Abstract

Textural analysis of sands from the morphodynamic environments of a tidal, shallow-water, wave environment in Kouchibouguac Bay, New Brunswick, reveals sediment populations that are statistically unique to each zone under low wave energy conditions. Measures of average size (ϕ mean), sorting (ϕ standard deviation and relative entropy), and skewness of sediment size distributions vary according to location in four sub-environments (offshore bar, trough, breaker zone, and swash zone). Phi kurtosis is shown not to be environmentally sensitive in this area. Multivariate analysis using Mahalanobis D2 and multiple linear discriminant functions allows differentiation of the sediment populations. Classification into environmental groupings is good with misclassifcation being not greater than 22% (range 6.1–22%). The relative importance of individual size-frequency statistics in the discrimination of adjacent environments is interpreted in terms of the effects of changing morphology and wave-current conditions on the selective transport of sediments.

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