Flocculation and sedimentation in the ACE Basin, South Carolina

Pasquale Pagliaro, Nazareno Paolocci, Takayoshi Isoda, Walter F. Saavedra, Genshiro Sunagawa, David A. Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Extremely rapid deposition of fine-grained sediment has been observed near an artificially created channel between the Edisto and Ashepoo Rivers in South Carolina. Accumulation rates on the order of 0.05 m mo-1 formed a region of fluid mud known as the Mud Reach that was present during a study carried out in May 1998. Subsequent surveys in March and May 1999 found no evidence of fluid mud in this area. Image analysis of photographs of the suspended sediment from 1998 showed that the water column was populated by flocs with a median diameter on the order of 0.3 mm which tended to remain in suspension over the tidal cycle, and flocs on the order of 0.8 mm which remained in the near bottom region except at maximum current speeds. In 1999, both the size and concentration of flocs at the surface remained the same, but the size and abundance of flocs near the bottom was reduced. Disaggregated inorganic grain size analysis of the suspension and samples from a core collected in the Mud Reach indicated that in 1998 the accumulation of material on the bottom was the result of floc settling and that in spite of high u. values, little sorting of this material was occurring. Grain size analysis of samples deeper in the core showed that the rapidly flocdeposited mud was underlain by coarser, well-sorted sediment, confirming that the Mud Reach was a transient feature. The observed flocculation processes may play a significant role in the trapping of fine-grained sediment throughout this region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)734-744
Number of pages11
JournalEstuaries
Volume24
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Environmental Science(all)

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