Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 559142
Title Subtidal Flow Reversal Associated With Sediment Accretion in a Delta Channel
Author(s) Zhang, Wei; Feng, Haochuan; Zhu, Yuliang; Zheng, Jinhai; Hoitink, A.J.F.
Source Water Resources Research 55 (2019)12. - ISSN 0043-1397 - p. 10781 - 10795.
Department(s) WIMEK
Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) deltas tidal networks salt intrusion bifurcation Yangtze Delta Stokes transport

In branching delta channel networks, tides intrude into parallel river outlets causing complex tidal behavior. The tidal motion can impact the division of river discharge over distributary channels. Under some circumstances, the discharge averaged over a tidal cycle may even reverse, drawing ocean water intox the delta, such as observed in the Yangtze Delta, the Fly Delta and the Colorado Delta. Here, we study the flow reversal associated with sediment accumulation of a distributary channel in terms of tidal propagation and subtidal discharge dynamics, by focusing on the Yangtze Delta. The Yangtze Delta channel configuration represents a deep and wide main channel and a smaller side channel that has rapidly accreted over the past decades. A new mechanism is presented, which results in seawater transport across the shallow side channel, posing a risk to freshwater availability. The shallowest section in the side channel nearly acts as a tidal divide. In this section, the tide has the character of a standing wave, which implies that Stokes transport converges from opposite sides of the channel. This leads to significant variation of the total water storage in the side channel and subtidal water levels in the side channel being elevated above that in the main channel. The bulge of water that is stored during spring tide leaves the side channel toward neap tide, explaining reversal of the tide-averaged discharge and seawater intrusion when the river discharge is low.

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