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The existence and origin of multiple equilibria in sand‐mud sediment beds
Colina Alonso, A.; van Maren, D.S.; Herman, P.M.J.; van Weerdenburg, R.J.A.; Huismans, Y.; Holthuijsen, S.J.; Govers, L.L.; Bijleveld, A.I.; Wang, Z. (2022). The existence and origin of multiple equilibria in sand‐mud sediment beds. Geophys. Res. Lett. 49(22): e2022GL101141.

Additional data:
In: Geophysical Research Letters. American Geophysical Union: Washington. ISSN 0094-8276; e-ISSN 1944-8007, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Authors  Top 
  • Colina Alonso, A.
  • van Maren, D.S.
  • Herman, P.M.J.
  • van Weerdenburg, R.J.A.
  • Huismans, Y.
  • Holthuijsen, S.J., more
  • Govers, L.L., more
  • Bijleveld, A.I., more
  • Wang, Z.

    The sediment composition of the seabed governs its mobility, hence determining sediment transport and morphological evolution of estuaries and tidal basins. Bed sediments often consist of mixtures of sand and mud, with spatial gradients in the sand/mud content. This study aims at increasing the understanding of processes driving the sediment composition in tidal basins, focusing on depositional processes. We show that bed sediments in the Wadden Sea tend to be either mud-dominated or sand-dominated, resulting in a bimodal distribution of the mud content where the two modes represent equilibrium conditions. The equilibria depend primarily on the sediment deposition fluxes, with bimodality originating from the dependence of suspended sand/mud concentrations on the local bed composition. Our analysis shows that bimodality is a phenomenon that is not only specific for the Wadden Sea; it can be expected for a wide range of suspended sediment concentrations and thus also in other systems worldwide.

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