Application of Multivariate Geostatistics to Investigate the Surface Sediment Distribution of the High-Energy and Shallow Sandy Spiekeroog Shelf at the German Bight, Southern North Sea


Surface sediment data acquired by the grab sampling technique were used in the present study to produce a high-resolution and full coverage surface grain-size mapping. The objective is to test whether the hypothetically natural relationship between the surface sediment distribution and complex bathymetry could be used to improve the quality of surface sediment patches mapping. This is based on our hypothesis that grain-size characteristics of the ridge surface sediments must be intrinsically related to the hydrodynamic condition, i.e. storm-induced currents and the geometry of the seabed morphology. The median grain-size data were obtained from grab samples with inclusive bathymetric point recorded at 713 locations on the high-energy and shallow shelf of the Spiekeroog Barrier Island at the German Bight of the Southern North Sea. The area features two-parallel shoreface-connected ridges which is situated obliquely WNW-SSE oriented and mostly sandy in texture. We made use the median grain-size (d50) as the predictand and the bathymetry as the covariable to produce a high-resolution raster map of median grain-size distribution using the Cokriging interpolation. From the cross-validation of the estimated median grain-size data with the measured ones, it is clear that the gradient of the linear regression line for Cokriging is leaning closer towards the theoretical perfect-correlation line (45°) compared to that for Anisotropy Kriging. The interpolation result with Cokriging shows more realistic estimates on the unknown points of the median grain-size and gave detail to surface sediment patchiness, which spatial scale is more or less in agreement with previous studies. In addition to the moderate correlation obtained from the Pearson correlation (r = 0.44), the cross-variogram shows a more precise nature of their spatial correlation, which is physically meaningful for the interpolation process. The present study partially contributes to the framework of habitat mapping and nature protection that is to fill the gaps in physical information in a high-energetic and shallow coastal shelf.

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E. Meilianda, K. Huhn, D. Alfian and A. Bartholomae, "Application of Multivariate Geostatistics to Investigate the Surface Sediment Distribution of the High-Energy and Shallow Sandy Spiekeroog Shelf at the German Bight, Southern North Sea," Open Journal of Marine Science, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2012, pp. 103-118. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2012.24014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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