Skip to main content
placeholder image

Tidal flats and salt marshes

Chapter


Abstract


  • Along most coasts, fine-grained sediments are winnowed

    away by wave and current action, and landforms are rocky,

    or composed of sand or gravel. However, there are substantial

    sections of coast that are dominated by muddy sediments,

    either in sheltered locations where low-energy

    marine processes dominate, or where the supply of silt

    and clay-sized sediment is so large that there is a positive

    sediment budget. These muddy coasts are distinctive for

    several reasons. Firstly, fine sediment behaves differently

    from sand and gravel; it takes a long time to settle, but

    interactions between grains, such as flocculation, accelerate

    deposition and promote the cohesion of mud once

    deposited, meaning it requires significantly higher energy

    to resuspend. Secondly, these muddy sediments support

    significant biological activity, including organisms within

    the sediment (infauna) that bioturbate the sediments,

    organisms on the surface (benthic epibiota) that form mats

    and help bind the sediment, and important macrophyte

    communities in the upper intertidal zone. Thirdly, the

    accumulation of mud provides a sedimentary record of the

    gradual accretion that has occurred on these coastlines,

    providing the opportunity for palaeoenvironmental

    reconstruction

    of past habitats and the way in which they

    have responded to altered boundary conditions, such as

    sea-level change (see Chapter 1).

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Rogers, K. & Woodroffe, C. D. (2014). Tidal flats and salt marshes. In G. Masselink & R. Gehrels (Eds.), Coastal Environments and Global Change (pp. 227-250). United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1656

Book Title


  • Coastal Environments and Global Change

Start Page


  • 227

End Page


  • 250

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • Along most coasts, fine-grained sediments are winnowed

    away by wave and current action, and landforms are rocky,

    or composed of sand or gravel. However, there are substantial

    sections of coast that are dominated by muddy sediments,

    either in sheltered locations where low-energy

    marine processes dominate, or where the supply of silt

    and clay-sized sediment is so large that there is a positive

    sediment budget. These muddy coasts are distinctive for

    several reasons. Firstly, fine sediment behaves differently

    from sand and gravel; it takes a long time to settle, but

    interactions between grains, such as flocculation, accelerate

    deposition and promote the cohesion of mud once

    deposited, meaning it requires significantly higher energy

    to resuspend. Secondly, these muddy sediments support

    significant biological activity, including organisms within

    the sediment (infauna) that bioturbate the sediments,

    organisms on the surface (benthic epibiota) that form mats

    and help bind the sediment, and important macrophyte

    communities in the upper intertidal zone. Thirdly, the

    accumulation of mud provides a sedimentary record of the

    gradual accretion that has occurred on these coastlines,

    providing the opportunity for palaeoenvironmental

    reconstruction

    of past habitats and the way in which they

    have responded to altered boundary conditions, such as

    sea-level change (see Chapter 1).

Publication Date


  • 2014

Citation


  • Rogers, K. & Woodroffe, C. D. (2014). Tidal flats and salt marshes. In G. Masselink & R. Gehrels (Eds.), Coastal Environments and Global Change (pp. 227-250). United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/1656

Book Title


  • Coastal Environments and Global Change

Start Page


  • 227

End Page


  • 250

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom