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Long-term evolution of sand waves in the Marsdiep inlet: II. Relation to hydrodynamics
Buijsman, M.C.; Ridderinkhof, H. (2008). Long-term evolution of sand waves in the Marsdiep inlet: II. Relation to hydrodynamics. Cont. Shelf Res. 28(9): 1202-1215.
In: Continental Shelf Research. Pergamon Press: Oxford; New York. ISSN 0278-4343, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    ADCP; Currents; Sand waves; Bedform migration; Sediment transport; Tidal asymmetry; Inlet; Wadden Sea

Authors  Top 
  • Buijsman, M.C.
  • Ridderinkhof, H., more

    A discussion is presented about the mechanisms that govern the spatial and seasonal variability in sand-wave height and migration speed in the 4 km wide Marsdiep tidal inlet, the Netherlands. Since 1998, current velocities and water depths have been recorded with an ADCP that is mounted under the ferry ‘Schulpengat’. In this paper, the current measurements were used to explain the sand-wave observations presented in Buijsman and Ridderinkhof [this issue. Long-term evolution of sand waves in the Marsdiep inlet. I: high-resolution observations. Continental Shelf Research, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2007.10.011]. Across nearly the entire inlet, the sand waves migrate in the flood direction. In the flood-dominated southern part of the inlet, the ‘measured’ (i.e. based on sand-wave shape and migration speed) and predicted bedload transport agree in direction, magnitude, and trends, whereas in the ebb-dominated northern part the predicted bedload and suspended load transport is opposite to the sand-wave migration. In the southern part, 55% of the bedload transport is due to tidal asymmetries and 45% due to residual currents. In addition to the well-known tidal asymmetries, asymmetries that arise from the interaction of M2 and its overtides with S2 and its compound tides are also important. It is hypothesised that in the northern part of the inlet the advection of suspended sand and lag effects govern the sand-wave migration. The relative importance of suspended load transport also explains why the sand waves have smaller lee-slope angles, are smaller, more rounded, and more three-dimensional in the northern half of the inlet. The sand waves in this part of the inlet feature the largest seasonal variability in height and migration speed. This seasonal variability may be attributed to the tides or a seasonal fluctuation in fall velocity. In both cases sediment transport is enhanced in winter, increasing sand-wave migration and decreasing sand-wave height. The influence of storms and estuarine circulation on the sand-wave variability is negligible.

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