Salinas River Estuary
Gregory B. Pasternack, Elizabeth B. Watson, Andrew B. Gray, Robert A. Wheatcroft, Miguel Goni.
Coastal California is an active margin tectonic region with small, mountainous catchments experiencing a dry-summer subtropical climate. The estuaries between these catchments and the ocean are small with a strongly seasonal imbalance between wind-driven barrier bar development and rainfall-induced floods. Given the seasonal, annual, and interannual intermittency of rainfall and runoff, estuarine sedimentation is highly episodic.
Multiple sediment cores were collected in the salt marshes of the Salinas River Lagoon and those of the surrounding area in Ekhorn Slough and the Pajaro River. As shown to the right, the cores are highly stratified with many strong indicators of environmental conditions. Mutliple studies have been done using different subsets of the cores to answer different scientific and management questions. This work is still on-going.
- Watson, E.B., Wasson, K., Woolfolk, A., VanDyke, E., Gray, A.B., Pasternack, G. B., Reidy, L.M., Pakenham, A., Wheatcroft, R. 2011. Applications from paleoecology to environmental management and restoration in a dynamic coastal environment. Restoration Ecology 19:6:765-775, doi: 10.1111/j.1526-100X.2010.00722.x.
- Watson, E.B., Pasternack, G. B., Gray, A.B., Goni, M. 2013. Particle size characterization of historic sediment deposition from a closed estuarine lagoon, Central California, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2013.04.006.
- Watson, E. B., Gray, A. B., Pasternack, G. B., Woolfolk, A. M. 2019. Retention of alluvial sediment in the tidal delta of a river draining a small, mountainous coastal watershed. Continental Shelf Research.