Grifoll, M., Gracia, V., Fernandez, J. and Espino, M. 2013. Suspended sediment observations in the Barcelona inner-shelf during storms.
This contribution describes in detail the Suspended Sediment Concentration (SSC) obtained from an observational set at 24 m depth in the Catalan inner-shelf (North-western Mediterranean Sea) analysing the dominant processes affecting sediment dynamics during storm events. A clear correlation between SSC, energetic waves, and along-shelf currents events has been found. Peaks in river discharge associated to rainy events are also correlated with SSC measurements. Measured conditions highlight the different sediment dynamic situations present during short-term events such as “wet” and “dry” storms with similar wave height. SSC observed during “dry” conditions are correlated with wave action. On the other hand, SSC peaks during “wet” conditions are primarily caused by wave action, along-shelf current, and river discharge. Observed sediment fluxes during storms are larger in spring than during fall. Although the observations present similar characteristics to other inner-shelf regions in the NW Mediterranean Sea, the results reveal a non-negligible influence of the along-shelf current in sediment dynamics. The results presented here contribute to advance in the understanding of sediment dynamics in wave-dominated regions such as the Catalan shelf.