Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 54, Issue 3–4, pp 424–434 | Cite as

Tidal flow asymmetry in the diurnal regime: bed-load transport and morphologic changes around the Red River Delta



The relation between tidal flow asymmetry and net transport of sediment in the semidiurnal regime has been extensively described. This study reveals that in the diurnal regime, the direction of long-term net bed-load transport and resulting morphologic changes is partly determined by the phase-angle relationship of O1, K1, and M2. Simple analytical formulations of time-averaged bed-load transport were derived which separate the relative contributions of tidal asymmetry from that of residual flow with tidal stirring. In this particular case, the Red River Delta in Vietnam, transports related to tidal asymmetry are larger than those induced by the monsoon currents, and are an order of magnitude larger than those associated with topographic residual flow around the delta. Tide-induced morphologic changes dominate at water depths between 10 and 25 m, of which the patterns of erosion and deposition overlap with observed bathymetric changes. Additional observed changes that occur in more shallow water cannot be explained by tidal asymmetry and are probably related to wave action and to deposition from the buoyant river plume.


Tidal asymmetry Sediment transport Numerical model Residual flow River delta Vietnam 


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This work was supported by The Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research (WOTRO) as part of the joint Dutch-Vietnamese Red River programme. We would like to thank Guus Stelling for suggestions on the boundary conditions, WL|Delft Hydraulics for the use of their Delft3D model, and everyone who assisted during the field surveys.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. S. van Maren
    • 1
  • P. Hoekstra
    • 1
  • A. J. F. Hoitink
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht/IMAUUtrecht UniversityTC UtrechtThe Netherlands

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