Tide-Dominated Deltas

  • Steven L. GoodbredJr.
  • Yoshiki Saito


Among tidally influenced sedimentary environments, tide-dominated deltas are perhaps the most variable and difficult to characterize. This variability is due in part to the major role that fluvial systems play in defining their delta, with rivers differing widely in discharge, sediment load, seasonality, and grain size. Tide-dominated deltas also tend to be large systems that can extend hundreds of kilometers across and along the continental margin. The associated sediment transport regimes are typically high energy, but they vary considerably at the scale of tidal cycles and seasonal river discharge. As a consequence of varying transport energy, the sedimentary successions formed in tide-dominated deltaic settings tend to be heterolithic, with interbedded sands, silts, and clays and both fining- and coarsening-upward facies associations. The deltaic nature of tide-dominated deltas that distinguishes them from other tidally influenced settings is defined by the cross- or along-shelf progradation of a clinoform, or ‘S’ shaped, sedimentary deposit. Under the influence of strong bed shear in tidally dominated margins, this prograding clinoform is often separated into two distinct units, one associated with the subaerial deltaplain and one with an offshore subaqueous delta. Onshore, the large, fertile deltaplains built by many modern tide-dominated deltas, especially in South and East Asia, are heavily populated and sustain large economies, making them global important settings. However, the reduction of fluvial inputs by damming and water extraction, as well as intense agricultural, urban, and industrial land uses, threaten the stability and sustainability of these environments.


Sediment Transport Sediment Load Tidal Channel Facies Association Residual Flow 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Geological Survey of JapanAISTTsukubaJapan

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