A set of quantitative parameters is derived for the morphological characterization of estuaries. This is the first part of a long-term project aiming at the ecological characterization of tidal environments, which should provide practical tools for the management of such systems. The parameters apply to the macroscale, that is, the scale of the estuarine cross-section, including channels and adjacent intertidal areas. They are derived from recent theoretical models for estuarine morphology, as well as data from the tide-dominated Scheldt estuary. The set of parameters is believed to be universally representative, although this needs to be supported by further research, including data from other estuaries. The analysis suggests that morphodynamic equilibria do not form a continuum but manifest themselves as discrete steps. For each step, there is a straightforward relation between the extension of the intertidal areas and the other parameters. For the Scheldt estuary, large width-to-depth changes are necessary to jump from one equilibrium state to the other.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 2007 • No. 231