China Ocean Engineering

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 483–504 | Cite as

Development and extension of an aggregated scale model: Part 1 – Background to ASMITA

  • Ian Townend
  • Zheng Bing Wang
  • Marcel Stive
  • Zeng Zhou


Whilst much attention has been given to models that describe wave, tide and sediment transport processes in sufficient detail to determine the local changes in bed level over a relatively detailed representation of the bathymetry, far less attention has been given to models that consider the problem at a much larger scale (e.g. that of geomorphological elements such as a tidal flat and tidal channel). Such aggregated or lumped models tend not to represent the processes in detail but rather capture the behaviour at the scale of interest. One such model developed using the concept of an equilibrium concentration is the Aggregated Scale Morphological Interaction between Tidal basin and Adjacent coast (ASMITA). In this paper we provide some new insights into the concepts of equilibrium, and horizontal and vertical exchange that are key components of this modelling approach. In a companion paper, we summarise a range of developments that have been undertaken to extend the original model concept, to illustrate the flexibility and power of the conceptual framework. However, adding detail progressively moves the model in the direction of the more detailed process-based models and we give some consideration to the boundary between the two.


  • The concept of aggregating model scales is explored and the basis of the ASMITA model is outlined in detail

  • The relationship between dispersion as used in fast-scale process-based models and the horizontal exchange used in aggregated models is explored

  • The basis for formulating suitable equilibrium relationships is explained

  • Alternative ways to include advection and dispersion are examined.

Key words

estuary tidal inlet morphology tides waves sediment transport 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Ocean Engineering Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Townend
    • 1
  • Zheng Bing Wang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Marcel Stive
    • 2
  • Zeng Zhou
    • 4
  1. 1.University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.TU DelftDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.DeltaresDelftThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Coast Ocean Resources Development and Environment SecurityHohai UniversityNanjingChina

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