Papers by Edwards, J.H.

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Harrison, S.E. , Locker, S.D. , Hine, A.C. , Edwards, J.H. , Naar, D.F. , Twichell, D. , and Mallinson, D.J. . 2003. Sediment-starved sand ridges on a mixed carbonate/siliciclastic inner shelf off west-central Florida. Marine Geology, v. 200, P. 171-194
High-resolution side-scan mosaics, sediment analyses, and physical process data have revealed that the mixed carbonate/siliciclastic, inner shelf of west-central Florida supports a highly complex field of active sand ridges mantled by a hierarchy of bedforms. The sand ridges, mostly oriented obliquely to the shoreline trend, extend from 2 km to over 25 km offshore. They show many similarities to their well-known counterparts situated along the US Atlantic margin in that both increase in relief with increasing water depth, both are oriented obliquely to the coast, and both respond to modern shelf dynamics. There are significant differences in that the sand ridges on the west-central Florida shelf are smaller in all dimensions, have a relatively high carbonate content, and are separated by exposed rock surfaces. They are also shoreface-detached and are sediment-starved, thus stunting their development. Morphological details are highly distinctive and apparent in side-scan imagery due to the high acoustic contrast. The seafloor is active and not a relict system as indicated by: (1) relatively young AMS 14C dates (<1600 yr BP) from forams in the shallow subsurface (1.6 meters below seafloor), (2) apparent shifts in sharply distinctive grayscale boundaries seen in time-series side-scan mosaics, (3) maintenance of these sharp acoustic boundaries and development of small bedforms in an area of constant and extensive bioturbation, (4) sediment textural asymmetry indicative of selective transport across bedform topography, (5) morphological asymmetry of sand ridges and 2D dunes, and (6) current-meter data indicating that the critical threshold velocity for sediment transport is frequently exceeded. Although larger sand ridges are found along other portions of the west-central Florida inner shelf, these smaller sand ridges are best developed seaward of a major coastal headland, suggesting some genetic relationship. The headland may focus and accelerate the N?S reversing currents. An elevated rock terrace extending from the headland supports these ridges in a shallower water environment than the surrounding shelf, allowing them to be more easily influenced by currents and surface gravity waves. Tidal currents, storm-generated flows, and seasonally developed flows are shore-parallel and oriented obliquely to the NW?SE trending ridges, indicating that they have developed as described by the Huthnance model. Although inner shelf sand ridges have been extensively examined elsewhere, this study is the first to describe them in a low-energy, sediment-starved, dominantly mixed siliciclastic/carbonate sedimentary environment situated on a former limestone platform.
Edwards, J.H. , Harrison, S.E. , Locker, S.D. , Hine, A.C. , and Twichell, D.C. . 2003. Stratigraphic framework of sediment-starved sand ridges on a mixed siliciclastic/carbonate inner shelf; west-central Florida . Marine Geology, v. 200, p. 195-217
Seismic reflection profiles and vibracores have revealed that an inner shelf, sand-ridge field has developed over the past few thousand years situated on an elevated, broad bedrock terrace. This terrace extends seaward of a major headland associated with the modern barrier-island coastline of west-central Florida. The overall geologic setting is a low-energy, sediment-starved, mixed siliciclastic/carbonate inner continental shelf supporting a thin sedimentary veneer. This veneer is arranged in a series of subparallel, shore-oblique, and to a minor extent, shore-parallel sand ridges. Seven major facies are present beneath the ridges, including a basal Neogene limestone gravel facies and a blue-green clay facies indicative of dominantly authigenic sedimentation. A major sequence boundary separates these older units from Holocene age, organic-rich mud facies (marsh), which grades upward into a muddy sand facies (lagoon or shallow open shelf/seagrass meadows). Cores reveal that the muddy shelf facies is either in sharp contact or grades upward into a shelly sand facies (ravinement or sudden termination of seagrass meadows). The shelly sand facies grades upward to a mixed siliciclastic/carbonate facies, which forms the sand ridges themselves. This mixed siliciclastic/carbonate facies differs from the sediment on the beach and shoreface, suggesting insignificant sediment exchange between the offshore ridges and the modern coastline. Additionally, the lack of early Holocene, pre-ridge facies in the troughs between the ridges suggests that the ridges themselves do not migrate laterally extensively. Radiocarbon dating has indicated that these sand ridges can form relatively quickly (~1.3 ka) on relatively low-energy inner shelves once open-marine conditions are available, and that frequent, high-energy, storm-dominated conditions are not necessarily required. We suggest that the two inner shelf depositional models presented (open-shelf vs. migrating barrier-island) may have co-existed spatially and/or temporally to explain the distribution of facies and vertical facies contacts.
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