This study focuses on the effects of changes in fluvial sediment supply on the plan-form shape of wave-dominated deltas. We apply a one-line numerical shoreline model to calculate shoreline evolution after (I) elimination and (II) time-periodic variation of fluvial input. Model results suggest four characteristic modes of wave-dominated delta development after abandonment. The abandonment mode is determined by the pre-abandonment downdrift shoreline characteristics and wave climate (which are, in turn, determined by previous delta evolution). For asymmetrical deltas experiencing shoreline instability on the downdrift flank, time-periodic variation in fluvial input influences the evolution of downdrift-migrating sandwaves. The frequency and magnitude of the riverine "forcing" can initiate a pattern that migrates away from the river mouth, interacting with the development of shoreline sandwaves. Model results suggest that long-period signals in fluvial delivery can be shredded by autogenic sand waves, whereas shorter-term riverine fluctuations can dominate the signal of the autogenic sandwaves. The insights provided by these exploratory numerical experiments provide a set of hypotheses that can be further tested using natural examples.
|Publisher||University of Twente|
|Period||13/03/12 → 16/03/12|