Combined Effects of Unsteady River Discharges and Wave Conditions on River Mouth Bar Morphodynamics

Weilun Gao, Dongdong Shao, Zhengbing Wang, William Nardin, Wei Yang, Tao Sun, Baoshan Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


River mouth bar formation, a key process in fluvial-deltaic morphodynamics, is subject to both river discharge and waves. Given the increasing variability of both forcings under continuous climate change and human interventions, assessing their combined effects on mouth bar formatio n is an imperative issue. In this study, an extensive set of combined high and low river flows coupled with varying wave conditions and sediment grain sizes was assumed for numerical experiments conducted in Delft3D-SWAN. The results suggested that three regimes existed for mouth bar formation, namely, stable, ephemeral, and absent. These regimes corresponded to consistently weak, initially-weak-then-strong, and initially strong relative wave strengths, respectively, during the onset and reworking stages. Suppression of mouth bar formation further led to the inhibition of deltaic distributary networks. These findings have important implications for water and sediment management strategies, such as water diversion and dam regulation, in estuaries and deltas to prevent coastal erosion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12,903-12,911
Number of pages9
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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