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      Tidal Asymmetry Changes in a Shallow Mud Estuary by a Restoration Project

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          The tidal asymmetry-induced siltation below tidal barriers is a worldwide problem that restricts regional socio-economic and environmental development. The hydrodynamic processes of the small mud estuary also feature a high uncertainty after estuary restoration measures. In this study, a hydrodynamic model based on the MIKE21 is used to quantify the responses of tidal asymmetry to a two-phase restoration project in Shuanglong Estuary, Bohai Bay, China. According to the numerical modeling results, the tidal flat removal in the upper estuary (first-phase restoration) induces the flood asymmetry switching to the ebb asymmetry in unrestored reach but enhances flood asymmetry in widening restored reach. Although the tidal asymmetry reverts to flood-dominated pattern after full restoration over the estuary, the imbalance between flood and ebb velocities is relieved. A possible net sediment transport pattern based on a comparison of dominant asymmetric current and actual sediment transport period shows net sediments in the upper estuary and inlet transport seaward and landward, respectively, in the first-phase restoration, whereas landward net sediment transport occurs in the whole estuary under the second-phase restoration scenario. Given these results, we assume that a switch from the flood-dominated estuary to ebb-dominated estuary can be caused by redesigning the cross-sectional profile. The quantitative comparison of Lagrangian residual currents also implies that a channel–shoal structure rather than a flat bathymetry can promote the mass transport. Therefore, reshaping the channel–tidal flat system in restoration projects can prevent the sedimentation of the estuary and improve the water environment.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Ocean University of China
          Science Press and Springer (China )
          07 May 2019
          01 April 2019
          : 18
          : 2
          : 339-348
          1 College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
          2 College of Marine Ecology and Environment, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai 201306, China
          Author notes
          *Corresponding author: KUANG Cuiping
          Copyright © Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2019.

          The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is hereby assigned for good and valuable consideration to the editorial office of Journal of Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

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