Abstract

A heavy mineral study in Grays Harbor, Washington, was undertaken to determine the sources and dispersal patterns of sands in the estuary. Using conventional heavy mineral analysis three provinces of sand deposition were clearly outlined: marine, mixed and river. Sands with a heavy mineral suite characteristic of the marine province extend more than 11 km into the estuary, suggesting that the lower part of the estuary is being filled by marine sands. The results of this study suggest that routine heavy mineral analysis of sands in estuaries may have much practical importance to those interested in predicting the long term directions of dispersal of sands that may be dumped in the estuary as a consequence of dredging activity.

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