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Resuspension and advection processes affecting suspended particulate matter concentrations in the central English Channel

Record type: Article

Suspended particulate matter (SPM) measurements obtained along a cross-section in the central English Channel (Wight-Cotentin transect) indicate that the area may be differentiated into: (1) an English coastal zone, associated with the highest concentrations; (2) a French coastal zone, with intermediate concentrations; and (3) the offshore waters of the Channel, characterised by a very low suspended-sediment load. The SPM particle-size distribution was modal close to the English coast (main mode 10–12 ?m); the remainder of the area was characterised by flat SPM distributions. Examination of the diatom communities in the SPM suggests that material resuspended in the intertidal zone and the estuarine environments was advected towards the offshore waters of the English Channel.
Considerable variations in SPM concentrations occurred during a tidal cycle: maximum concentrations were sometimes up to 3 times higher than the minimum concentrations. Empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of the SPM concentration time series indicates that, although the bottom waters were more turbid than the surficial waters, this was not likely to be the result of in situ sediment resuspension. Instead, the observed variations appear to be controlled mainly by advective mechanisms. The limited resuspension was probably caused by: (1) the limited availability of fine-grained material within the bottom sediments; and (2) ‘bed-armouring’ processes which protect the finer-grained fractions of the seabed material from erosion and entrainment within the overlying flow during the less energetic stages of the tide.

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Citation

Velegrakis, A.F., Gao, S., Lafite, R., Dupont, J.P., Huault, M.F., Nash, L.A. and Collins, M.B. (1997) Resuspension and advection processes affecting suspended particulate matter concentrations in the central English Channel Journal of Sea Research, 38, (1-2), pp. 17-34. (doi:10.1016/S1385-1101(97)00041-5).

More information

Published date: 1997
Keywords: suspended particulate matter, English Channel, resuspension, advective transport, EOF analysis

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 72282
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/72282
ISSN: 1385-1101
PURE UUID: 2d383f73-b189-4d36-a703-c887d39230bd

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 04 Feb 2010
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 23:55

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Contributors

Author: A.F. Velegrakis
Author: S. Gao
Author: R. Lafite
Author: J.P. Dupont
Author: M.F. Huault
Author: L.A. Nash
Author: M.B. Collins

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