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Contour-parallel sediment dispersal from the Yangtze Estuary into the East China Sea develops a large-scale mud belt on the inner shelf. The sediment dynamics of long-distance dispersal is, however, still an open question. This was investigated by field observations in the 2013 wet season. To clarify the physics of the large-scale mud belt, we examined: (a) shelf circulation currents and their interaction with the Yangtze River; (b) small-/meso-scale processes including bottom boundary-layer flows, stratification and mixing, upwelling, and fronts; and (c) river-borne sediment gravity and contour currents. Field observations demonstrated that estuarine turbidity maxima can trap benthic concentrated suspensions...

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