Geo-Marine Letters

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 17–22 | Cite as

A flood-dominated mesotidal inlet

  • Duncan M. FitzGerald
  • L. Kenneth Fink
  • Jonathan M. Lincoln


Tidal inlets along the mesotidal coast of Maine contrast with those from other parts of the world by being dominated by flood-tidal currents. Analysis of the factors responsible for flood or ebb dominance indicates factors external to the backbarrier environment. We suggest that the flood dominance is caused by both a steepening of the tidal wave in the Gulf of Maine and the shallow depth of the ebb-tidal delta and spit platform. Flood currents are typically 10–20 cm/sec stronger than the ebb at the inlet throat. The flood dominance results in a significant net landward transport of sediment into the backbarrier.


Tidal Wave Inlet Channel Tidal Inlet Tidal Prism North Inlet 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Boothroyd, J. C., and Hubbard, D. K., 1975. Genesis of bedforms in meso-tidal estuaries. In: L. E. Cronin (ed.), Estuarine Research. Academic Press, New York, v. II, pp. 217–224.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Hine, A. C., 1975. Bedform distribution and migration patterns on tidal deltas in the Chatham Harbor Estuary, Cape Cod, MA. In: L. E. Cronin (ed.), Estuarine Research. Academic Press, New York, v. II, pp. 235–252.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Finley, R. J., 1975. Hydrodynamics and tidal deltas of North Inlet, SC. In: L. E. Cronin (ed.), Estuarine Research. Academic Press, New York, v. II, pp. 277–291.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Byrne, R. D., Bullock, P., and Tyler, A. G., 1975. Response characteristics of a tidal inlet: A case study. In: L. E. Cronin (ed.), Estuarine Research. Academic Press, New York, v. II, pp. 201–216.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    FitzGerald, D. M., Nummedal, D., and Kana, T., 1976. Sand circulation pattern at Price Inlet, SC. Proceedings in 15th Coastal Engineering Conference, American Society of Civil Engineers, pp. 1868–1980.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Bruun, P., 1967. Tidal inlet housekeeping. Hydraulics Division, v. 5, pp. 167–184.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Kramer, J., 1961. Strommessungen im Hafengebiet von Norderney. Jahresbericht Forschungsstelle Norderney, v. 13, pp. 67–94.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Nummedal, D., and Penland, S., 1981. Sediment dispersal in Nordeneyer Seegat, West Germany. Sedimentology, v. 5, pp. 187–210.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Nummedal, D., and Humphries, S., 1978. Hydraulics and dynamics of North Inlet, SC, 1975–1976. Coastal Engineering Research Center, Washington, DC, GITI Report No. 16, 214 pp.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Boon, J. D., and Byrne, R. J., 1981. On basin hypsometry and morphodynamics response of coastal inlet system. Marine Geology, v. 40, pp. 27–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    FitzGerald, D. M., and Nummedal, D., 1983. Response characteristics of an ebb-dominated tidal inlet channel. Journal of Sedimentary Petrology, v. 53, in press.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Nelson, B. W., and Fink, L. K., 1978. Geological and botanical features of sand beach systems in Maine. Critical Areas Program, Maine State Planning Office, Augusta, ME, 269 pp.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1983. Tide Tables 1983 East Coast of North and South America. National Ocean Survey, Rockville, MD, 286 pp.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    Farrell, S., Rhodes, E., and Colonell, J., 1971. Saco Bay, Maine, a test of computer models for wave forecasting and refraction. Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, v. 3, pp. 562–563.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Naval Weather Service Command, 1976. Climate of the Coastal Zone, U.S. East Coast. National Climatic Center, Asheville, NC, 133 pp.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    FitzGerald, D. M., 1976. Ebb-tidal delta of Price Inlet, SC: Geomorphology, physical processes and associated inlet shoreline changes. In: M. O. Hayes and T. W. Kana (eds.), Terrigenous clastic depositional environments. Department of Geology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, v. II, pp. 143–157.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Keulegan, G. H., 1967. Tidal flow in entrances: Water level fluctuations of basins in communication with seas. Technical Bulletin No. 14, Committee on Tidal Hydraulics, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg, MI, 100 pp.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Mota-Oliveira, I. B., 1970. Natural flushing ability of tidal inlets. Proceedings in 12th Coastal Engineering Conference, American Society of Civil Engineers, pp. 1827–1844.Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    Redfield, A. C., 1980. Introduction to Tides. Marine Science International, Woods Hole, MA, 108 pp.Google Scholar
  20. [20]
    Fink, L. K., Nelson, B. W., Foster, R. G., and White, C. M., 1983. An Atlas of Maine beaches. Maine State Planning Office, Office of Coastal Zone Management, 424 pp.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duncan M. FitzGerald
    • 1
    • 2
  • L. Kenneth Fink
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jonathan M. Lincoln
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeologyBoston UniversityBoston
  2. 2.University of MaineOrono

Personalised recommendations