Characterization of a Mud Deposit Offshore of the Patos Lagoon, Southern Brazil

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Marine Science


Rapid deposition of mud on the beach along the shoreface of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil dramatically influences the normal operations in the littoral zone. In the surf zone, fluid and suspended mud opposes water-wave movement and dissipates water-wave energy; on the beach, mud limits trafficability. As part of a multinational, multidisciplinary program to evaluate the influence of mud strength, density and viscosity on water-wave attenuation, sediments were evaluated in situ or collected for evaluation from an area offshore of Cassino Beach, slightly south of the Patos Lagoon mouth. Shear strength of deposited sediments ranged from 0.6 kPa at the seafloor to 3.4 kPa at similar to 1 m below the seafloor. Mud sediments were also collected to simulate the in situ response of fluid mud to shear stresses. For this determination, theological evaluations were made using a strain-controlled Couette viscometer on numerous remixed samples that ranged in density from 1.05 to 1.30 g/cm(3). it was determined that this mud is a non-ideal Bingham material in that it has a true initial yield stress as well as a upper Bingham yield stress. Initial yield stress ranged from 0.59 to 2.62 Pa, upper Bingham yield stress ranged from 1.05 to 7.6 Pa. Apparent viscosity ranged from 0.02 to 4.7 Pa s with the highest viscosities occurring between the two yield stresses. Sediment strength in the remixed samples is 2 to 3 orders of magnitude lower than the horizontal shear strength of the sediment bed as determined by shear vane or predicted from penetrometer measurements. This difference is partially due to the fact that rheological evaluations are made on fully remixed sediments, whereas horizontal shear strength is determined within relatively undisturbed sediments. Similar values of viscosity and shear strength are comparable to those determined for mud in other coastal areas where fluid mud deposits occur. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Continental Shelf Research





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