Long-term and high resolution measurements of bed level changes in a temperate, microtidal coastal lagoon

Thorbjørn J. Andersen, Morten Pejrup, Allan Aasbjerg Nielsen

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    This study presents the results of a long-term monitoring program of bed level changes measured during 8 yr at an intertidal mudflat in a microtidal, temperate coastal lagoon. Additionally, bed level measurements obtained at a 10-min temporal resolution at the same tidal flat and at the bed of a nearby tidal channel are presented. Short-term changes in bed level are one or two orders of magnitude larger than the annual net-deposition rate, which shows that the environment is highly dynamic with respect to erosion, transport and deposition of fine-grained sediment. Some seasonality in the bed level changes was observed and there is a tendency for mudflat deposition in spring, summer and early autumn and erosion during the rest of the year, but interannual variations are large and different parts of the mudflat show different seasonal signals. A close coupling between sub- and intertidal deposition and erosion was observed. The time-series showed that some of the material eroded from the mudflat was not exported to the open sea, but instead temporarily deposited in a nearby shallow tidal channel and later returned to the mudflat during calmer weather conditions. These findings support previously published hypothesis and results of modelling studies. Based on the observed abundance of fine-grained sediment at the study sites and the high accretion rates generally found on fine-grained tidal flats in the Danish Wadden Sea area, it is argued that these fine-grained tidal flats are not seriously threatened by the expected sea level rise in the 21st century.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMarine Geology
    Issue number1-2
    Pages (from-to)115-125
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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