Western Coastal and Marine Geology

U.S. Geological Survey
Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5254

Sources, Dispersal, and Fate of Fine Sediment Supplied to Coastal California

By Katherine L. Farnsworth and Jonathan A. Warrick


Turbid sediment plumes along the California coast near Gaviota following storms of February 1998. Picture by Mark Defeo and used by permission.

Executive Summary

We have investigated the sources, dispersal, and fate of fine sediment supplied to California coastal waters in a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the California Sediment Management Workgroup (CSMW). The purpose of this study was to document the rates and characteristics of these processes so that the State can better manage its coastal resources, including sediment. In this study, we made the following observations:

Thus, fine sediment is a natural and dynamic element of the California coastal system because of large, natural sediment sources and dynamic transport processes.

Download this report as an 86-page PDF file (sir2007-5254.pdf; 13.3 MB).

For questions about the content of this report, contact Katie Farnsworth at Indiana University of Pennsylvania or Jonathan Warrick at the U.S. Geological Survey.

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