Cohesive sediment makes up a large portion of the rock record and much of the earth’s surface sediment. Despite how common cohesive sediments are, the focus of research on sedimentary systems has largely been on non-cohesive sediment. Consequently, there has been limited research on how cohesive sediment influences sediment transport and the implications this has for depositional systems. To increase our knowledge of cohesive sediment, it is important to understand the morphological impact of cohesive sediment on depositional systems. Physical experiments provide a powerful tool for approaching this problem as they will allow us to constrain and measure parameters which may be difficult to measure in the field. The overarching goal of this project is to expand our experimental framework to include the use of cohesive sediment, which allows us to investigate an important set of effects in the field. Presented here is a framework of physical experiments, which investigate quantitative aspects of how cohesive sediment influences morphodynamics across scales. The first experimental series investigates how mass failures form in cohesive sediment on delta fronts and what factors influence their occurrence and evolution. The second experimental series is a study on how cohesion influences deltaic processes and overall morphology. Finally, the last experimental series is on how cohesive and other fine sediment lead to changes in the gradient of sediment flux that in turn lead to upstream changes in the overall sediment mass balance in coastal systems.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2016. Major: Geology. Advisor: Chris Paola. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 89 pages.
The morphodynamic influence of cohesive sediment on coastal systems across scales.
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