Sedimentary Environments Within Little Sarasota Bay, Florida

Michael J. Bland, Richard A. Davis, Jr.

Abstract


Tidal circulation within Little Sarasota Bay is a major factor controlling the sediment distribution within the bay. The dominant sediment is fine grained, quartz sand with minor amounts of shell gravel, phosphorite pebbles and granules, quartz granules, and mud. The three major sedimentary environments characterized by these sediments are; low energy bay, protected bay and open bay. The low energy bay and protected bay environments are restricted to the shallow bay margins and central area of the bay where circulation is very sluggish, while open bay environments are in the north and south areas of the bay where higher energy conditions exist. With the closure of Midnight Pass, the direct link to the Gulf of Mexico, the central area of the bay has experienced an even greater reduction in energy levels. With the continued closure of this pass, the organic matter content within the sediments in this area will rise drastically, thus, possibly, causing a decrease in the quality of bay water.


Keywords


Coastal bays; sedimentary environments; circulation patterns; organic matter

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