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ABSTRACT

The grain-size spectrum of sediment deposited by settling of a suspension with a ‘one-round’ grain size distribution is described by a power law in which the integer exponent characterizing the fine-grained limb is increased by one over that of the suspension. If this better-sorted sediment, in turn, is resuspended and settles, further sorting and steepening of the limb occurs. Each resuspension event or‘round’changes the distribution by a predictable amount. Equations describing this sorting process, based on the derivation of the one-round equation, are fitted to grain-size analyses of well-sorted sediment from a variety of locations to verify the model. A suite of sandy bottom sediment samples from the Bay of Fundy shows that the steepness of the fine-grained limbs of the sand fraction indeed increases in integral steps.