Observations of cross-shore chenier dynamics in Demak, Indonesia

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Cheniers are important for stabilising mud-dominated coastlines. A chenier is a body of wave-reworked, coarse-grained sediment consisting of sand and shells overlying a muddy substrate. In this paper we present and analyse a week of field observations of the dynamics of a single chenier along the coast of Demak, Indonesia. Despite relatively calm hydrodynamics during the one-week observational period, the chenier migrated surprisingly fast in the landward direction. The role of the tide and waves on the cross-shore chenier dynamics is explored using velocity moments as a proxy for the sediment transport. This approach shows that both tide and waves are capable of transporting the sediment of the chenier system. During calm conditions (representative for the south-east monsoon season), the tides generate a landward-directed sediment transport when the chenier crest is high relative to mean sea level. Waves only generate substantial sediment transport (direct, via skewness, and indirect, via stirring) when the chenier is submerged during periods with higher waves. The cross-shore chenier dynamics are very sensitive to the timing of tide and waves: most transport takes place when high water levels coincide with (relatively) high waves.

Original languageEnglish
Article number972
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Cheniers
  • Field measurements
  • Indonesia
  • Mangroves
  • Muddy coast
  • Sediment transport

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