Application of Laser Diffraction Grain-Size Analysis to Reveal Depositional Processes in Tidally Influenced Systems

  1. Michael D. Blum8,
  2. Susan B. Marriott9 and
  3. Suzanne F. Leclair10
  1. Petri Siiro1,†,
  2. Matti E. Räsänen1,
  3. Murray K. Gingras2,
  4. Chad R. Harris3,‡,
  5. George Irion4,
  6. S. George Pemberton3 and
  7. Alceu Ranzi5

Published Online: 17 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304350.ch10

Fluvial Sedimentology VII

Fluvial Sedimentology VII

How to Cite

Siiro, P., Räsänen, M. E., Gingras, M. K., Harris, C. R., Irion, G., Pemberton, S. G. and Ranzi, A. (2005) Application of Laser Diffraction Grain-Size Analysis to Reveal Depositional Processes in Tidally Influenced Systems, in Fluvial Sedimentology VII (eds M. D. Blum, S. B. Marriott and S. F. Leclair), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304350.ch10

Editor Information

  1. 8

    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

  2. 9

    School of Geography and Environmental Management, University of the West of England, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK

  3. 10

    Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tulane University, Dimwiddie Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Geology, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland

  2. 2

    Department of Geology, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5A3, Canada

  3. 3

    Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, T6G 2E3, Canada

  4. 4

    Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Schleusenstrasse 39a, D-263B2, Wilhelmshaven, Germany

  5. 5

    Laboratório de Pesquisas Paleontológicas, Departamento de Ciências da Natureza, Universidade Federal do Acre, Rio Branco, AC, CEP 69915-900, Brasil

  1. Kankilantie 1 B, 36600 Pälkäne, Finland

  2. Canadian Natural Resources Limited, 855 – 2 Street S.W., Calgary, AB, T2P 4J8, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 15 FEB 2005

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 35 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Ian Jarvis

Series Editor Information

  1. School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames KT1 2EE, UK

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405126519

Online ISBN: 9781444304350



  • application of laser diffraction grain-size analysis;
  • grain-size analysis and depositional processes;
  • cretaceous McMurray formation in Alberta, Canada;
  • Pebas Formation (Solimões Formation/Group in Brazil);
  • lowermost Amazon River and Amazon mouth;
  • McMurray formation deposits


The differentiation of depositional environments using the grain-size distribution patterns of estuarine channel sediments is investigated in two parallel depositional environments of different ages: the Cretaceous McMurray Formation in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin; and the Miocene Pebas Formation in the Amazonia foreland basin. Channel sediments from fluvial-dominated coastal plain/inner estuary settings are compared with marine-influenced middle estuarine channel deposits. The upward decreasing grain-size trend and simultaneous change to more poorly sorted grain-size distributions of the coastal plain estuary depositional sequence indicate the transition from a fluvial-dominated regime to a mixed fluvial and tidal regime. The fluvial-dominated coastal plain/inner estuary sands have clear bimodal grain-size distributions with a minor mode in coarse sand. They are coarser grained, better sorted and more negative skewed than the inclined heterolithic stratified channel sands of the mixed fluvial and tidal regime of the middle estuary. X-ray diffraction results show that decreases in the proportion of kaolinite from fluvial to estuarine sediments and then a further decrease to shoreface sediments combined with a simultaneous increase in the proportions of smectite, illite and chlorite are indications of the change of the depositional environments from riverine to more marine during the ongoing transgression.