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Fine-grained sediment budget on the continental margin of the Bay of Biscay

Abstract : Under present-day conditions, rivers are the main source of fine sediments dispersed to the Bay of Biscay. They deliver about 2.5×10 6 t yr -1 of continental fine sediments, 60% of which is derived from the Gironde estuary. Of this flux, 65% is believed stored on the shelf. Two kinds of mud fields can be found in the Bay of Biscay: coastal mud and shelf mud belts. The total mass of fine sediments stored during the past 2000 years is 3.2×10 9 t. Consequently, about 0.9×10 6 t yr -1 could reach the shelf edge and eventually the open sea. From this amount of displaced material and the deposition surface areas, an evaluation of sediment fluxes across the margin during the late Holocene period is discussed. This evaluation is compared with results obtained from ECOsystéme du canyon du cap-FERret (ECOFER) data from sediment traps and surficial box cores.
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J. M. Jouanneau, O. Weber, M. Cremer, P. Castaing. Fine-grained sediment budget on the continental margin of the Bay of Biscay. Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, 1999, 46, pp.2205-2220. ⟨10.1016/S0967-0645(99)00060-0⟩. ⟨insu-03618919⟩



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