|Morphodynamic signatures derived from daily surface elevation dynamics can explain the morphodynamic development of tidal flats|Grandjean, T.J.; de Smit, J.C.; van Belzen, J.; Fivash, G.S.; van Dalen, J.; Ysebaert, T.; Bouma, T.J. (2023). Morphodynamic signatures derived from daily surface elevation dynamics can explain the morphodynamic development of tidal flats. Water Science and Engineering 16(1): 14-25. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wse.2022.11.003
In: Water Science and Engineering: Nanjing. ISSN 1674-2370, meer
Surface elevation dynamics; Tidal flat trajectories; Morphodynamic development; Morphodynamic signature; Bed level dynamics
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Understanding the sensitivity of tidal flats to environmental changes is challenging. Currently, most studies rely on process-based models to systematically explain the morphodynamic evolution of tidal flats. In this study, we proposed an alternative empirical approach to explore tidal flat dynamics using statistical indices based on long-term time series of daily surface elevation development. Surface elevation dynamic (SED) indices focus on the magnitude and period of surface elevation changes, while morphodynamic signature (MDS) indices relate sediment dynamics to environmental drivers. The statistical analyses were applied to an intervention site in the Netherlands to determine the effect of recently constructed groynes on the tidal flat. Using these analyses, we were able to (1) detect a reduction in the daily SED and (2) determine that the changes in the daily SED were predominantly caused by the reduction in wave impact between the groynes rather than the reduction in tidal currents. Overall, the presented results showed that the combination of novel statistical indices provides new insights into the trajectories of tidal flats, ecosystem functioning, and sensitivity to physical drivers (wind and tides). Finally, we suggested how the SED and MDS indices may help to explore the future trajectories and climate resilience of intertidal habitats.