Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Tidal Flats

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48657-4_317-2

Definition and Introduction

Tidal flats are low-gradient tidally inundated coastal surfaces. Jackson (1997) defines them as extensive, nearly horizontal, marshy, or barren tracts of land alternately covered and uncovered by the tide, and consisting of unconsolidated sediment. Tidal flats may be muddy, sandy, gravelly, covered in shell pavements, or locally underlain by rock pavement and, compositionally, be underlain by siliciclastic or carbonate sediments. They are complex coastal systems combining elements of coastal geomorphology, sedimentology, hydrology, hydrochemistry, diagenesis, biology, and ecology.

Geologically, tidal flats have been of great interest to sedimentologists and stratigraphers as coastal systems that are readily accessible to sampling and study, and rich in processes and products resulting from oceanographic, sedimentologic, geohydrologic, hydrologic, hydrochemical, mineralogic, and biotic interactions (Ginsburg 1975; Klein 1976; Alexander et al. 1998; Black et...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wetlands Research AssociationV & C Semeniuk Research GroupWarwickAustralia