Recent marine sediments in Grays Harbor, Washington

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Frequently-anticipated questions:

What does this data set describe?

Title: Recent marine sediments in Grays Harbor, Washington
"Grays Harbor forms the estuary of the Chehalis River on the Washington coast, 90 kilometers north of the Columbia River mouth. The estuary is 28 kilometers long, with a maximum width of 24 kilometers. Two north-south trending sand spits narrow the channel entrance to a width of 3.2 kilometers. Approximately 60 percent of the harbor is exposed at mean lower low water. The main source of sediment is probably the Chehalis River. Calculations indicate that the inner harbor, outer harbor, and south bay are shoaling, while north bay is eroding. The erosion of north bay may be due either to the dredging of inner and outer harbors by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, or the construction of ocean jetties. The channel entrance had been eroding until the deterioration of the jetty on Point Chehalis and the dumping of dredge spoils. Three basic sediment types occur in the harbor: poorly-sorted lag gravel near the channel entrance, well-sorted sands in the outer harbor, southern north bay and the western parts of the inner harbor; poorly sorted silts along the shores of north and south bays and in the Abedeen-Hoquiam area. Tidal currents appear to control sediment sorting in Grays Harbor. Finer sediment is winnowed out, leaving a lag-deposit of sand and gravel incoming fine sediment by-passes the areas of strong currents. Therefore, the channel entrance has the coarsest sediment and the tidal flats contain the finest grained sediment. It can be deduced from both direct observations and data from similar areas, that storm waves are responsible for much of the sediment transport in Grays Harbor."
  1. How should this data set be cited?

    Milliman, John Douglas , 1963, Recent marine sediments in Grays Harbor, Washington: University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

    MS thesis, Department of Oceanography Study financed by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Contract AT (45-1 - 1725) and Office of Naval Research contract number Nonr-477(10), Project NR 083 012.

  2. What geographic area does the data set cover?

    West_Bounding_Coordinate: -125.917
    East_Bounding_Coordinate: -123.815
    North_Bounding_Coordinate: 47.035
    South_Bounding_Coordinate: 46.840

  3. What does it look like?

    Milliman_MS_1963 (JPG)
    Screen grab of GIS-produced sample distribution, with bathymetry and land for reference.

  4. Does the data set describe conditions during a particular time period?

    Beginning_Date: 1961
    Ending_Date: 1962
    Currentness_Reference: Publication date

  5. What is the general form of this data set?

    Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: Paper

  6. How does the data set represent geographic features?

    1. How are geographic features stored in the data set?

      This is a Vector data set. It contains the following vector data types (SDTS terminology):

      • Point (78)

    2. What coordinate system is used to represent geographic features?

      Horizontal positions are specified in geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude. Latitudes are given to the nearest 0.00167. Longitudes are given to the nearest 0.00167. Latitude and longitude values are specified in Decimal degrees.

  7. How does the data set describe geographic features?

    SDTS point (Source: Source report)

    Sample number
    Sample number based on cruise number and sample number (Source: Source report)

    Alpha numeric number based on cruise and core information

    Depth in core
    Subsample depth (Source: Source report)

    Range of values

    Core description
    Core description (Source: Source report)

    Lithologic description of grabs, including color

    Amount of gravel in source (Source: Source report)

    Range of values

    Amount of sand in source (Source: Source report)

    Range of values

    Amount of silt in source (Source: Source report)

    Range of values

    Amount of clay in source (Source: Source report)

    Range of values

    Median grain size (Source: Source report)

    Range of values

    Mean grain size (Source: Inman, 1952)

    Range of values

    Standard deviation
    Standard deviation of grain size dispersion (Source: Inman, 1952)

    Range of values

    Skewness (1)
    First skewness of grain size dispersion (Source: Inman, 1952)

    Range of values

    Skewness (2)
    Second skewness of grain size dispersion (Source: Inman, 1952)

    Range of values

    Kurtosis of grain size dispersion (Source: Inman, 1952)

    Range of values

    Sand/mud ratio
    Ratio of sand to mud in sample (Source: Source report)

    Range of values

    Organic carbon
    Organic carbon in sample (Source: Allison, 1935)

    Range of values

    Fraction percent of phi size class
    Fraction percent of phi size class (Source: Source report)

    Phi size class in fraction percent; from >-4 phi to <11 phi in 0.25 to 1.0 phi bins.

    Sedimentary consituents
    Identification of sedimentary consituents in selected phi size class. (Source: Source report)

    Percents of minerals, mica, organic fragments, plant fibers, mud galls in 0.25 mm fraction

    Sedimentary consituents
    Identification of sedimentary consituents in selected phi size class. (Source: Source report)

    Percents of minerals, mica, organic fragments, plant fibers, mud galls in mean grain size fraction

    Heavy mineral analysis
    Identification of heavy minerals in sample (Source: Source report)

    Heavy mineral (%), magnetic minerals (%), rock fragments, hypersthene, olivine, hornblende, chlorite, corundum.

Who produced the data set?

  1. Who are the originators of the data set? (may include formal authors, digital compilers, and editors)

  2. Who also contributed to the data set?

    John D. Milliman at the University of Washington for the collection and analysis of data. For inclusion into usSEABED: Digitization: Adam Jackson (USGS); Formatting corrections: Jane Reid (USGS) and Chris Jenkins (University of Colorado)

  3. To whom should users address questions about the data?

    University of Washington
    P.O. Box 357940
    Seattle, WA 98195

    206-543-5060 (voice)

Why was the data set created?

