Temporal Distribution of Diastems in Deposits of an Open-Coast Tidal-Flat With High Suspended Sediment Concentrations

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tidal flat, tide, wave, typhoon, diastem, stratigraphic completeness

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Based on field observations of the preservation potential and genesis of couplets and small sequences, diastems occur within tidal flat deposits at scales of semi-tidal, daily, monthly, and yearly intervals. Thus, tidal flat deposition is riddled with more diastems of different scales than previous assumptions. Units that are apparently complete when examined at longer time scales actually contain many diastems when examined at a shorter time scale. Diastems within tidal flat deposits are generated not only by high-magnitude storm waves, which occur during typhoon seasons, but also by daily erosion produced by tides and weak waves during calm-weather seasons. The missing intervals in diastems generated by storm waves can be several days to several years. Preservation potential of storm-generated small sequences is of the order of one-third. Diastems generated by erosion, by tides, and weak waves can have spans from a semidiurnal cycle to several days. They are easily overlooked because of the low-magnitude destruction and lack of distinctive sedimentary features. Net erosion by tides and weak waves is unexpectedly increased by day-to-day processes. Alternations of sandy and muddy laminae are related to tidal rhythm, but individual laminae can be separated by a significant diastem. Documentation of erosion by tides and weak waves under normal (non-typhoon) conditions is the principal focus of this report.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Sedimentary Geology, v. 152, issue 3-4, p. 173-181

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