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Seabed dynamics in a large coastal embayment: 180 years of morphological change in the outer Thames estuary

Burningham, H; French, J; (2011) Seabed dynamics in a large coastal embayment: 180 years of morphological change in the outer Thames estuary. HYDROBIOLOGIA , 672 (1) 105 - 119. 10.1007/s10750-011-0760-y. Green open access

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Abstract

This article analyses the morphological history of the outer Thames seabed, covering over 3,000 km 2 from Aldeburgh (Suffolk), to Southend-on-Sea (Essex) and Margate (Kent). The region has been depicted on bathymetric charts since the sixteenth century, and has been formally charted since the eighteenth century. Charts published since the early 1800s incorporate sufficient grid reference or ground control detail for georectification onto a common coordinate system (British National Grid). The morphological history of the outer seabed was thus reconstructed through the digitisation and interpolation of soundings onto a regular grid (3D surface). The evolution of seabed morphology was examined using transects, bathymetric change maps and spatial statistics. The results show considerable spatial variability in seabed behaviour. Within the central Thames, banks have experienced significant depth changes can be associated with lateral shifts in individual banks. Some of the outer banks in this region exhibit progressive elongation. Shifts in bank position across the Suffolk shoreface appear to be more subtle, and there is evidence here of both onshore and offshore migration. There is no clear evidence of any regionally coherent response to large-scale historical forcing such as sea-level rise.

Type: Article
Title: Seabed dynamics in a large coastal embayment: 180 years of morphological change in the outer Thames estuary
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10750-011-0760-y
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10750-011-0760-y
Additional information: The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Keywords: Estuary, Sandbanks, Tidal channels, Shelf ridges, Morphodynamics, Geomorphology, Bathymetry, Hydrographic survey, Marine habitats, SAND TRANSPORT, NORTH-SEA, INDICATORS, EROSION, BANKS, GIS, UK
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/1316823
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