Sediment transport in the San Francisco Bay Coastal System: An overview

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Abstract

The papers in this special issue feature state-of-the-art approaches to understanding the physical processes related to sediment transport and geomorphology of complex coastal-estuarine systems. Here we focus on the San Francisco Bay Coastal System, extending from the lower San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta, through the Bay, and along the adjacent outer Pacific Coast. San Francisco Bay is an urbanized estuary that is impacted by numerous anthropogenic activities common to many large estuaries, including a mining legacy, channel dredging, aggregate mining, reservoirs, freshwater diversion, watershed modifications, urban run-off, ship traffic, exotic species introductions, land reclamation, and wetland restoration. The Golden Gate strait is the sole inlet connecting the Bay to the Pacific Ocean, and serves as the conduit for a tidal flow of ~8×109m3/day, in addition to the transport of mud, sand, biogenic material, nutrients, and pollutants. Despite this physical, biological and chemical connection, resource management and prior research have often treated the Delta, Bay and adjacent ocean as separate entities, compartmentalized by artificial geographic or political boundaries. The body of work herein presents a comprehensive analysis of system-wide behavior, extending a rich heritage of sediment transport research that dates back to the groundbreaking hydraulic mining-impact research of G.K. Gilbert in the early 20th century. © 2013.

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Barnard, P. L., Schoellhamer, D. H., Jaffe, B. E., & McKee, L. J. (2013). Sediment transport in the San Francisco Bay Coastal System: An overview. Marine Geology, 345, 3–17. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2013.04.005

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