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

Andrew Cundy, R. Lafite, J.A. Taylor, Laurence Hopkinson, J. Deloffre, R.O. Charman, M. Gilpin, K.L. Spencer, P.J. Carey, C.M. Heppell, B. Ouddane, S. De Wever, A. Tuckett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume588
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Fingerprint

mudflat
saltmarsh
estuary
marsh
tide
sediment
suspended sediment
accumulation rate
sediment transport
managed realignment
accretion
erosion
Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
current velocity
storm surge
sediment trap
altimeter
transport process
intertidal environment
sediment core

Keywords

  • Suspended sediment
  • Sedimentation
  • 210Pb
  • 137Cs
  • Medway
  • Seine
  • Estuary

Cite this

Cundy, A., Lafite, R., Taylor, J. A., Hopkinson, L., Deloffre, J., Charman, R. O., ... Tuckett, A. (2007). Sediment transfer and accumulation in two contrasting saltmarsh/mudflat systems: the Seine estuary (France) and the Medway estuary (UK). Hydrobiologia, 588(1), 125-134.
Cundy, Andrew ; Lafite, R. ; Taylor, J.A. ; Hopkinson, Laurence ; Deloffre, J. ; Charman, R.O. ; Gilpin, M. ; Spencer, K.L. ; Carey, P.J. ; Heppell, C.M. ; Ouddane, B. ; De Wever, S. ; Tuckett, A. / Sediment transfer and accumulation in two contrasting saltmarsh/mudflat systems: the Seine estuary (France) and the Medway estuary (UK). In: Hydrobiologia. 2007 ; Vol. 588, No. 1. pp. 125-134.
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author = "Andrew Cundy and R. Lafite and J.A. Taylor and Laurence Hopkinson and J. Deloffre and R.O. Charman and M. Gilpin and K.L. Spencer and P.J. Carey and C.M. Heppell and B. Ouddane and {De Wever}, S. and A. Tuckett",
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Cundy, A, Lafite, R, Taylor, JA, Hopkinson, L, Deloffre, J, Charman, RO, Gilpin, M, Spencer, KL, Carey, PJ, Heppell, CM, Ouddane, B, De Wever, S & Tuckett, A 2007, 'Sediment transfer and accumulation in two contrasting saltmarsh/mudflat systems: the Seine estuary (France) and the Medway estuary (UK)', Hydrobiologia, vol. 588, no. 1, pp. 125-134.

Sediment transfer and accumulation in two contrasting saltmarsh/mudflat systems: the Seine estuary (France) and the Medway estuary (UK). / Cundy, Andrew; Lafite, R.; Taylor, J.A.; Hopkinson, Laurence; Deloffre, J.; Charman, R.O.; Gilpin, M.; Spencer, K.L.; Carey, P.J.; Heppell, C.M.; Ouddane, B.; De Wever, S.; Tuckett, A.

In: Hydrobiologia, Vol. 588, No. 1, 2007, p. 125-134.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sediment transfer and accumulation in two contrasting saltmarsh/mudflat systems: the Seine estuary (France) and the Medway estuary (UK)

AU - Cundy, Andrew

AU - Lafite, R.

AU - Taylor, J.A.

AU - Hopkinson, Laurence

AU - Deloffre, J.

AU - Charman, R.O.

AU - Gilpin, M.

AU - Spencer, K.L.

AU - Carey, P.J.

AU - Heppell, C.M.

AU - Ouddane, B.

AU - De Wever, S.

AU - Tuckett, A.

PY - 2007

Y1 - 2007

N2 - 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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KW - Suspended sediment

KW - Sedimentation

KW - 210Pb

KW - 137Cs

KW - Medway

KW - Seine

KW - Estuary

M3 - Article

VL - 588

SP - 125

EP - 134

JO - Hydrobiologia

JF - Hydrobiologia

SN - 0018-8158

IS - 1

ER -