Articles | Volume 5, issue 4
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 617–652, 2017
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 617–652, 2017
Research article
09 Oct 2017
Research article | 09 Oct 2017

Effects of mud supply on large-scale estuary morphology and development over centuries to millennia

Lisanne Braat et al.

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Cited articles

Ahnert, F.: Estuarine meanders in the Chesapeake Bay area, Geogr. Rev., 50, 390–401, 1960.
Baas, J., Jago, C., Macklin, M., and CCCR Team: The river-estuarine transition zone (RETZ) of the Afon Dyfi (West Wales) as test bed for sediment transfer between river catchments and coastal environments, BSRG 2008, 14–17 December, Liverpool, 2008.
Bertin, X., Fortunato, A., and Oliveira, A.: A modeling-based analysis of processes driving wave-dominated inlets, Cont. Shelf Res., 29, 819–834, 2009.
Boyd, R., Dalrymple, R., and Zaitlin, B.: Classification of clastic coastal depositional environments, Sediment. Geol., 80, 139–150, 1992.
Brown, J. and Davies, A.: Methods for medium-term prediction of the net sediment transport by waves and currents in complex coastal regions, Cont. Shelf Res., 29, 1502–1514, 2009.
Short summary
Mud raises concern in the short-term management of estuaries, but it is not known whether cohesive mud affects the long-term development of estuaries. We discovered that a small supply of mud from the river confines the estuary by forming stable mudflats on the sides in centuries, whereas estuaries with only sand continue to grow. Mudflats also reduce the shifting of channels and bars. This implies that changes in mud supply in estuaries may have led to changes in shape and dynamics in the past.