Physical processes and sedimentation on a broad, shallow bank
An integrated study of the meteorology, physical oceanography, sedimentationand coastal morphology on the broad, shallow Miskito Bank off the eastern coast of Nicaragua has uncovered systematic interrelationships between driving forces. Bank geometry and sedimentologic environments on the Bank. Extremely high rainfall results from an interaction between meteorological processes over the Bank and topographic effects along the coast. Both acoustic and radio sounding of the lower atmosphere have documented the feedback between convective plumes, inversion layers and the incessant rainfall, which brings three times more freshwater and 15 times more sediment down to a unit length of coast than on the U.S. Atlantic shore. The resultant brackish, turbid coastal water moves as a highly organized band of water parallel to the coast. Seaward of this coastal boundary layer, offshore water from the Caribbean Current rides up on the Bank and provides an environment ideal for carbonate production. A zone of fine-grained terrigenous sediment underlying the coastal boundary current merges abruptly into a smooth carbonate plain covering most of the surface of the Bank. These central Bank carbonates are composed primarily of the disintegration products of prolific calcareous green algae. A trend of high relief, luxuriant coral reef growth is aligned along the steep dropoff at the Bank edge, a zone of observed upwelling of cooler and saltier basin water. A threefold southerly increase in wave energy at the shoreline due to the decreasing width of the shallow shelf results in wave-dominated coastal morphologies in the south compared to fluvial domination in the north and a systematic change from straight, linear bars and beaches in the north to rhythmic topography in the south. © 1982 Academic Press Inc. (London) Limited.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Murray, S., Hsu, S., Roberts, H., Owens, E., & Crout, R. (1982). Physical processes and sedimentation on a broad, shallow bank. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 14 (2) https://doi.org/10.1016/S0302-3524(82)80041-8