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Dynamics of inner-shelf, multi-scale bedforms off the south Aquitaine coast over three decades (Southeast Bay of Biscay, France)

Abstract : This paper aims to investigate the seabed morphodynamics of the south Aquitaine inner shelf in the area known as “La Salie” (150 km2, Atlantic ocean, west coast of France), through a descriptive and comparative analysis (time lapse of 29 years) of geophysical and sedimentological datasets.At a water depth of 24–50 m, four orders of sedimentary body types were observed at different scales. The first order are large cross-shore “morphological ridges,” corresponding with the properties of very large sorted bedforms. The second order consisted in patchy sorted bedforms, composed of alternately medium to fine sand patches (0.5–2 m in thickness), cut by smaller, elongated coarse sediment depressions. In particular, the data from the sub-bottom profiler revealed that sand patches predominantly overlayed the coarse-grained blankets on the eastern (shoreward) extremities, while coarse-grained blanket wedges were found in front of the sand patches (southwestward) or locally overlying them on the southwestern extremities. The third order of bedforms involved groups of dune-like features (fine/medium sand), lying in wide areas of coarse-grained sediment. Finally, in the fouth order, the entire inner shelf was covered with wave-generated ripples, oriented N15°, that were larger where sediments were coarse (wavelengths of 2.2 m) than where sediments were fine (wavelengths of 0.3 m). Over the past 29 years, at a large scale of observation, patchy sorted bedforms have remained remarkably persistent, as has their overall appearance. However, at a smaller scale, weak but constant movements were observed. The coarse depressions have become elongated at their extremities (by a maximum of 300 m over 15 years), and certain coarse/fine sediment boundaries have moved toward the northeast and southeast (by a maximum of 75 m over 12 years). The general movement has been shoreward as has the migration of third-order submarine dune-like features. The persistence of sorted bedforms thus appears to be the consequence of sediment sorting feedback and recurrent storm events.
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Soumis le : mardi 6 janvier 2015 - 11:26:58
Dernière modification le : dimanche 26 juin 2022 - 10:10:33





Alais Mazières, Hervé Gillet, Déborah Idier, T. Mulder, Thierry Garlan, et al.. Dynamics of inner-shelf, multi-scale bedforms off the south Aquitaine coast over three decades (Southeast Bay of Biscay, France) . Continental Shelf Research, Elsevier, 2015, pp. 23-36. ⟨10.1016/j.csr.2014.11.002⟩. ⟨hal-01100289⟩



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