Bedforms of the Middle Reaches of the Tay Estuary, Scotland

  1. N. D. Smith2 and
  2. J. Rogers3
  1. S. F. K. Wewetzer and
  2. R. W. Duck

Published Online: 17 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304213.ch3

Fluvial Sedimentology VI

Fluvial Sedimentology VI

How to Cite

Wewetzer, S. F. K. and Duck, R. W. (1999) Bedforms of the Middle Reaches of the Tay Estuary, Scotland, in Fluvial Sedimentology VI (eds N. D. Smith and J. Rogers), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304213.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Department of Geosciences, 214 Bessey Hall, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68588-0340, USA

  2. 3

    Cape Town, South Africa

Author Information

  1. Department of Geography, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, Scotland, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 7 OCT 1999

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632053544

Online ISBN: 9781444304213



  • bedforms of middle reaches of Tay Estuary, Scotland;
  • Tay Railway Bridge and Tay Road Bridge - causing obstructions to free flow of the tidal waters;
  • middle-reach bedforms of Tay estuary;
  • dune wavelength;
  • geometrical parameters of dunes;
  • intertidal bedform size and morphological characteristics


The distribution of bedforms in part of the middle reaches of the macrotidal Tay Estuary, Scotland, has, for the first time, been surveyed systematically using side-scan sonar. The main bedform types recorded were dunes of various sizes and morphologies, with small wavelength dunes occupying most of the channel areas. Dunes of three wavelength classes (small, 0.6–5.0 m; medium, 5.0–10.0 m; large, 10.0–100.0 m) were recorded on Middle Bank, a major sand bank that divides the study area into the main Navigation Channel to the south and Queen's Road Channel to the north. Medium height dunes (0.25–0.50 m) are the dominant dune height class in the study area, characterizing Middle Bank as well as most channel areas. Dune dimensions measured from sonographs were examined in terms of intercorrelations of wavelength, height and corresponding water depth. Although some researchers have found significant correlations between these variables in flume experiments and in field studies of intertidal environments, dune height and wavelength were not correlated or weakly correlated with water depth in this study. It is suggested that the relationships between these parameters established previously are not generally applicable in estuarine environments.