Abstract

A correlation has been established in the vicinity of the Mississippi River delta, by means of radiocarbon dating, between the low rate of sediment discharge into westward moving longshore currents, stability or minor recession of the downdrift shoreline, and slow accretion of well-sorted chenier beach ridge sand. Barrier island plains closely resemble chenier plains except that barrier island beach ridges are separated by clayey, silty, poorly-sorted fine sand, and chenier ridges are separated by unsorted, sandy, shoreface mud deposits. A close geographic association invariably exists between chenier deposits and river or estuary mouths, although cheniers do not always receive sediments from adjacent rivers; dynamic diversion, a complex interaction between longshore currents and tidal flow, causes the material to bypass the chenier and settle farther downdrift.

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