|Patterns and drivers of daily bed-level dynamics on two tidal flats with contrasting wave exposure|In: Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group). Nature Publishing Group: London. ISSN 2045-2322; e-ISSN 2045-2322, meer
Short-term bed-level dynamics has been identified as one of the main factors affecting biota establishment or retreat on tidal flats. However, due to a lack of proper instruments and intensive labour involved, the pattern and drivers of daily bed-level dynamics are largely unexplored in a spatiotemporal context. In this study, 12 newly-developed automatic bed-level sensors were deployed for nearly 15 months on two tidal flats with contrasting wave exposure, proving an unique dataset of daily bed-level changes and hydrodynamic forcing. By analysing the data, we show that (1) a general steepening trend exists on both tidal flats, even with contrasting wave exposure and different bed sediment grain size; (2) daily morphodynamics level increases towards the sea; (3) tidal forcing sets the general morphological evolution pattern at both sites; (4) wave forcing induces short-term bed-level fluctuations at the wave-exposed site, but similar effect is not seen at the sheltered site with smaller waves; (5) storms provoke aggravated erosion, but the impact is conditioned by tidal levels. This study provides insights in the pattern and drivers of daily intertidal bed-level dynamics, thereby setting a template for future high-resolution field monitoring programmes and inviting in-depth morphodynamic modelling for improved understanding and predictive capability.