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Tidal estuary width convergence: theory and form in North Australian estuaries

Journal Article


Abstract


  • In order to better understand the relations between tidal estuary shape and geomorphic processes, the width profiles of 79 tidal channels from within 30 estuaries in northern Australia have been extracted from LANDSAT 5 imagery using GIS. Statistics describing the shape and width convergence of individual channels and entire estuaries (which can contain several channels) are analysed along with proxies for the tidal range and fluvial inputs of the estuaries in question. The width profiles of most individual channels can be reasonably approximated with an exponential curve, and this is also true of the width profiles of estuaries. However, the shape of this exponential width profile is strongly related to the mouth width of the system. Channels and estuaries with larger mouths generally exhibit a more pronounced 'funnel shape' than those with narrower mouths, reflecting the hydrodynamic importance of the distance over which the channel or estuarine width converges. At the estuarine scale, this 'convergence length' also tends to be higher in estuaries which have larger catchments relative to their size. No clear relation between the estuarine width convergence length and tidal range could be discerned within the Northern Australian estuaries although, when these data are combined with data from other studies, a weak relationship emerges. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Davies, G. & Woodroffe, C. D. (2010). Tidal estuary width convergence: theory and form in North Australian estuaries. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 35 (7), 737-749.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-77953166988

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/5087

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 12

Start Page


  • 737

End Page


  • 749

Volume


  • 35

Issue


  • 7

Abstract


  • In order to better understand the relations between tidal estuary shape and geomorphic processes, the width profiles of 79 tidal channels from within 30 estuaries in northern Australia have been extracted from LANDSAT 5 imagery using GIS. Statistics describing the shape and width convergence of individual channels and entire estuaries (which can contain several channels) are analysed along with proxies for the tidal range and fluvial inputs of the estuaries in question. The width profiles of most individual channels can be reasonably approximated with an exponential curve, and this is also true of the width profiles of estuaries. However, the shape of this exponential width profile is strongly related to the mouth width of the system. Channels and estuaries with larger mouths generally exhibit a more pronounced 'funnel shape' than those with narrower mouths, reflecting the hydrodynamic importance of the distance over which the channel or estuarine width converges. At the estuarine scale, this 'convergence length' also tends to be higher in estuaries which have larger catchments relative to their size. No clear relation between the estuarine width convergence length and tidal range could be discerned within the Northern Australian estuaries although, when these data are combined with data from other studies, a weak relationship emerges. Copyright (C) 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • Davies, G. & Woodroffe, C. D. (2010). Tidal estuary width convergence: theory and form in North Australian estuaries. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 35 (7), 737-749.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-77953166988

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/scipapers/5087

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 12

Start Page


  • 737

End Page


  • 749

Volume


  • 35

Issue


  • 7