Clay Fraction Distribution in the Sediments of the Senegal River Estuary after the Diama (Senegal) Dam Construction

Abstract : Clay fraction contents distribution in the Senegal River estuary after the building of the anti-salt Diama dam has shown that upstream sediments are very muddy. Clay fraction content is as high as 60 % of sediments in the middle of the channel with a pronounced downstream decreasing trend on the banks comparing to the contents in the middle of the channel. Towards the river mouth, the fine fraction tends to disappear leading to a shelly sand sediment type essentially. During low water period, clay fraction contents increase particularly at the vicinity of the dam reservoir. In the estuarine reach, downstream the dam, this increasing trend during the low water stage is particularly marked in the middle of the channel. The clay mineral assemblage shows that kaolinite and smectite are the main components, whereas interlayered illite-smectite and illite are minor constituents. The upstream-downstream profile shows a decrease in kaolinite content although it remains the dominant constituent. Floating clay minerals (smectite and illite-smectite) concentrate rather in the middle of the channel and on the right bank where the water depth is higher. According to seasonal variations, the distribution of these clay minerals often follows the concentration of the entire clay fraction; their contents increase during low water stage period. This hydrodynamics sorting of floating minerals, evident in the up-dam zone, tends to disappear in the eastern reach between Diama dam and the mouth. Clay minerals assemblage shows, through the time, a rather homogeneous composition which does not seem to be altered by the seasonal fluctuations.
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Ada Ndiaye, Bachir Diouf, Mariline Diara, Pierre Giresse. Clay Fraction Distribution in the Sediments of the Senegal River Estuary after the Diama (Senegal) Dam Construction. Journal of Shipping and Ocean Engineering, David Publishing, 2016, p. 35-45. ⟨10.17265/2159-5879/2016.01.005⟩. ⟨hal-01292427⟩

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