Changes in Sedimentation Rates and Tidal Mudflat Area
Tidal mudflats grew in response to the great influx of hydraulic mining debris. The 1887 survey of San Pablo Bay showed the largest mudflats (68 square kilometer, about 16,000 acres). Mudflats eroded rapidly as the amount of mining debris washed into the Bay decreased. Area stabilized in the early to mid-1900's. Mudflats eroded at a rate of about 90 acres a year from 1951 to 1983. This latest episode of erosion could be the result of decreased sediment supply from water projects reducing peak flows (responsible to most of the sediment transport to the Bay).