Abstract

Sediment transport processes are described in relation to land surfaces, river systems, estuaries, deltas and continental shelves. Complex interrelationships between variables controlling transport, within each of the environments, are summarized. Extreme rates of mechanical denudation are presented and can be as high as 44 × 103 tonnes/km2/a (for Taiwan); they compare with mean European rates of around 30 tonnes/km2/a. Comparison is made between some representative rates of mechanical and chemical denudation. River inputs are examined, within the context of deltaic sedimentation patterns. It is suggested that fluviatile sediments can be transported over continental shelf areas and out into the oceans as hyperpycnal discharges. Organic material contained within the sediments is important geologically, in terms of its burial within marine sediments.

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