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Ciencias marinas

Print version ISSN 0185-3880


CUPUL-MAGANA, LA et al. Characterization and distribution patterns of surficial sediments of Cullera Bay, Spain. Cienc. mar [online]. 2006, vol.32, n.4, pp.617-629. ISSN 0185-3880.

Spatial and temporal variations in the distribution of the grain-size characteristics of surficial sediments were studied and the areas susceptible to contamination associated with fine-grained sediments were identified in Cullera Bay, Spain. We analyzed 90 sediment samples collected during six sampling campaigns in July (mid-summer), September (end of summer) and November (mid-autumn) 2002, and February (mid-winter), April (mid-spring) and July 2003. Different methods of grain-size analysis (bivariant analysis and discriminant functions) were applied to interpret the environments and mechanisms of sediment deposition. To identify zones that showed greater susceptibility to contamination by toxic substances associated with fine-grain sizes, contour maps of sediment distribution were prepared for the six sampling campaigns. The surficial sediments at Cullera Bay were classified according to the deposition scenario into shallow marine deposits and fluvial sediment deposits associated with the Júcar River discharge. The spatiotemporal variation showed that coarse sediments concentrated in the area nearest to the river mouth, whereas the finest sediments concentrated in the central and northern areas of the bay during the dry season, making them susceptible to contamination by harmful substances associated with the fine-grained fraction.

Keywords : sediments; grain size; sedimentary environments; Cullera; Júcar River.

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