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Multivariate analysis of inlet morphodynamics: The mixed sand-gravel ebb-tidal delta of Deben Estuary, Suffolk

Gong, J; Burningham, H; (2024) Multivariate analysis of inlet morphodynamics: The mixed sand-gravel ebb-tidal delta of Deben Estuary, Suffolk. Geomorphology , 454 , Article 109163. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2024.109163. Green open access

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Abstract

The morphodynamics of inlets and ebb-tidal deltas often exhibit cyclic behaviour, controlled by wave-tide interactions and the influence of these on sediment-bypassing processes. Variation in the form and timing of inlet dynamics can occur in response to changes in the key sediment transport processes and sediment supply, and particularly the relative dominance of differential wave direction driving alongshore sediment transport. This paper investigates the morphodynamics of the Deben ebb-tidal delta through multivariate analysis of multi-annual bathymetry and metocean parameters covering the period 1991 to 2023. Results show that sediment bypassing and associated morphological change in this ebb-tidal delta follows variable behaviour mid-cycle, leading to change in the morphology and configuration of the ebb-delta from cycle to cycle. In the most recent cycle (since 2003), delta volume followed a stepwise growth driven by sediment influx periods, evident primarily in the updrift shoal, followed by cross-shore redistribution. Interannual variability in wave climate was clustered into four groups that capture the relative balance between the dominant NE and SW forcing. Sediment influx periods are mostly associated with subdued SW and increased NE forcing, but the summer and winter NE wave climate play different roles on the up- and downdrift, and upper and lower components of the ebb-delta system. Tide level has increased in the last 33 years, which is strongly correlated with ebb-delta volume increase. Wave and tide conditions have discrete and independent effects on the ebb-tidal delta, whereas wave-tide interactions do not significantly change these underlying influences.

Type: Article
Title: Multivariate analysis of inlet morphodynamics: The mixed sand-gravel ebb-tidal delta of Deben Estuary, Suffolk
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2024.109163
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2024.109163
Language: English
Additional information: © 2024 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)
Keywords: Multivariate analysis, Inlet morphodynamics, Bathymetric analysis, Volumetric analysis, Wave climate, Metocean forcing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10190517
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