A review of the morphology, physical processes and deposits of modern straits

Posted on 10.12.2021 - 10:50
This study reviews the morphology, hydrodynamics and sedimentology of 33 modern straits, including examples from diverse tectonic and climatic settings. Strait morphology ranges from short, simple straits to long, tortuous passages many hundreds of kilometres long; depths range from 10 m to >1 km. The morphological building block of strait sedimentation is a constriction flanked by open basins; a single strait can contain one or several of these. Currents accelerate through the constrictions and decelerate in the basins, leading to a spatial alternation of high- and low-energy conditions. Currents in a strait can be classified as either 'persistent' (oceanic currents or density-driven circulation) or 'intermittent' (tidally or meteorologically generated currents). Constrictions tend to be bedload partings, with the development of transport paths that diverge outward. Deposition occurs where the flow decelerates, generating paired subaqueous 'constriction-related deltas' that can be of unequal size. Cross-bedding predominates in high-energy settings; muddy sediment waves and contourite drifts are present in some straits. In shallow straits that were exposed during the sea-level lowstand, strait deposits typically occur near or at the maximum flooding surface, and can overlie estuarine and fluvial deposits. The most energetic deposits need not occur at the time of maximum inundation.


Dalrymple, Robert W. (2021): A review of the morphology, physical processes and deposits of modern straits. Geological Society of London. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.5746061.v1
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