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Sediment sources of beach sand from the southern coast of the Baja California peninsula, Mexico—Fourier grain-shape analysis

By
J.M. Murillo-Jiménez
J.M. Murillo-Jiménez
Departamento de Oceanología, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CICIMAR-IPN), Laboratorio de Geología Marina, Apartado Postal 592, La Paz, Baja California Sur, 23000, México
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William Full
William Full
Tramontane, Inc., P.O. Box 58082, Salt Lake City, Utah 84158-0082, USA
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E.H. Nava-Sánchez
E.H. Nava-Sánchez
Departamento de Oceanología, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CICIMAR-IPN), Apartado Postal 592, La Paz, Baja California Sur, 23000, México
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V. Camacho-Valdéz
V. Camacho-Valdéz
Departamento de Oceanología, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CICIMAR-IPN), Apartado Postal 592, La Paz, Baja California Sur, 23000, México
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A. León-Manilla
A. León-Manilla
Departamento de Oceanología, Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, Instituto Politécnico Nacional (CICIMAR-IPN), Apartado Postal 592, La Paz, Baja California Sur, 23000, México
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Published:
January 01, 2007

The purpose of the study is to (1) identify the sources of sediment in various environments, (2) define the history and transport processes of the sediments, and (3) better understand the erosion and potential replenishment of the local beaches along the southern coast of the Baja California peninsula. For the purpose of this study, six naturally defined areas were studied separately: El Cardonal, El Arco, San Lucas, El Tiburón, El Tule, and San José.

Two main sedimentary provinces were identified via Fourier grain-shape analysis, El Médano and Los Cabos. El Médano sedimentary province includes the El Cardonal and El Arco areas, which are influenced by the dynamics associated with the Pacific Ocean dominated by northwesterly winds, waves, and longshore transport. Beaches from this province have a source mostly from marine material from the shallow shelf, and they are dominantly affected by longshore transport. Secondarily, they are dominated by old and recent aeolian material dissected by intermittent arroyos and local arroyo material from intrusive rocks. The Los Cabos sedimentary province includes the other four areas, and it is influenced by the dynamics of the Gulf of California. In this province, dominant southerly waves are present. Sediment transport occurs along the coast from southwest to northeast; although, some beaches contain material from northern areas, probably related to the direction of waves and sediment transport direction during meteoric events such as hurricanes. Beaches from this province have a source mostly from local arroyo material from intrusive rocks. Other beach material results from longshore transport and some material comes from the El Médano sedimentary province in the El Arco boundary area.

Grain-shape data and the information associated with elongation (harmonic 2) show that marine samples (beach, shallow, and deep inner continental shelf) from Los Médanos sedimentary province contain high frequencies of grains with low elongation, opposite of the arroyo samples. This suggests that the low elongation grain source may be farther north of this province. In the Los Cabos sedimentary province, the local arroyos and the longshore transport have been identified as the major factors that nourish and distribute the beach material along the coast. The results of this study parallel those found in similar geographic regions where storms rather than steady currents dominant.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Sedimentary Provenance and Petrogenesis: Perspectives from Petrography and Geochemistry

José Arribas
José Arribas
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Mark J. Johnsson
Mark J. Johnsson
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Salvatore Critelli
Salvatore Critelli
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Geological Society of America
Volume
420
ISBN print:
9780813724201
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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