Flow, Sediment, and Morpho-Dynamics of River Confluence in Tidal and Non-Tidal Environments

Ahmed Bilal, Qiancheng Xie, Yanyan Zhai*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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    River confluences are the key features of the drainage basins, as their hydrological, geomorphological, and ecological nature strongly influences the downstream river characteristics. The river reaches near the coastal zones, which also makes them under the influence of tidal currents in addition to their runoff. This causes a bi-directional flow and makes the study of confluences more interesting and complex in these areas. There is a reciprocal adjustment of flow, sediment, and morphology at a confluence, and its behaviors, differ greatly in tidal and non-tidal environments. Existing studies of the river junctions provide a good account of information about the hydrodynamics and bed morphology of the confluent areas, especially the unidirectional ones. The main factors which affect the flow field include the angle of confluence, flow-related ratios (velocity, discharge, and momentum) of the merging streams, and bed discordance. Hydraulically, six notable zones are identified for unidirectional confluences. However, for bi-directional (tidal) junctions, hydrodynamic zones always remain in transition but repeat in a cycle and make four different arrangements of flow features. This study discusses the hydrodynamics, sediment transport, morphological changes, and the factors affecting these processes and reviews the recent research about the confluences for these issues. All of these studies provide insights into the morpho-dynamics in tidal and non-tidal confluent areas.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number591
    JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
    Issue number8
    Number of pages21
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • River confluence
    • Morpho-dynamics
    • Tidal effects
    • Flow patterns
    • Sediment transport


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