Suspended sediment samples taken from the water column in the high energy Western English Channel and its Western Approaches contain size-sorted benthic foraminiferal tests, <200 μm in diameter, derived from the continental shelf sediments. Similar associations of small tests are found in estuaries where the indigenous living assemblages are totally different. Net transport from the shelf to the estuaries is therefore inferred to have taken place. Tests <200 μm in size are probably equivalent to quartz spheres of silt size and they indicate the net transport path for this size grade. An attempt has been made to quantify the transport budget and, in spite of the paucity of data, an order of magnitude estimate has proved to be possible.

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