Physical characteristics of tide-dominated estuaries
- Tide-dominated estuaries are distinguished by relatively high tidal energy at the mouth compared with wave energy.
- Near the mouth, total energy is high because both tidal energy is high and wave energy is moderate.
- Inside the estuary, wave energy is reduced over extensive tidal sand banks, thus decreasing total energy.
- Total energy rises to a maximum where the difference between the effects of constriction by the funnel-shaped entrance (tidal-amplification) and effects of dissipation by sediment shoals is greatest.
- Further headward, total energy falls to a minimum because friction created by the sediment shoals becomes greater than tidal amplification.
- Total energy rises in the river-dominated zone because of constriction at the head.
(After Heap et al. 2001)