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Sediment transfer and accumulation in two contrasting salt marsh/mudflat systems: the Seine estuary (France) and the Medway estuary (UK)

Sediment transfer and accumulation in two contrasting salt marsh/mudflat systems: the Seine estuary (France) and the Medway estuary (UK)
Sediment transfer and accumulation in two contrasting salt marsh/mudflat systems: the Seine estuary (France) and the Medway estuary (UK)
Understanding the dynamics of fine sediment transport across the upper intertidal zone is critical in managing the erosion and accretion of intertidal areas, and in managed realignment/estuarine habitat recreation strategies. This paper examines the transfer of sediments between salt marsh and mudflat environments in two contrasting macrotidal estuaries: the Seine (France) and the Medway (UK), using data collected during two joint field seasons undertaken by the Anglo-French RIMEW project (Rives-Manche Estuary Watch). High-resolution ADCP, Altimeter, OBS and ASM measurements from mudflat and marsh surface environments have been combined with sediment trap data to examine short-term sediment transport processes under spring tide and storm flow conditions. In addition, the longer-term accumulation of sediment in each salt marsh system has been examined via radiometric dating of sediment cores. In the Seine, rapid sediment accumulation and expansion of salt marsh areas, and subsequent loss of open intertidal mudflats, is a major problem, and the data collected here indicate a distinct net landward flux of sediments into the marsh interior. Suspended sediment fluxes are much higher than in the Medway estuary (averaging 0.09 g/m3/s), and vertical accumulation rates at the salt marsh/mudflat boundary exceed 3 cm/y. Suspended sediment data collected during storm surge conditions indicate that significant in-wash of fine sediments into the marsh interior can occur during (and following) these high-magnitude events. In contrast to the Seine, the Medway is undergoing erosion and general loss of salt marsh areas. Suspended sediment fluxes are of the order of 0.03 g/m3/s, and the marsh system here has much lower rates of vertical accretion (sediment accumulation rates are ca. 4 mm/y). Current velocity data for the Medway site indicate higher velocities on the ebb tide than occur on the flood tide, which may be sufficient to remobilise sediments deposited on the previous tide and so force net removal of material from the marsh.
Suspended sediment, Sedimentation, 210Pb, 137Cs, Medway, Seine, Estuary
0018-8158
125-134
Cundy, A.B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Lafite, R.
01cfecda-a2c3-417a-ba66-a6f41c531c50
Taylor, J.A.
a0673266-67fc-47a5-81ac-d0394584cc5f
Hopkinson, L.
bd4c65de-14e5-4e90-8ca5-4c6986dc87f3
Deloffre, J.
734d9986-8dac-4c62-8e29-d897bc42b042
Charman, R.
6869b051-58f6-4030-bdea-ad0840e59fd8
Gilpin, M.
5cb99792-328b-4ccc-ab89-66f0fce718db
Spencer, K.L.
867af5cf-ab2a-4976-aab8-25b6ac09107a
Carey, P.J.
e9ba5710-6db6-4739-880d-21b4f8ed5ccd
Heppell, C.M.
6f6dd6fa-8554-4e24-a960-38a5a4705546
Ouddane, B.
f4a9fd79-6e18-4f1c-b7ea-bf76d219835e
De Wever, S.
06002bc5-5fba-4edd-a520-983159d3c157
Tuckett, A.
3adb3729-39ba-43c9-990b-36c6cf8801b3
Cundy, A.B.
994fdc96-2dce-40f4-b74b-dc638286eb08
Lafite, R.
01cfecda-a2c3-417a-ba66-a6f41c531c50
Taylor, J.A.
a0673266-67fc-47a5-81ac-d0394584cc5f
Hopkinson, L.
bd4c65de-14e5-4e90-8ca5-4c6986dc87f3
Deloffre, J.
734d9986-8dac-4c62-8e29-d897bc42b042
Charman, R.
6869b051-58f6-4030-bdea-ad0840e59fd8
Gilpin, M.
5cb99792-328b-4ccc-ab89-66f0fce718db
Spencer, K.L.
867af5cf-ab2a-4976-aab8-25b6ac09107a
Carey, P.J.
e9ba5710-6db6-4739-880d-21b4f8ed5ccd
Heppell, C.M.
6f6dd6fa-8554-4e24-a960-38a5a4705546
Ouddane, B.
f4a9fd79-6e18-4f1c-b7ea-bf76d219835e
De Wever, S.
06002bc5-5fba-4edd-a520-983159d3c157
Tuckett, A.
3adb3729-39ba-43c9-990b-36c6cf8801b3

Cundy, A.B., Lafite, R., Taylor, J.A., Hopkinson, L., Deloffre, J., Charman, R., Gilpin, M., Spencer, K.L., Carey, P.J., Heppell, C.M., Ouddane, B., De Wever, S. and Tuckett, A. (2007) Sediment transfer and accumulation in two contrasting salt marsh/mudflat systems: the Seine estuary (France) and the Medway estuary (UK). Hydrobiologia, 588 (1), 125-134. (doi:10.1007/s10750-007-0657-y).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Understanding the dynamics of fine sediment transport across the upper intertidal zone is critical in managing the erosion and accretion of intertidal areas, and in managed realignment/estuarine habitat recreation strategies. This paper examines the transfer of sediments between salt marsh and mudflat environments in two contrasting macrotidal estuaries: the Seine (France) and the Medway (UK), using data collected during two joint field seasons undertaken by the Anglo-French RIMEW project (Rives-Manche Estuary Watch). High-resolution ADCP, Altimeter, OBS and ASM measurements from mudflat and marsh surface environments have been combined with sediment trap data to examine short-term sediment transport processes under spring tide and storm flow conditions. In addition, the longer-term accumulation of sediment in each salt marsh system has been examined via radiometric dating of sediment cores. In the Seine, rapid sediment accumulation and expansion of salt marsh areas, and subsequent loss of open intertidal mudflats, is a major problem, and the data collected here indicate a distinct net landward flux of sediments into the marsh interior. Suspended sediment fluxes are much higher than in the Medway estuary (averaging 0.09 g/m3/s), and vertical accumulation rates at the salt marsh/mudflat boundary exceed 3 cm/y. Suspended sediment data collected during storm surge conditions indicate that significant in-wash of fine sediments into the marsh interior can occur during (and following) these high-magnitude events. In contrast to the Seine, the Medway is undergoing erosion and general loss of salt marsh areas. Suspended sediment fluxes are of the order of 0.03 g/m3/s, and the marsh system here has much lower rates of vertical accretion (sediment accumulation rates are ca. 4 mm/y). Current velocity data for the Medway site indicate higher velocities on the ebb tide than occur on the flood tide, which may be sufficient to remobilise sediments deposited on the previous tide and so force net removal of material from the marsh.

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More information

Published date: September 2007
Keywords: Suspended sediment, Sedimentation, 210Pb, 137Cs, Medway, Seine, Estuary
Organisations: Geochemistry

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 399466
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/399466
ISSN: 0018-8158
PURE UUID: 8b32fe5d-b607-4568-bf7b-fab2fe7e65f0
ORCID for A.B. Cundy: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4368-2569

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Date deposited: 16 Aug 2016 14:18
Last modified: 06 Jun 2018 12:21

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Contributors

Author: A.B. Cundy ORCID iD
Author: R. Lafite
Author: J.A. Taylor
Author: L. Hopkinson
Author: J. Deloffre
Author: R. Charman
Author: M. Gilpin
Author: K.L. Spencer
Author: P.J. Carey
Author: C.M. Heppell
Author: B. Ouddane
Author: S. De Wever
Author: A. Tuckett

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