Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 68, Issue 10, pp 1285–1309 | Cite as

The effect of geometry and tidal forcing on hydrodynamics and net sediment transport in semi-enclosed tidal basins

A 2D exploratory model
  • Thomas BoelensEmail author
  • Henk Schuttelaars
  • George Schramkowski
  • Tom De Mulder


A new depth-averaged exploratory model has been developed to investigate the hydrodynamics and the tidally averaged sediment transport in a semi-enclosed tidal basin. This model comprises the two-dimensional (2DH) dynamics in a tidal basin that consists of a channel of arbitrary length, flanked by tidal flats, in which the water motion is being driven by an asymmetric tidal forcing at the seaward side. The equations are discretized in space by means of the finite element method and solved in the frequency domain. In this study, the lateral variations of the tidal asymmetry and the tidally averaged sediment transport are analyzed, as well as their sensitivity to changes in basin geometry and external overtides. The Coriolis force is taken into account. It is found that the length of the tidal basin and, to a lesser extent, the tidal flat area and the convergence length determine the behaviour of the tidally averaged velocity and the overtides and consequently control the strength and the direction of the tidally averaged sediment transport. Furthermore, the externally prescribed overtides can have a major influence on tidal asymmetry in the basin, depending on their amplitude and phase. Finally, for sufficiently wide tidal basins, the Coriolis force generates significant lateral dynamics.


Tidal flats Tidal propagation Overtides Sediment transport 2D exploratory model Finite element method 


Funding information

The first author is a doctoral research fellow of IWT-Vlaanderen (project IWT 141275). The computational resources (Stevin Supercomputer Infrastructure) and services used in this work were provided by the VSC (Flemish Supercomputer Center), funded by Ghent University, the Hercules Foundation, and the Flemish Government, department EWI.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hydraulics Laboratory, Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering and ArchitectureGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Delft Institute of Applied MathematicsDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Flanders Hydraulics ResearchAntwerpBelgium

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