Abstract

Traction and graded-suspension loads are confined to stream channels, whereas uniformly suspended material in the upper part of the water column escapes the channel during overbank flow; the effects of these relationships are evident on CM diagrams. As a first approximation, graded, uniform, and 'pelagic' CM patterns can be interpreted as representative of channel-proximal, flood plain, and flood basin environments. Ternary plots of sand, silt, and clay contents of fluvial sediments also produce characteristic patterns, but are less useful than CM diagrams for environmental interpretation. Recognition of the presence and relative abundance of different fluvial facies should be valuable in general considerations of paleoflow regime, paleoslope stability, and factors relating to local and regional events.

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