Measuring sediment exchange rates on an intertidal bank at Blacktoft, Humber Estuary, UK

S.B. Mitchell, J.S. Couperthwaite, J.R. West, D.M. Lawler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Results from a suite of Photo Electronic Erosion Pins (PEEPs) and manual pins installed on an intertidal bank at Blacktoft, near the confluence of the Rivers Trent and (Yorkshire) Ouse, UK are presented for summer 1997 (1 May–28 September). These reveal a pattern of erosion and deposition, which can be related to variations in tidal range, freshwater flow and wind speed over the period. During spring tides, greater resuspension of bed sediment leads to a greater availability of sediment in the water column for deposition on the bank. High wind speeds cause greater erosion of material from the bank due to wind-induced wave action. These processes of sediment exchange are also modified by the effects of biological activity on the sediment and of consolidation. It was demonstrated that the mean daily change in elevation of the upper part of the bank at Blacktoft was approximately 11 mm, which is two–three-fold less than the equivalent figure measured by a similar method at Burringham on the River Trent. It is thought that this difference is due to the effects of a greater concentration of suspended sediment settling onto the banks at Burringham, which are also subject to greater erosion due to their steeper slope. Results from a longer and more widespread survey of eight other intertidal banks in the Trent–Ouse Estuary system suggest that deposition and erosion occur in phase on all intertidal banks within the study area. Intertidal banks towards the upstream end of the system show much less variation in bank level than those further downstream.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-549
Number of pages15
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume314-316
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Keywords

  • Intertidal bank
  • Estuarine sediment transport
  • Humber estuary
  • Erosion pins

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    Mitchell, S. B., Couperthwaite, J. S., West, J. R., & Lawler, D. M. (2003). Measuring sediment exchange rates on an intertidal bank at Blacktoft, Humber Estuary, UK. Science of the Total Environment, 314-316, 535-549.