Provenance, transport and composition of Dendê Coast beach sands in Bahia, central coast of Brazil
Keywords: Sediment composition, Longshore drift, Provenance, Bioclastics, Beach sands, Central coast of Brazil
AbstractThe great physiographic diversity of the Dendê Coast favors the production of different beach sediment types, including bioclastic components. In this study 74 beach samples collected at 2 km intervals were used to evaluate beach sediment composition. For each sample, 300 grains were identified for each grain size class coarser than 0.125 mm, using a binocular microscope. The beach sediments of the Dendê Coast are essentially siliciclastic (80-100%). Quartz is the major component (70-100%). Only at the Tinharé and Boipeba islands bioclasts are major components of beach sands reaching up to 80-100%. These sediments are made up essentially of fragments of Halimeda, reaching percentages up to 70%. Coralline algae and mollusks also contribute significantly to these sediments (up to 30%). The results obtained show that the spatial distribution of the bioclastic components provide important information on the environmental conditions present at the shoreline (energy levels, availability of hard substrates and protected areas, pattern of sediment dispersion) and on the sediment sources as well. The composition of the beach sediments on the Dendê Coast reflects the present day environmental conditions and show that these sediments do not experience significant lateral transport. This situation is favored by an impeded longshore transport that characterizes most of the region. Although, in general, the rivers that discharge on the Dendê Coast appear to transport few sediments to the coastal zone, the presence of heavy minerals, micas and feldspars suggests river contributions to the beach sediments. On the other hand, the coral and coralline algae reefs, besides offering a natural protection to the shoreline, also represent an important source of beach sands.
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How to Cite
Rebouças, R., Dominguez, J., & Bittencourt, A. (2011). Provenance, transport and composition of Dendê Coast beach sands in Bahia, central coast of Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Oceanography, 59(4), 339-347. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-87592011000400004