The grain-size characteristics (grain-size distribution, comparison of one percent value (C) of a given grain-size distribution with the median value (M) in so-called CM-patterns, silt/clay ratio's) of the Schelde estuary are distributed in relation to the existence of a turbidity maximum. Fine sand, silt and clay are deposited, while fluid mud occurs. Towards the North Sea, as well as in an upstream direction, the sediments become much coarser. Silt, clay and part of the sand are derived from the river drainage basin. Sands are also brought into the estuary from the North Sea. Flocculation is important as a depositional agent. However, deflocculation in a seawards direction, favouring seawards transport of silt and clay particles, is assumed. Movement of fluid mud deposits in relation to river discharge has not been observed. This can be explained by narrowing of the channel and the corresponding increase in stream power, where the river crosses the Boom clay (Oligocene).
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