McKnight, K.; Braud, A.; Dusterhoff, S.; Grenier, L.; Shaw, S.; Lowe, J.; Foley, M.; McKee, L. 2023. Conceptual Understanding of Fine Sediment Transport in San Francisco Bay. SFEI Contribution No. 1114. San Francisco Estuary Institute: Richmond, CA.

Sediment is a lifeblood of San Francisco Bay (Bay). It serves three key
functions: (1) create and maintain tidal marshes and mudflats, (2) transport
nutrients and contaminants, and (3) reduce impacts from excessive human-derived
nutrients in the Bay. Because of these important roles, we need a
detailed understanding of sediment processes in the Bay.

This report offers a conceptual understanding of how fine-grained sediment
(i.e. silt and finer, henceforth called fine sediment) moves around at different
scales within the Bay, now and into the future, to synthesize current knowledge
and identify critical knowledge gaps. This information can be used to support
Bay sediment management efforts and help prioritize funding for research
and monitoring. In particular, this conceptual understanding is designed to
inform future San Francisco Bay Regional Monitoring Program (RMP) work
under the guidance of the Sediment Workgroup of the RMP for Water Quality
in San Francisco Bay, which brings together experts who have worked on
many different components of the landscape, including watersheds and
tributaries, marshes and mudflats, beaches, and the open Bay. This report
describes sediment at two scales: a conceptual understanding of open-Bay
sediment processes at the Bay and subembayment scale (Chapter 2); and
a conceptual understanding of sediment processes at the baylands scale
(Chapter 3). Chapter 4 summarizes the key knowledge gaps and provides
recommendations for future studies.