Publication Details

Carvalho, R. C. & Woodroffe, C. D. (2020). Surficial sediment data from the Shoalhaven River delta: Bed channel and adjacent beach. Data in Brief, 31 105813.


Estuaries on wave-dominated coasts generally comprise three sedimentary environments: fluvial sands and gravels derived from the catchment; marine sands characteristic of the beaches and nearshore; and silts and clays that accumulate in the sheltered central basin. Estuarine transition to deltaic form occurs when geomorphological maturity is achieved during coastal evolution. Sedimentary plains become infilled and a narrow channel connects the catchment and facilitates the transport of fluvial sediments to the coast. Here, we present modern sedimentary data that supports the idea that the wave-dominated Shoalhaven system in southeastern Australia has transitioned from an estuary to delta, transporting fluvial sediments to the modern adjacent beach and contributing to coastal progradation. A total of 141 bed channel and swash zone samples were collected from the estuarine channel of the Shoalhaven River and the adjacent Comerong Island and Seven Mile Beach, respectively. Surficial sediments were subject to grain size analysis, whereas random quartz grains from selected samples were used to indicate a qualitative degree of weathering using a scan electron microscopy (SEM). Additionally, selected samples were examined for mineralogical composition using x-ray diffraction (XRD) to provide understanding of sediment transport and provenance. The dataset, one of the most comprehensive modern sedimentary coastal records in Australia, can be used to understand the sediment dynamics and support a diverse range of coastal management decisions. The experiment design and analyses also serve as a model that can be replicated elsewhere to better understand fluvial delivery of sediments to the coast. The dataset and analyses presented here support the research article entitled “Evolution from estuary to delta: alluvial plain morphology and sedimentary characteristics of the Shoalhaven River mouth, southeastern Australia” [1], to which readers should refer to for interpretation.



Link to publisher version (DOI)