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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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