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Sedimentation Changes in San Pablo Bay 1856 - 1983
United States Geological Survey
Jaffe, B. E., Smith, R. E., and Torresan, L. Z.
  • Debris from hydraulic mining of gold in the Sierra foothills was washed into the Delta and San Francisco Bay in the latter part of last century. About 300 million cubic meters of this sediment was deposited in San Pablo Bay filling it an average of 1 meter (3').
  • San Pablo Bay lost 7 million cubic meters of sediment from 1951 to 1983. This could be caused by water projects decreasing peak flows, which in turn decrease sediment input into the Bay.
  • Changes in sedimentation in San Pablo Bay affect its ecosystem in many ways. For example, more than 9,000 acres of tidal mudflat, rich habitats and sources of sediment to wetlands, were lost from the fringes of San Pablo Bay as hydraulic mining debris deposited in the 1800's was eroded by currents and waves in the 1900's. Sediment input into the system was not great enough to overcome the erosive power of currents and waves.

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