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Cordier E.,University of Reunion Island | Poizot E.,Laboratoire University science Appliquees Cherbourg | Mear Y.,Laboratoire University science Appliquees Cherbourg
Sedimentology | Year: 2012

Two surface-sediment sampling campaigns were carried out in November and December 2003, before and after a strong swell event, in the back-reef area of a microtidal fringing reef on the western coast of La Reunion, Indian Ocean. The spatial distributions of the mean grain size, sorting and skewness parameters are determined, and grain-size trend analysis is performed to estimate the main sediment transport pathways in the reef. The results of this analysis are compared with hydrodynamic records obtained in the same reef area during fair weather conditions and during swell events. Sediment dynamics inferred from the hydrodynamic records show that significant sediment erosion and transport occur only during swell events and under strongly agitated sea states. Under normal wave conditions, there is a potential for onshore sediment transport from the reef-flat to the back-reef, but this transport is episodic and occurs principally during high-tide stages. Sediment transport trends revealed by the grain-size trend analysis method show onshore and alongshore low-energy transport processes that are in agreement with the hydrodynamic records. The grain-size trend analysis method also provides evidence of an offshore high-energy transport trend that could be interpreted as a real physical process associated with return flow from the shore to the reef. The impact of swell on the reef sediment dynamics is clearly demonstrated by onshore and alongshore transport. Considering different combinations of the vector transport trends computed through the grain-size trend analysis approach, more realistic and pertinent results can be obtained by applying an exclusive OR operation (XOR case) on the vectors. The main results presented here highlight a trend towards the accumulation of carbonate sands in the back-reef area of the fringing reef. These sediments can only be resuspended during extreme events such as storms or tropical cyclones. © 2012 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2012 International Association of Sedimentologists.

Beryouni K.,Laboratoire University science Appliquees Cherbourg | Beryouni K.,Cadi Ayyad University | Mear Y.,Laboratoire University science Appliquees Cherbourg | Murat A.,Laboratoire University science Appliquees Cherbourg | And 2 more authors.
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2012

To characterize a sedimentary environment, it is risky to take a single sample when the spatial variability is unknown. A reference station has to reflect the natural variations in order to allow the creation of long time series. However, it can remain unclear whether the temporal changes are real or due to a spatial variation. We highlight here the importance of spatial variability at the scale of precision of the GNSS. It appears that the number and arrangement of replicates depend on the environment and the studied parameters. InC, TOC and TS show a sufficiently low spatial variability to allow temporal tracking using GNSS without multiplying samples. The fine fraction percent shows a high spatial variability over small distances. The study of this parameter in the framework of temporal tracking requires a knowledge of its spatial variability during each period of sampling, and hence leads to the multiplication of samples. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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