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Morphological diversity and complex sediment recirculation on the ebb delta of a macrotidal inlet (Normandy, France): a multiple LiDAR dataset approach
Montreuil, A.-L.; Levoy, F; Bretel, P; Anthony, J (2014). Morphological diversity and complex sediment recirculation on the ebb delta of a macrotidal inlet (Normandy, France): a multiple LiDAR dataset approach. Geomorphology (Amst.) 219: 114-125.
In: Geomorphology. Elsevier: Amsterdam; New York; Oxford; Tokyo. ISSN 0169-555X; e-ISSN 1872-695X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Marine/Coastal; Brackish water
Author keywords
    Tidal inlet; Sand transport; Intertidal morphological changes; Swashbar; Transverse bar; DEM of Difference (DoD)

Authors  Top 
  • Montreuil, A.-L., more
  • Levoy, F
  • Bretel, P
  • Anthony, J

    The shoreline in the vicinity of inlets can exhibit considerable variability in morphology in both space and time. Most studies on inlets and their adjacent shores have focused on the morphodynamics of sediment by-passing mechanisms generated by longshore transport. For the first time, the morphology, sedimentary features, sediment budgets and patterns of evolution of the shoreline and ebb delta in a macrotidal inlet system have been investigated using seven LiDAR topographic surveys in Normandy, France, over a period of 3.7 years from February 2009 to October 2012. The ebb delta shows strong development on the northern flank of the inlet, expressed by a large sand spit and two types of superimposed dynamic sandy features: eight long-crested and highly mobile transverse bars and a large swash bar. Sand transport from N-S on the updrift beach feeds the growth of the distal part of the spit. This sand supply is further augmented by the onshore movement of a large swash bar welding to the upper foreshore. However, the main topographic changes were induced by the northward migration of the transverse bars on the ebb platform. This is driven by strong northward-directed tidal currents parallel to the shore. The bars exhibit a more complex morphology and dynamics along the seaward margin of the ebb delta where their mobility is controlled by wave action. Topographic measurements suggest a clear sand recirculation pattern. In this morphodynamic model, sand coming from the updrift upper beach is transported southward and deposited at the distal end of the spit, where it serves to construct transverse bars close to the tidal inlet. Transverse bar migration ends in the wave-exposed northern margin of the ebb delta, where they are integrated into the shallow dissipative shoreface sand sink. This sink nourishes the southward longshore transport to feed growth of the large swash bar and southward spit elongation. This semi-circular recirculation cell model involves an inversion of sand movement close to the inlet and emphasizes the combined role of tidal currents and waves in the large-scale 3D ebb-delta sediment dynamics in this macrotidal setting, in contrast to the much more commonly reported alongshore sediment by-passing mode of microtidal inlets.

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