A tidal prism is the volume of water in an estuary or inlet between mean high tide and mean low tide,or the volume of water leaving an estuary at ebb tide.
The inter-tidal prism volume can be expressed by the relationship: P=H A, where H is the average tidal range and A is the average surface area of the basin.It can also be thought of as the volume of the incoming tide plus the river discharge. Simple tidal prism models stated the relationship of river discharge and inflowing ocean water as Prism=Volume of ocean water coming into an estuary on the flood tide + Volume of river discharge mixing with that ocean water; however, there is some controversy as to whether traditional prism models are accurate. The size of an estuary's tidal prism is dependent on the basin of that estuary, the tidal range and other frictional forces.
Calculations of tidal prism are useful in determining the residence time of water (and pollutants) in an estuary. If it is known how much water is exported compared to how much of the estuarine water remains, it can be determined how long pollutants reside in that estuary. If the tidal prism forms a large proportion of the water in an estuary at high tide, then when the tide ebbs, it will take with it the majority of the water (this occurs in shallow estuaries) and any pollutants or sediments suspended in that water. This means that the estuary has a good flushing time, or that the residence time of water in that estuary is low.On the contrary, in deeper estuaries, the amount of water that is influenced by the tides forms a smaller proportion of the total water. The difference between high tide and low tide is not as great as in shallower estuaries creating a smaller tidal prism and a longer residence time.
The size of an inlet or estuary is determined, according to O’Brienby tidal prism. Tidal prism magnitude can be calculated by multiplying the area of the estuary by the tidal range of that estuary. During spring or fall tides, when sea level is relatively high and floods backbarrier areas that are normally above tidal inundation, the cross sectional area at the entrance of the estuary increases as tidal prism increases. Since tidal prism is largely a function of area of open water and tidal range, it can be changed by alterations of the basin area of estuaries and inlets as in dredging; however, if the estuary or inlet is dredged, or the size changed, the channel will fill in with sediment until it has returned to tidal prism equilibrium.
Additionally, there are correlations between tidal prism and amount of sediment deposited and exported in an estuary or inlet. The Walton and Adamsrelationship shows a strong relationship between the magnitude of the tidal prism and the volume of sand in ebb dominated deltas. The larger the tidal prism, the larger the amount of sand that is deposited in deltas in ebb-dominated estuaries. Inlets with small tidal prisms have too little power to remove sand deposited from adjacent shores. Inlets with large tidal prisms can erode sand and deposit it in ebb-tidal deltas in deeper waters (National Research Council). The size of ebb tidal deltas is proportional to tidal prism. If tidal prism increases, there is an increase in deltas and shoals formed by sand transport during ebb tide.
There are assumptions that go along with tidal prism models. The first is that they are applied to smaller estuaries (less than a few kilometers wide) and secondly, that the estuaries are internally well mixed.Additionally, it is assumed that the water entering the estuary is of oceanic salinity mixing with the fresh river discharge, and that the mixed water will be exported on the ebb tide. Officer provides a model for simple tidal prism theory where the estuary is represented by a box with the inflow as the volume of river discharge at a salinity of 0, within the estuary, the river discharge mixes with the volume of the tide flooding in (Vp) from the ocean at oceanic salinity (So) and the mixed VR + VP) water flows out at ebb tide.
An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.
A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs. Lagoons are commonly divided into coastal lagoons and atoll lagoons. They have also been identified as occurring on mixed-sand and gravel coastlines. There is an overlap between bodies of water classified as coastal lagoons and bodies of water classified as estuaries. Lagoons are common coastal features around many parts of the world.
A river delta is a landform created by deposition of sediment that is carried by a river as the flow leaves its mouth and enters slower-moving or stagnant water. This occurs where a river enters an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, reservoir, or another river that cannot carry away the supplied sediment. The size and shape of a delta is controlled by the balance between watershed processes that supply sediment, and receiving basin processes that redistribute, sequester, and export that sediment. The size, geometry, and location of the receiving basin also plays an important role in delta evolution. River deltas are important in human civilization, as they are major agricultural production centers and population centers. They can provide coastline defense and can impact drinking water supply. They are also ecologically important, with different species' assemblages depending on their landscape position.
