Encyclopedia of Modern Coral Reefs

2011 Edition
| Editors: David Hopley

Tidal Jets

  • Edward Drew
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2639-2_259


A tidal jet is a fast-moving intrusion of water issuing from a narrow gap through a physical barrier between two bodies of water. The jet is generated by the pressure resulting from height differences between the two water bodies when the surface of one is rising with the tide, but the flow through the channel is too restricted to keep the levels equal. The reverse will occur when the tide is falling.

Tidal jets can occur in coral reef regions when an extensive outer barrier reef is penetrated by only a limited number of narrow channels. Such jets have been studied in considerable detail along the 650 km tract of ribbon reefs between 11 and 16°S on the northern Great Barrier Reef.

The continental shelf lagoon in that area is 40–50 km wide and the seabed slopes to a depth of 50 m at the outer barrier. Beyond this is the Coral Sea where the continental slope immediately descends steeply, reaching 500 m within 2 km and continuing to at least 1,000 m. The outer barrier is open...
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  1. Drew, E. A., 2001. Ocean nutrients to sediment banks via tidal jets and Halimeda banks. In Wolanski, E. (ed.), Oceanographic processes of coral reefs; physical and biological links in the Great Barrier Reef. Boca Raton: CRC Press, pp. 255–267. http://home.austarnet.com.au/research1/atlas/atlas.htm
  2. Pickard, G. L., Donguy, J. R., Henin, C., and Rougerie, F., 1977. Review of the Physical oceanography of the Great Barier Reef and western Coral Sea. Australian Institute of Marine Science Monograph Series, Vol. 2.Google Scholar
  3. Wolanski, E., Drew, E. A., Abel, K. M., and O’Brien, J., 1988. Tidal jets, nutrient upwelling and their influence on the productivity of the alga Halimeda in the Ribbon Reefs, Great Barrier Reef. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 26, 169–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Belgian Gardens, TownsvilleAustralia