Physical controls on the dynamics of inlet sandbar systems
Source: Ocean Dynamics, Volume 54, Numbers 3-4, July 2004 , pp. 360-373(14)
Abstract:Knowledge of the physical processes acting at inlet systems and their interaction with sediments and sediment bodies is important to the understanding of such environments. The objectives of this study are to identify and assess the relative importance of the controlling processes across the complex sandbar system at the Teign inlet (Teignmouth, UK) through the combined application of a numerical model, field data and Argus video images. This allows the determination of the regions dominated by wave processes or by tidal processes and definition of the variability of these regions under different wave, tide and river-discharge conditions. Modelling experiments carried out for one stage of the evolution of the system show that the interaction between tidal motion and waves generates complex circulation patterns that drive the local sediment transport and sandbar dynamics, producing a cyclic morphological behaviour of the sandbars that form the ebb-tidal delta. The relative importance of each physical process on the sediment transport and consequent morphodynamics varies across the region. The main inlet channel is dominated by tidal action that directs the sediment transport as a consequence of the varying tidal flow asymmetry, resulting in net offshore transport. Sediment transport over the shoals and secondary channels at both sides of the main channel is dominated by wave-related processes, displacing sediment in the onshore direction. The interaction between waves and tide-generated currents controls the transport over the submerged sandbar that defines the channel’s seaward extend. High river discharge events are also proven to be important in this region, as they can change sediment-transport patterns across the area.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK, Email: email@example.com 2: School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 3: School of Earth, Ocean and Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, UK, Email: email@example.com
Publication date: July 1, 2004