Exploring the impacts of multiple tidal constituents and varying river flow on long-term: Large-scale estuarine morphodynamics by means of a 1-D model

Leicheng Guo, M. van der Wegen, Zheng Bing Wang, Dano Roelvink, Qing He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tidal asymmetry is an important mechanism generating tidal residual sediment transport (TRST) in tidal environments. So far, it is known that a number of tidal interactions (e.g., M2-M4 and M2-O1-K1) can induce tidal asymmetry and associated TRST; however, their variability and morphodynamic impacts are insufficiently explored. Inspired by the river and tidal forcing conditions in the Yangtze River Estuary, we explore the morphodynamic development of a 560 km long estuary under the boundary forcing conditions of varyingly combined tidal constituents and river discharges using a schematized 1-D morphodynamic model for long-term (millennial) simulations. We then employ an analytical scheme which integrates sediment transport as a function of flow velocities to decompose the contribution of different tidal interactions on TRST and to explain how the river and tidal interactions control TRST and associated morphodynamics. Model results display varying equilibrium bed profiles. Analytical results suggest that (1) a series of tidal interactions creates multiple tidal asymmetries and associated TRST, (2) river flow modulates tidal asymmetry nonlinearly in space, and (3) more tidal constituents at the sea boundary persistently enhance the seaward TRST through river-tide interactions. It is the combined effects of multiple tidal asymmetries and river-tide interactions that determine the net TRST and consequent morphodynamic development. It thus suggests that tidal harmonics of significant amplitudes need to be considered properly as boundary conditions for long-term, large-scale morphodynamic modeling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1000-1022
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
Volume121
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2016

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