Salinity indicators in sediment through the fluvial-to-marine transition (Fraser River, Canada).
Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15284
Many sediment attributes have been proposed as proxies for determining salinity conditions under which sediment is deposited, and six attributes (Sr/Ba-HAc, Sr/Ba-NH4Ac, δ13Corg, C/N, and the relative abundances and concentrations of dinoflagellate cysts) are compared here. In this paper, sediment attributes from the Fraser River Delta, Canada and surrounding coastal areas are compared by depositional position along the fluvial-to-marine transition, by salinity, and by sedimentological characteristics. Along the fluvial-to-marine transition, most attributes exhibit distinct trends between parts of the river that experience sustained marine water (saltwater) influence over seasonal and tidal timeframes, and parts that experience only freshwater or periodic saltwater influence. No attributes are reliable indicators of depositional position where saltwater incursion is short lived or where water is fresh. Where marine influence is sustained, Sr/Ba-HAc and Sr/Ba-NH4Ac are the most reliable positional indicators along the fluvial-to-marine transition. When compared strictly to salinity, Sr/Ba-HAc, Sr/Ba-NH4Ac, and δ13Corg all correlate predictably except in delta front and prodelta settings. Our data show that all six sediment attributes are heavily impacted by river-derived sedimentation, and it is not appropriate to compare values from strongly river-influenced settings (e.g., deltas) with those from weakly river-influenced settings (e.g., bays and estuaries).
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