Tidal inlet function: field evidence and numerical simulation in the INDIA project

Research areas:
Year:
2003
Authors:
  • J. -J. Williams
  • B. -A. O'
  • Connor
  • S. -M. Arens
  • S. Abadie
  • P. Bell
  • Y. Balouin
  • Hélène Howa
Journal:
Journal of Coastal Research
Volume:
19
Number:
1
Pages:
189 - 211
Month:
2003
BibTex:
Abstract:
In recognition of the environmentally sensitive nature of inlets and of a requirement to improve present knowledge of their function, the INDIA project has studied a small natural tidal inlet located in the R{\'\i}a Formosa, Algarve, Portugal. The project has used state-of-the-art field equipment to study present day processes, and a range of numerical models to extend the spatial and temporal range of the measurements. Underpinned by knowledge of inlet evolution over several years, and by knowledge of other inlet systems, a conceptual model describing the medium-to long-term evolution of the inlet is presented. Key elements of the model are then examined with reference to field observations and to numerical simulations of tides, waves, sediments and morphology. Supported by historical evidence of inlet evolution in the R{\'\i}a Formosa, the picture that emerges of inlet dynamics is essentially one of relative simplicity and predictability in the short-to medium-term.