A salt marsh or saltmarsh, also known as a coastal salt marsh or a tidal marsh, is a coastal ecosystem in the upper coastal intertidal zone between land and open saltwater or brackish water that is regularly flooded by the tides. It is dominated by dense stands of salt-tolerant plants such as herbs, grasses, or low shrubs. These plants are terrestrial in origin and are essential to the stability of the salt marsh in trapping and binding sediments. Salt marshes play a large role in the aquatic food web and the delivery of nutrients to coastal waters. They also support terrestrial animals and provide coastal protection.
Longshore drift from longshore current is a geological process that consists of the transportation of sediments along a coast parallel to the shoreline, which is dependent on oblique incoming wave direction. Oblique incoming wind squeezes water along the coast, and so generates a water current which moves parallel to the coast. Longshore drift is simply the sediment moved by the longshore current. This current and sediment movement occur within the surf zone.
Barrier islands are coastal landforms and a type of dune system that are exceptionally flat or lumpy areas of sand that form by wave and tidal action parallel to the mainland coast. They usually occur in chains, consisting of anything from a few islands to more than a dozen. They are subject to change during storms and other action, but absorb energy and protect the coastlines and create areas of protected waters where wetlands may flourish. A barrier chain may extend uninterrupted for over a hundred kilometers, excepting the tidal inlets that separate the islands, the longest and widest being Padre Island of Texas. The length and width of barriers and overall morphology of barrier coasts are related to parameters including tidal range, wave energy, sediment supply, sea-level trends, and basement controls. The amount of vegetation on the barrier has a large impact on the height and evolution of the island.
A rip tide, or riptide, is a strong, offshore current that is caused by the tide pulling water through an inlet along a barrier beach, at a lagoon or inland marina where tide water flows steadily out to sea during ebb tide. It is a strong tidal flow of water within estuaries and other enclosed tidal areas. The riptides become the strongest where the flow is constricted. When there is a falling or ebbing tide, the outflow water is strongly flowing through an inlet toward the sea, especially once stabilized by jetties. During these falling and ebbing tides, a riptide can carry a person far offshore. For example, the ebbing tide at Shinnecock Inlet in Southampton, New York, extends more than 300 metres (980 ft) offshore. Because of this, riptides are typically more powerful than rip currents.
Narragansett Bay is a bay and estuary on the north side of Rhode Island Sound covering 147 mi2 (380 km2), 120.5 mi2 (312 km2) of which is in Rhode Island. The Bay forms New England's largest estuary, which functions as an expansive natural harbor and includes a small archipelago. Small parts of it extend into Massachusetts.
A tidal creek, tidal channel, or estuary is the portion of a stream that is affected by ebb and flow of ocean tides, in the case that the subject stream discharges to an ocean, sea or strait. Thus this portion of the stream has variable salinity and electrical conductivity over the tidal cycle, and flushes salts from inland soils. Tidal creeks are characterized by slow water velocity resulting in buildup of fine, organic sediment in wetlands. Creeks may often dry to a muddy channel with little or no flow at low tide, but with significant depth of water at high tide. Due to the temporal variability of water quality parameters within the tidally influenced zone, there are unique biota associated with tidal creeks which are often specialised to such zones. Nutrients and organic matter are delivered downstream to habitats normally lacking these, while the creeks also provide access to inland habitat for salt-water organisms.
Phosphorite,phosphate rock or rock phosphate is a non-detrital sedimentary rock that contains high amounts of phosphate minerals. The phosphate content of phosphorite (or grade of phosphate rock) varies greatly, from 4% to 20% phosphorus pentoxide (P2O5). Marketed phosphate rock is enriched ("beneficiated") to at least 28%, often more than 30% P2O5. This occurs through washing, screening, de-liming, magnetic separation or flotation. By comparison, the average phosphorus content of sedimentary rocks is less than 0.2%. The phosphate is present as fluorapatite Ca5(PO4)3F typically in cryptocrystalline masses (grain sizes < 1 μm) referred to as collophane-sedimentary apatite deposits of uncertain origin. It is also present as hydroxyapatite Ca5(PO4)3OH or Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2, which is often dissolved from vertebrate bones and teeth, whereas fluorapatite can originate from hydrothermal veins. Other sources also include chemically dissolved phosphate minerals from igneous and metamorphic rocks. Phosphorite deposits often occur in extensive layers, which cumulatively cover tens of thousands of square kilometres of the Earth's crust.
