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The role of biophysical cohesion on subaqueous bed form size

Parsons, D.R. and Schindler, R.J. and Hope, J.A. and Malarkey, J. and Baas, J.H. and Peakall, J. and Manning, A.L. and Ye, L. and Simmons, S. and Paterson, D.M. and Aspden, R.J. and Bass, S.J. and Davies, A.G. and Lichtman, I.D. and Thorne, P.D. (2016) The role of biophysical cohesion on subaqueous bed form size. Geophysical Research Letters, 43. pp. 1566-1573. DOI: 10.1002/2016GL067667

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Abstract

Biologically active, fine-grained sediment forms abundant sedimentary deposits on Earth's surface, and mixed mud-sand dominates many coasts, deltas, and estuaries. Our predictions of sediment transport and bed roughness in these environments presently rely on empirically based bed form predictors that are based exclusively on biologically inactive cohesionless silt, sand, and gravel. This approach underpins many paleoenvironmental reconstructions of sedimentary successions, which rely on analysis of cross-stratification and bounding surfaces produced by migrating bed forms. Here we present controlled laboratory experiments that identify and quantify the influence of physical and biological cohesion on equilibrium bed form morphology. The results show the profound influence of biological cohesion on bed form size and identify how cohesive bonding mechanisms in different sediment mixtures govern the relationships. The findings highlight that existing bed form predictors require reformulation for combined biophysical cohesive effects in order to improve morphodynamic model predictions and to enhance the interpretations of these environments in the geological record.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Natural Sciences > School of Ocean Sciences
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2016 03:40
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2016 03:52
ISSN: 0094-8276
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/6261
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1002/2016GL067667
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
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