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ABSTRACT

A series of flume runs using a 12·5 h tidal cycle was conducted in order to determine whether or not flaser beds could be formed in nearshore subtidal areas as a result of purely tidal activity. The effects of clay composition, sand size, bed thickness, and maximum current velocity were investigated. The resistance to erosion of mud beds 10 mm thick or less is low; shear stresses approximately equal to those needed to initiate sand movement resulted in rapid erosion of the mud beds. In the light of the low resistance to erosion of the beds, and the necessity for increased thicknesses and very long time periods for their resistance to be increased substantially, it is concluded that the formation of these beds is unlikely to result from purely tidal action unless very large amounts of mud are available. A mechanism which more readily permits the deposition of thicker beds and longer consolidation times, such as storm action, is preferred.