A tidal marsh is a marsh found along rivers, coasts and estuaries which floods and drains by the tidal movement of the adjacent estuary, sea or ocean. Tidal marshes experience many overlapping persistent cycles, including diurnal and semi-diurnal tides, day-night temperature fluctuations, spring-neap tides, seasonal vegetation growth and decay, upland runoff, decadal climate variations, and centennial to millennial trends in sea level and climate. They are also impacted by transient disturbances such as hurricanes, floods, storms, and upland fires.
Yaquina Bay is a coastal estuarine community found in Newport, Oregon, United States. Yaquina Bay is a semi-enclosed body of water, approximately 8 km² (3.2 mi²) in area, with free connection to the Pacific Ocean, but also diluted with freshwater from the Yaquina River land drainage. The Bay is traversed by the Yaquina Bay Bridge. There are three small communities that border the Yaquina River and Bay; Newport, Toledo and Elk City. The Yaquina Bay in Newport is a popular tourist destination along the Pacific Coast Highway. It is also an important estuary for the ecology and economy of the area.
A tidal river is a river whose flow and level are influenced by tides. A section of a larger river affected by the tides is a tidal reach, although it may sometimes be considered a tidal river if it has been given a separate name.
Sedimentary budgets are a coastal management tool used to analyze and describe the different sediment inputs (sources) and outputs (sinks) on the coasts, which is used to predict morphological change in any particular coastline over time. Within a coastal environment the rate of change of sediment is dependent on the amount of sediment brought into the system versus the amount of sediment that leaves the system. These inputs and outputs of sediment then equate to the total balance of the system and more than often reflect the amounts of erosion or accretion affecting the morphology of the coast.
Estuarine water circulation is controlled by the inflow of rivers, the tides, rainfall and evaporation, the wind, and other oceanic events such as an upwelling, an eddy, and storms. Estuarine water circulation patterns are influenced by vertical mixing and stratification, and can affect residence time and exposure time.
Marine habitats are habitats that support marine life. Marine life depends in some way on the saltwater that is in the sea. A habitat is an ecological or environmental area inhabited by one or more living species. The marine environment supports many kinds of these habitats.
A tidal barrage is a dam-like structure used to capture the energy from masses of water moving in and out of a bay or river due to tidal forces.
Environmental flows can be broken down into instream flow, freshwater inflow, and outflow, as shown in the depiction below. Instream flow is the freshwater water flowing in rivers or streams. Freshwater inflow is the freshwater that flows into an estuary. Outflow is the flow from an estuary to the ocean. This article's focus is upon freshwater inflow.
Estuaries of Australia are features of the Australian coastline. They are linked to tides, river mouths and coastal features and conditions. In many cases the features of estuaries are also named inlets.
Hapua is the Māori term for river-mouth lagoons on mixed sand and gravel (MSG) beaches which form at the river-coast interface where a typically braided, although sometimes meandering, river interacts with a coastal environment that is significantly affected by longshore drift. The lagoons which form on the MSG coastlines are common on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand and have long been referred to as hapua by the Māori. This classification differentiates hapua from similar lagoons located on the New Zealand coast termed waituna. Hapua are often located on paraglacial coastal areas where there is a low level of coastal development and minimal population density. Hapua form as the river carves out an elongated coast-parallel area, blocked from the sea by a MSG barrier which constantly alters its shape and volume due to longshore drift. Longshore drift continually extends the barrier behind which the hapua forms by transporting sediment along the coast. Hapua are defined as a narrow shore-parallel extensions of the coastal riverbed. They discharge the majority of stored water to the ocean via an ephemeral and highly mobile drainage channel or outlet. The remainder percolates through the MSG barrier due to its high levels of permeability. Hapua systems are driven by a wide range of dynamic processes that are generally classified as fluvial or marine; changes in the balance between these processes as well as the antecedent barrier conditions can cause shifts in the morphology of the hapua, in particular the barrier. New Zealand examples include the Rakaia, Ashburton and Hurunui river-mouths.