Small Alluvial Delta – Maine

Sand from the nearby soils has been eroded into the channel and has been carried by this small stream where it was deposited at this location (Kennebunk Plains WMA, York Co., Maine).

 

Wetland and sandy delta

Wetland and sandy delta

 

Based on the topography and vegetation present, this location is where the “fast” waters of the shallow stream meet the “still” waters of the deeper pond.  The abrupt decrease in the speed of the stream flow (i.e., velocity) lowers the capability of the water to transport materials in suspension.  Thus the larger and heavier sands settle out and are deposited at this point.  Hence the delta formation.

 

Sandy delta and ripple dunes

Sandy delta and ripple dunes

 

Apparently the same forces and principles that are at work on the mighty Mississippi River are also operating in this small Maine wetland locale.  Presumably the underwater ripple features of dune ridges and inter-dune swales seen here have resulted from minor (?) changes in the inflowing currents and sediment loads.

Where is Mark Twain when you need him?

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