Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 64, Issue 9, pp 1333–1348 | Cite as

Influence of the back-barrier basin length on the geometry of ebb-tidal deltas

  • Wim Ridderinkhof
  • Huib E. de Swart
  • Maarten van der Vegt
  • Piet Hoekstra
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Physics of Estuaries and Coastal Seas 2012


The characteristics of ebb-tidal deltas are determined by the local hydrodynamics. The latter depend, among others, on the geometry of the adjacent back-barrier basin. Therefore, interventions in the back-barrier basin can affect the geometry of ebb-tidal deltas. In this study, the effect of the length of the back-barrier basin on the sand volume and spatial symmetry of ebb-tidal deltas is quantified with the use of a numerical model. It is found that the length of the back-barrier basin affects the tidal prism, the amplitude and phase of the primary tide and its overtides, and the residual currents that, together, determine the sand volume of the ebb-tidal delta. In particular, it is found that no unique relationship exists between tidal prism and sand volume of an ebb-tidal delta. The spatial symmetry of ebb-tidal deltas is also found to be affected by the length of the back-barrier basin. This is because the basin length determines the phase difference between alongshore and cross-shore tidal currents. The numerical model results give a possible explanation for the changes that are observed in the geometry of the ebb-tidal deltas that are located seaward of the Texel Inlet and Vlie Inlet after the closure of the Zuiderzee.


Tidal basin Wadden Sea Texel inlet Vlie inlet Numerical model Morphodynamics Sediment transport Delft3D Tidal asymmetry Tidal resonance Zuiderzee 



We are grateful to Rijkswaterstaat for making their bathymetric data publicly accessible (available through Fig. 1e was produced with use of Open Earth Tools. This research was funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), project number: BN000295.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wim Ridderinkhof
    • 1
  • Huib E. de Swart
    • 1
  • Maarten van der Vegt
    • 1
  • Piet Hoekstra
    • 1
  1. 1.IMAU Utrecht UniversityUtrechtNetherlands

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