Figure 3. Several scenarios might explain how a sediment discharge “signal” varies through the morphodynamic segments of sediment dispersal systems. Three scenarios are displayed and can be viewed from a “forward” modeling perspective or an “inverse” modeling perspective, as discussed in the text. The time scale is shown as arbitrary, but needs to be defined in order to identify the processes responsible for impacts on the signal transitions. The first row of graphs shows a strong uplands input that progressively attenuates downstream, but is still visible in the marine record. This might be the case in the Waipaoa basin. The second row shows a negative signal (e.g. the El Nino signal in the Fly system) damping completely downstream and being replaced with a signature driven by tidal, shelf or deep-water transport dynamics. A third scenario shows that even without variations in source sediment (e.g., Fly during many years), local processes can lead to significant temporal variation in sediment flux. The two focus sites have strong signals generated, but little is known about how the signals are transferred.