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Tidal-Inlet Processes and Morphology Related to the Transport of Sediments

Paul D. Komar
Journal of Coastal Research
SPECIAL ISSUE NO. 23. Understanding Physical Processes at Tidal Inlets: Based on Contributions by Panel on Scoping Field and Laboratory Investigations in Coastal Inlet Research (WINTER 1996), pp. 23-45
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25736067
Page Count: 23
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Tidal-Inlet Processes and Morphology Related to the Transport of Sediments
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Abstract

Tidal inlets are complex due to the presence of reversing currents and varying levels of wave activity, and their morphologies are characterized by large shoals and systems of channels containing sand waves and megaripples. The transport of sediment is the link that connects the processes of waves and currents to the morphology. The objective of this review is to examine inlets as sediment-transport systems, including summaries of their morphologies and how the patterns of shoals and channels reflect the paths of sediment movement. A review is presented of investigations that have been undertaken to either measure short-term sediment transport rates or to calculate the potential long-term transport from measurements of current velocities or wave-energy levels. This review concludes with a discussion of the difficulties inherent in evaluating sediment transport within tidal inlets, and considers what additional research is needed.

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