Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 47–62 | Cite as

A snapshot of suspended sediment and fluid mud occurrence in a mixed-energy embayment, Tijucas Bay, Brazil

  • Carlos Augusto Fran ça Schettini
  • Dermeval Costa de Almeida
  • Eduardo Siegle
  • Ant ônio Carlos Brand ão de Alencar


Along the southern Brazilian coast, Tijucas Bay is known for its unique muddy tidal flats associated with chenier plains. Previous field observations pointed to very high suspended sediment concentrations (SSCs) in the inner parts of the bay, and in the estuary of the Tijucas River, suggesting the presence of fluid mud. In this study, the occurrences of suspended sediments and fluid mud were examined during a larger-scale, high-resolution 2-day field campaign on 1–2 May 2007, encompassing survey lines spanning nearly 80 km, 75 water sampling stations for near-bottom density estimates, and ten sediment sampling stations. Wave refraction modeling provided qualitative wave energy estimates as a function of different incidence directions. The results show that SSC increases toward the inner bay near the water surface, but seaward near the bottom. This suggests that suspended sediment is supplied by the local rivers, in particular the Tijucas. Near-surface SSCs were of the order of 50 mg l−1 close to the shore, but exceeded 100 mg l−1 near the bottom in the deeper parts of the bay. Fluid mud thickness and location given by densimetry and echo-sounding agreed in some places, although being mostly discordant. The best agreement was observed where wave energy was high during the campaign. The discrepancy between the two methods may be an indication for the existence of fluid mud, which is recorded by one method but not the other. Agreement is considered to be an indication of fluidization, whereas disagreement indicates more consolidation. Wave modeling suggests that waves from the ENE and SE are the most effective in supplying energy to the inner bay, which may induce the liquefaction of mud deposits to form fluid mud. Nearshore mud resuspension and weak horizontal currents result in sediment-laden offshore flow, which explains the higher SSCs measured in the deeper parts of the bay, besides providing a mechanism for fine-sediment export to the inner shelf.


Liquefaction Wave Height Suspended Sediment Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler Cohesive Sediment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Augusto Fran ça Schettini
    • 1
  • Dermeval Costa de Almeida
    • 2
    • 3
  • Eduardo Siegle
    • 4
  • Ant ônio Carlos Brand ão de Alencar
    • 5
  1. 1.Instituto de Ci ências do MarUniversidade Federal do Cear á (LABOMAR/UFC)FortalezaBrazil
  2. 2.Mestrado em Ci ência e Tecnologia Ambiental, Centro de Ci ências Tecnol ógicas da Terra e do MarUniversidade de Vale do Itaja í (CTTMar/UNIVALI)Itaja íBrazil
  3. 3.Servi ços de Opera ç ões Mar ítmas LTDA (SOMAR)Rio de JaneiroBrazil
  4. 4.Instituto Oceanogr áficoUniversidade de S ão Paulo (IO-USP)S ão PauloBrazil
  5. 5.Centro de Ci ências Tecnol ógicas da Terra e do MarUniversidade de Vale do Itaja í (CTTMar/UNIVALI)Itaja íBrazil

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