Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 40, Issue 4, pp 533–541

The effects of rain on the erosion threshold of intertidal cohesive sediments

  • T. J. Tolhurst
  • P. L. Friend
  • C. Watts
  • R. Wakefield
  • K. S. Black
  • D. M. Paterson
Article

Abstract

Intertidal sedimentary environments are complex systems governed by interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes and parameters. Tidally induced flow and wave action are known to be an integral driving force behind the erosion, transport, deposition and consolidation cycle (ETDC) of intertidal sediments. Whilst considerable advances have been made in understanding both the physical and biological processes and their interactions in these systems, it is clear that there are gaps in our understanding. One factor that has been largely ignored to date is that of rain. Visual observations in the field and associated data indicated that rain showers during low tide are correlated with a reduction in the erosion threshold of intertidal cohesive sediments. This paper presents preliminary field and laboratory data showing the importance of rain in reducing the erosion threshold of cohesive intertidal sediments. The implications for our knowledge of, and modelling of the ETDC cycle of cohesive intertidal sediments are discussed.

Keywords

Chlorophyll a Colloidal carbohydrate Erosion Sediment stability 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. J. Tolhurst
    • 1
  • P. L. Friend
    • 2
  • C. Watts
    • 3
  • R. Wakefield
    • 4
  • K. S. Black
    • 4
  • D. M. Paterson
    • 4
  1. 1.EICC, Marine Ecology Laboratories, A11University of SydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Sediment Dynamics Research, School of Ocean and Earth ScienceUniversity of Southampton, Southampton Oceanography CentreSouthamptonEngland
  3. 3.Soil Science GroupSilsoe Research InstituteSilsoe, BedfordshireEngland
  4. 4.Sediment Ecology Research Group, Gatty Marine LaboratoryThe University of St. AndrewsSt. Andrews, FifeScotland

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