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An Investigation of the Change in Tidal Signal in an Estuary as a Result of Sea Level Rise and Development at Short-Medium Time Scale



An Investigation of the Change in Tidal Signal in an Estuary as a Result of Sea Level Rise and Development at Short-Medium Time Scale







This paper highlights the impact of man-made and natural changes on the evolution of tidal signal at shortmedium timescale in a subtropical estuary. The study area is the Coomera River Estuarine system located on the eastern coast of Australia. Coomera River Estuary has been impacted by a range of developments at its lower reaches over the past 20 years. Sea level rise is expected to be another source of change for the estuary. Earlier studies suggest that Sea level can rise 81 cm over the next 70 years. Similar to man-made changes, sea level rise has potential impact on tidal signal and all the tidally influenced parameters. This study is focused on investigating the tidal regime change and potential bank stability implications resulting from the above mentioned natural and man made impacts. The results of harmonic analysis show that Coomera Estuary responses non-linearly to tidal forcing and is dominated by frictional forces. The non-linear response of the estuary has reduced over the past 20 years and is expected to remain relatively unchanged under sea level rise condition. Tidal analysis of the study area under sea level rise condition indicates that the Estuary will become more flood-dominant over the next 70 years and as a result the balance between flood tide influenced sediment infilling and ebb tide induced sediment flushing out of the estuary may shift towards having more sand deposited in the estuary.

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