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Behaviors of the Yukon River Sediment Plume in the Bering Sea: Relations to Glacier-Melt Discharge and Sediment Load

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Title: Behaviors of the Yukon River Sediment Plume in the Bering Sea: Relations to Glacier-Melt Discharge and Sediment Load
Authors: Chikita, Kazuhisa A. Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Wada, Tomoyuki Browse this author
Kudo, Isao Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Saitoh, Sei-Ichi Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Hirawake, Toru Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Toratani, Mitsuhiro Browse this author →KAKEN DB
Keywords: Yukon River
sediment load
surface sediment plume
density underflow
MODIS image
Issue Date: Oct-2021
Publisher: MDPI
Journal Title: Water
Volume: 13
Issue: 19
Start Page: 2646
Publisher DOI: 10.3390/w13192646
Abstract: Sediment plumes, released to the Bering Sea from the delta front of the Yukon River, Alaska, are initiated mainly by glacier-melt sediment runoffs in the glacierized regions of the Yukon River drainage basin. The surface sediment plumes are extended around the fan-shaped Yukon River delta, which is followed by the northwestward dispersion. During continuous measurements of the Yukon River discharge and sediment load, behaviors of the sediment plumes were explored by shipboard and coastal observations in the Bering Sea. At the high river sediment load of ca. 2500 kg/s, the plume partially plunged into the sea bottom layer. The plunging probably originated in the nepheloid-layer formation from the flocculation of river-suspended sediment, of which more than 90% wt. is silt and clay (grain size d < 63 μm). In order to numerically obtain the area of the surface sediment plumes, a satellite image analysis was performed by using three near-infrared bands in MODIS/Aqua or MODIS/Terra. The plume area was significantly correlated (R2 = 0.735, p < 0.01) to the sediment load averaged for the two days with time lags of 20 days and 21 days to the date of a certain satellite image. Hence, the dispersion of plume-suspended sediment appears to be controlled by the sediment runoff events in the Yukon River rather than the northward “Alaskan Coastal Water”.
Type: article
Appears in Collections:北極域研究センター (Arctic Research Center) > 雑誌発表論文等 (Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, etc)

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