Taiwan's unique setting allows it to release disproportionately large quantities of fluvial sediment into diverse dispersal systems around the island. Earthquakes, lithology, topography, cyclone-induced rainfall, and human disturbance play major roles in the catchment dynamics. Deep landslides dominate the sediment-removal process on land, giving fluvial sediment distinct geochemical signals. Extreme conditions in river runoff, sediment load, nearshore waves and currents, and the formation of gravity flows during typhoon events can be observed within short distances. Segregation of fresh biomass and clastic sediment occurs during the marine transport process, yet turbidity currents in the Gaoping Submarine Canyon carry woody debris. Strong currents in the slope and back-arc basin of the Okinawa Trough disperse fine-grained sediments rapidly and widely. Temporal deposition and remobilization may occur when the shallow Taiwan Strait acts as a receptacle. Taiwan can therefore serve as a demonstration of the episodic aspect of the source-to-sink pathway to both the coastal and deep-ocean environments.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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