The morphology of river mouths can be completely changed by dramatic flow changes caused by climate changes in catchment basins. Agricultural activities that overexploit water produce changes in sediment discharge that are reflected in sedimentation rates in dams. The basic aim of this study is to assess the causes and effects of rapid delta formation in Gomec (an important tourism centre on the Aegean Sea coast of Turkey), as a result of river catchment changes between 1998 and 2001. The rapidly developing delta covers an area of approximately 2 km length and 100 m width and was studied using numerical simulation and field studies. Bathymetric measurement, flow velocity and oceanographic parameters were measured. Bottom sediment samples were taken from the river and adjacent sea and sources were determined by mineral analysis. River flows and wave properties (determined from hindcast wind data) were used in the numerical model studies. The development of the delta was predicted for different scenarios. It is concluded that unless remedial action is taken, the delta will continue to develop rapidly and will produce both morphological and ecological impacts.
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Vol. 36 • No. sp1