Physical characteristics of wave-dominated estuaries
- Wave-dominated estuaries are distinguished by relatively high wave energy at the mouth compared to tide energy.
- Near the mouth, total energy is high due to the summation of high wave and tide energies.
- Near the head, total energy is high due to high river energy. River energy declines downstream due to a reduction in downstream hydraulic gradient.
- In the middle of the estuary, total energy is low because waves cannot penetrate the estuary, and because tidal energy is dissipated on the ebb- and flood-tide deltas.
(After Heap et al. 2001)