Sediment Transport on Continental Shelves: Storm Bed Formation and Preservation in Heterogeneous Sediments

  1. Michael Z. Li4,
  2. Christopher R. Sherwood5 and
  3. Philip R. Hill6
  1. T. R. Keen1,
  2. R. L. Slingerland2,
  3. S. J. Bentley3,
  4. Y. Furukawa1,
  5. W. J. Teague1 and
  6. J. D. Dykes1

Published Online: 3 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118311172.ch14

Sediments, Morphology and Sedimentary Processes on Continental Shelves: Advances in Technologies, Research, and Applications

Sediments, Morphology and Sedimentary Processes on Continental Shelves: Advances in Technologies, Research, and Applications

How to Cite

Keen, T. R., Slingerland, R. L., Bentley, S. J., Furukawa, Y., Teague, W. J. and Dykes, J. D. (2012) Sediment Transport on Continental Shelves: Storm Bed Formation and Preservation in Heterogeneous Sediments, in Sediments, Morphology and Sedimentary Processes on Continental Shelves: Advances in Technologies, Research, and Applications (eds M. Z. Li, C. R. Sherwood and P. R. Hill), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, West Sussex, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118311172.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Geological Survey of Canada (Atlantic), Natural Resources Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, B2Y 4A2 Canada

  2. 5

    U. S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole, MA 02543-1598 USA

  3. 6

    Natural Resources Canada, Sidney, BC, Canada V8L 4B2

Author Information

  1. 1

    Naval Research Laboratory, Stennis Space Center, Mississippi, USA

  2. 2

    Dept. of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA

  3. 3

    Dept. of Earth Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 3 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 26 JAN 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444350821

Online ISBN: 9781118311172

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Keywords:

  • storm beds;
  • preservation;
  • resuspension;
  • sediment transport;
  • stratigraphic model

Summary

Many storm beds are constructed of silt/sand layers interbedded with mud. The coarse sediment fraction originates from reworking of marine sands and/or erosion of the coastal active zone, which extends from fair-weather wave base to the beach berm or coastal dune. Observations and modelling studies show that some sand is removed from the active zone to the inner shelf during extratropical and tropical cyclones. On continental shelves that have large wave events superimposed on offshore near-bottom flow, this coarse material is incrementally transported across the shelf. Storm waves and swell sort this sediment during transport and thus produce storm deposits in water depths of 5-80 m. Observations of storm beds in the Gulf of Mexico indicate initial storm bed thicknesses of millimetres to decimetres. These observations are supported by event-scale numerical models, which also reveal the interaction of oceanographic and geological factors in generating storm beds. Historical records for hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico suggest recurrence intervals on the order of 10 years for storm-bed deposition. For typical Gulf of Mexico environments, a storm bed must exceed 10 cm in initial thickness in order to survive physical and biological reworking. These results are compared to a storm-dominated sequence from the Cretaceous system of Utah for which the preservation interval for storm beds is estimated to be 266 years. By using the recurrence interval for great storms from the Gulf of Mexico, a preservation rate of less than 20% is estimated for storm beds from the past.