Sand and mud flux estimates using acoustic and optical backscatter sensors: Measurements seaward of the Wash, southern North Sea

Sarah J. Bass, IN McCave, JM Rees, CE Vincent

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Optical and acoustic backscatter sensors, more sensitive to fine and sandy sediment respectively, were used to measure the mud and sand components of a mixed suspension at a site seaward of the Wash embayment, in the southern North Sea. Data were acquired from a free-standing instrument frame during a five-week deployment in 12 m water depth about 6 km offshore. Suspended mud at this site was characterized by tidal advection of fine sediment along the coast resulting in semi-diurnal peaks in concentration near slack water. Suspended sand concentrations correlated well with tidal current speeds indicating local resuspension behaviour. Predicted sand flux direction followed the residual current while mud fluxes at the site were different in direction to both the residual current and sand flux. Residual fluxes may be biased by cumulative errors resulting from instrument calibration and inferred vertical concentration profiles. These factors are assessed in relation to both predicted flux magnitudes and directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalGeological Society, London, Special Publications
Issue number274
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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