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Non-linear dynamics and attractors for the entrance state of a tidal estuary
Hinwood, J.B.; McLean, E.J.; Wilson, B.C. (2012). Non-linear dynamics and attractors for the entrance state of a tidal estuary. Coast. Eng. 61: 20-26. http://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.coastaleng.2011.11.007
In: Coastal Engineering: An International Journal for Coastal, Harbour and Offshore Engineers. Elsevier: Amsterdam; Lausanne; New York; Oxford; Shannon; Tokyo. ISSN 0378-3839, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine
Author keywords
    Estuary; Tidal inlet; Dynamics; Attractor; Evolution; Stability

Authors  Top 
  • Hinwood, J.B.
  • McLean, E.J.
  • Wilson, B.C.

Abstract
    Many small estuaries comprise a tidal basin linked to the sea by a constricted entrance channel, itself formed by the tidal and fluvial flows. Its dimensions control the tidal, salinity and water quality regimes within the estuary. Methods of non-linear dynamics have been applied to discover and characterise the attractors for the entrance channel. An attractor (node) is a quasi-equilibrium state to which the estuary evolves over time. Two attractors have been identified, one in which the entrance is tidally dominated, known crudely from field studies of tidal prism–entrance area relationships, and a new attractor in which the river flow dominates the hydrodynamics but the small tidal flow dominates the evolution. Attractor methods provide a powerful new tool for understanding and managing estuaries.

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