Influence of the nodal tide on the morphological response of estuaries

Wang, Z. and Townend, I. (2011) Influence of the nodal tide on the morphological response of estuaries. Marine Geology, 291-94. pp. 73-82.

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The nodal tide causes a periodic variation in the mean tidal range, with a period of 18.6 years and amplitude of about 4% of the mean range. As the cross-sectional area of the channel in an estuary has been observed to be related to the tidal prism, such a variation of the tidal range can significantly influence the morphological development of tide-dominated estuaries. Field observations from the Humber Estuary in England confirm that there is indeed an 18.6 year cycle in the total water volume of the estuary. In this estuary, with a relatively small morphological time scale, the response to the nodal tide variation appears to dominate the long-term large-scale sediment budget changes of the estuary. The semi-empirical model ESTMORF was able to reproduce these observations, in terms of the observed amplitude and phase lag (relative to the variation of the tidal amplitude) of the morphological response. It also showed good agreement with the along estuary variation in both the magnitude and phase of the response. To examine the character of the response in more detail, a simplified analytical solution has been derived from the governing non-linear equations. This has been investigated in terms of the sensitivity of the model to the various model parameters and by comparison with the historic data. The results demonstrate how the system response is strongly dependent on the morphological time scale of the estuary. Furthermore, the response is not uniform but varies along the length of the estuary, being most marked at the mouth and decaying up estuary. When examining changes in geomorphological features, such as the intertidal area, an appreciation of the role of the nodal tide is shown to be essential if historic data are to be properly interpreted.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Maritime > General
Maritime > Estuary management
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2020 09:49
Last Modified: 29 May 2020 12:34

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