On the basis of bathymetric and seismic data and data from piston cores collected by the Chinese-French marine geology and geophysics investigation of 1996, we discuss the internal architecture and mobility of tidal sand ridges in the East China Sea (ECS). We characterized the sand ridges on the middle to outer shelf of the ECS as tide-dominated sand ridges with southwest dipping beds, indicating that the regional net sediment transport is toward the southwest. As the sand ridges gradually migrate toward the southwest, new sand ridges are continually replacing old ones, and several generations of sand ridges have developed in the study area. High-resolution seismic data, acoustic Doppler current profiler data, and two 14C-dated piston cores, DGKS9614 and DGKS9612-from a sand ridge swale and crest, respectively-show that these sand ridges, which are at water depths of 90-100 m, have been migrating for the last ca. 2-3 kyr at least, though these ridges have previously been interpreted as moribund or relict. Sequence stratigraphic interpretation of seismic profiles and core data show that tidal ridges in the ECS evolved from muddier sand ridges formed during the last transgression to sandier shelf sand ridges in response to the shoreline retreat, which resulted in a decrease of riverine muddy sediments and recycling of sandy materials by tidal currents. Most active sand ridge formation occurred during the last transgression, but the present sand ridges on the middle to outer shelf are still being influenced by the modern hydrodynamics. Therefore, these sand ridges on the ECS shelf should be referred to as "quasi-active sand ridges" rather than as moribund or relict sand ridges.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Aquatic Science