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Open AccessArticle

Tidal Flats Morphodynamics: A new Conceptual Model to Predict Their Evolution over a Medium-Long Period

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Dipartimento Politecnico di Ingegneria e Architettura, University of Udine, 33100 Udine, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Matematica e Geoscienze, University of Trieste, 34128 Trieste, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061176
Received: 8 April 2019 / Revised: 16 May 2019 / Accepted: 3 June 2019 / Published: 5 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydraulics)
The morphological evolution of tidal flats has been widely investigated in recent years as it represents a very important topic which is highly related to the climate-driven environmental changes. The period over which geomorphological changes can be noted is a multi-year up to pluri-decennial time scale, defined as medium-long period. This work presents a new conceptual model which is able to predict and estimate a limit depth between an erosion condition and a no-erosion condition for tidal flats. The domains of applicability are shallow and confined basins, where tidal flats are characterized by near-horizontal topography, as occurs inside lagoons. The theoretical approach provides a general equation which relates the limit depth of tidal flats to current velocity and critical erosion shear stress. The procedure, followed through to its development, takes into account the important role of the bottom friction dissipation in wind wave generation process for shallow water. The relationship between tidal flat depth, current velocity and critical shear stress is provided in three different configurations, depending on the direction of the wave motion compared to the current. The limit depth compared to the measured depth can suggest if tidal flats tend or not towards an erosion state over a medium-long period. In this sense, the conceptual model provides a relevant contribution to the comprehension of morphodynamics of these important environments. This approach has been validated with its application to a real context and the results are provided in the paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: finite depth wind waves; bottom friction dissipation; dynamic equilibrium; tidal flats; bottom shear stress finite depth wind waves; bottom friction dissipation; dynamic equilibrium; tidal flats; bottom shear stress
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MDPI and ACS Style

Petti, M.; Pascolo, S.; Bosa, S.; Bezzi, A.; Fontolan, G. Tidal Flats Morphodynamics: A new Conceptual Model to Predict Their Evolution over a Medium-Long Period. Water 2019, 11, 1176.

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