"The objective of this study can be divided into the following aspects: 1.) To describe the marine sediment in Grays Harbor and to chart their horizontal distributions; 2.) To determine the sedimentary environments which caused the sediment distributions; and 3.) To relate the sedimenatry environment to various physical factors such as currents, wave action, and sources of sediments."

How was the data set created?

  1. From what previous works were the data drawn?

  2. How were the data generated, processed, and modified?

    Date: Unknown (process 1 of 1)
    "A 20 to 40-gram portion of sediment was obtained by quartering each sample; cores were sampled where color and/or texture changed. Each sample was placed in a tared beaker, dried in an oven at 94ºC and weighed. The samples were desalted by shaking in distilled water for 15 minutes, and then centrifuged at 1700 RPM for 20 minutes before decanting. The desalted sample was then mixed with a peptizing agent, Maraperse N (sodium ligno-sulfonate), for ten minutes in a malt mixer. After mixing, the samples were immediately wet-sieved through a 4-phi sieve. The sediment finer than 4 phi was collected in a 1000 cubic centimeter graduated cylinder; the sediment coarser than 4 phi was dried in an oven. The coarse fraction was placed in a nest of 0.25 phi interval sieves, mechanically shaken for 15 minutes...and weighed. ... Fine fraction (finer than 4 phi) size analyses were made at one-phi intervals. A 1000 cubic centimeter graduated cylinder was shaken vigorously and the sediment allowed to settle. Following a procedure based on Waddell's modification of Stokes' Law for settling velocities (Krumbein and Pettijohn, 1938 pg. 104), 20 cubic centimeter pipette aliquots were taken at specific times for each size (4 phi to 11 phi). ... The percentages of sedimentary constituents were determined by investigating the 2-phi and mean grain sizes of the 1961 samples. In order to get a representative count, 500 to 700 grains of each sample were counted. The following separations were made: wood fragments (including marine and terrestrial plant fibers), mica, other minerals (including both minerals and rock fragments), micro fauna, organic fragments (broken shells), and mud galls. ... Heavy minerals were separated from selected samples; a total of 18 samples were analyzed. Following Sternberg (1961, pg. 14), wood and mica samples were separated from the rest of the sample by shaking an inclined board with a vibrating instrument. The other sedimentary constituents reached the bottom of the board before the elongate wood and mica. The mineral portion of each sample was weighed and then placed in bromoform (specific gravity 2.87); the lighter minerals floated and the heavier settled to the bottom. The highly magnetic minerals were then removed by passing a hand magnet over the heavy minerals. The non-magnetic minerals were run thorough a Franz Isodynamic Separator at 0.5 amperes. The part ... not attracted...was found to be mainly rock fragments. The rest of the sample was examined with a binocular microscope and mineral identifications were made. Selected samples from the north bay were analyzed for organic carbon using a wet-combustion in 0.4 N chromic acid (Allison, 1935). A total of 15 samples was analyzed."

    Person who carried out this activity:

    University of Washington
    P.O. Box 357940
    Seattle, WA 98195

    206-543-5060 (voice)

    Data sources used in this process:
    • Krumbein and Pettijohn, 1938
    • Sternberg, 1961
    • Allison, 1935

    Data sources produced in this process:

    • Milliman_MS_1963

  3. What similar or related data should the user be aware of?

How reliable are the data; what problems remain in the data set?

  1. How well have the observations been checked?

    Data were digitized by hand (typed in), visually compared to source and corrected. Where appropriate, data were tested for completeness using MS Excel.

  2. How accurate are the geographic locations?

    Navigation technique not noted in report. Latitudes and longitudes given in degrees, minutes, tenths.

  3. How accurate are the heights or depths?

    Water depths not given.

  4. Where are the gaps in the data? What is missing?

    Appendices IIB (Size analyses of sediments), III (Microscopic analysis of sedimentary consituents), and table 8 (organic carbon in sediments) were completely digitized for inclusion into usSEABED. Not digitized was Appendix IV, Foraminifera identifications.

  5. How consistent are the relationships among the observations, including topology?

    Data fall within normal ranges for the given parameters.

How can someone get a copy of the data set?

Are there legal restrictions on access or use of the data?

Thesis is available at libraries and the University of Washington
Cite John D. Milliman and the University of Washington as originators of the data.

  1. Who distributes the data set? (Distributor 1 of 1)

    University of Washington
    P.O. Box 357940
    Seattle, WA 98195

    206-543-5060 (voice)

  2. What's the catalog number I need to order this data set?

    Milliman MS 1963

  3. What legal disclaimers am I supposed to read?

    Although this dataset has been used by the USGS, no warranty, expressed or implied, is made by the USGS as to the accuracy of the data. Users of the data should be aware of limitations of the data due to possible imprecision due to navigational inaccuracies and limitations of the statistical data.

  4. How can I download or order the data?

  5. What hardware or software do I need in order to use the data set?


Who wrote the metadata?

Last modified: 2005
Metadata author:
U.S. Geological Survey
c/o Jane A. Reid
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

831-427-4727 (voice)

Contact_Instructions: Email preferred
Metadata standard:
CSDGM Version 2 (FGDC-STD-001-1998)

Generated by mp version 2.8.17 on Sat May 20 22:10:20 2006