The effects of rain on the erosion threshold of intertidal cohesive sediments

T. J. Tolhurst, P. L. Friend, C. Watts, R. Wakefield, K. S. Black, D. M. Paterson

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Intertidal sedimentary environments are complex systems governed by interactions between physical, chemical and biological processes and parameters. Tidally induced flow and wave action are known to be an integral driving force behind the erosion, transport, deposition and consolidation cycle (ETDC) of intertidal sediments. Whilst considerable advances have been made in understanding both the physical and biological processes and their interactions in these systems, it is clear that there are gaps in our understanding. One factor that has been largely ignored to date is that of rain. Visual observations in the field and associated data indicated that rain showers during low tide are correlated with a reduction in the erosion threshold of intertidal cohesive sediments. This paper presents preliminary field and laboratory data showing the importance of rain in reducing the erosion threshold of cohesive intertidal sediments. The implications for our knowledge of, and modelling of the ETDC cycle of cohesive intertidal sediments are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-541
Number of pages9
JournalAquatic Ecology
Issue number4
Early online date26 Sep 2006
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

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