Geomorphic change of saltmarsh tidal creek networks in the Dyfi Estuary, Wales

Z. Shi*, H. F. Lamb, R. L. Collin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Planimetric changes of saltmarsh tidal creek networks in the Dyfi Estuary, Wales, have been mapped from aerial photographs dating from 1966 to 1989. Rates of these changes have been evaluated with reference to creek length and creek density. Creek densities have been increasing during their development, ranging from 8 up to 11 km km-2. These changes are mainly attributable to the instability of the main Dyfi tidal channel, flood and storm surges, saltmarsh vegetation development, elevational differences of the estuarine intertidal zone and sea level fluctuations. Dissipation of tide and wave energies associated with storm surges is chiefly responsible for the morphological development of the Dyfi tidal creeks. The discontinuous stage-prism asymmetry hydrodynamic model is applicable to explaining the Dyfi estuarine tidal creek development. A form-process feedback between the vertical growth of the Dyfi saltmarsh surface and the hydrodynamics of its network is also important in governing the Dyfi tidal creek network development. The rapid development of the Dyfi tidal creek networks could result in the loss of the Dyfi estuarine wetland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-83
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Geology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 1995


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