Processes of Sediment Exchange between Tidal Inlets, Ebb Deltas and Barrier Islands

  1. David G. Aubrey and
  2. Lee Weishar
  1. G.F. Oertel Director

Published Online: 23 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/LN029p0297

Hydrodynamics and Sediment Dynamics of Tidal Inlets

Hydrodynamics and Sediment Dynamics of Tidal Inlets

How to Cite

Oertel, G.F. (1988) Processes of Sediment Exchange between Tidal Inlets, Ebb Deltas and Barrier Islands, in Hydrodynamics and Sediment Dynamics of Tidal Inlets (eds D. G. Aubrey and L. Weishar), Springer-Verlag, New York. doi: 10.1029/LN029p0297

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1988

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783540968887

Online ISBN: 9781118669242

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Keywords:

  • Ebb tidal deltas and barrier islands;
  • Hydraulics and sedimentary processes;
  • Island-inlet sediment budget;
  • Net tidal delta flow (NTDF);
  • Processes of sediment exchange;
  • Quinby Inlet;
  • Tidal inlets and gorges

Summary

Tidal inlets of barrier island systems generally are considered sediment sinks, whereas islands are sources. However, this simplified concept assumes that littoral transport is the only means of moving material through the system and that most inlets are inefficient by-passers of sediment. At tide-dominated inlets, material scoured from inlet gorges may provide a significant sediment source that influences delta growth and bypassing.

The magnitude of sediment by-passing at inlets is a major factor determining whether islands or deltas become sediment sources or sinks. Bar by-passing and inlet current by-passing are processes that represent stages in a continuum between “total” bypassing and “no” by-passing.

An exhaustive literature exists on migrating inlets that are poor by-passers. Sediment accumulates in spits on the updrift barriers (sinks) and erodes from truncated ridges on downdrift barriers (sources). Migrating inlets that are efficient by-passers have accumulations of sediment on the downdrift ends of adjacent barriers.

Stable inlets that are poor by-passers have deep inlet gorges (sources) and large shore-normal tidal deltas (sinks). Sediment stored in deltas eventually may return to the islands via the adjacent shoreface.