Durrieu de Madron
Author: C.E.L. Thompson

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