Bedform facies in western Torres Strait and the influence of hydrodynamics, coastal geometry, and sediment supply on their distribution

Daniell, James J. (2015) Bedform facies in western Torres Strait and the influence of hydrodynamics, coastal geometry, and sediment supply on their distribution. Geomorphology, 235. pp. 118-129.

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This study uses outputs from hydrodynamic and bedload transport models combined with satellite imagery, aerial photography, and bathymetric data to understand the distributions and mechanisms maintaining six spatially extensive bedform facies in western Torres Strait. Changes in bedform morphology occur along north-south variations in coastal geometry and east-west variations in hydrodynamic regime. Numerous islands create an environment that favours the formation of banner banks in the south, while other sandbank morphologies occur on an extensive and comparatively 'flat' basement to the north. The western side of Torres Strait experiences net bedload transport that is directed to the west throughout the year and favours the formation of bedforms that prefer unidirectional bedload transport regimes (i.e. barchan-shaped sandbanks and sand ribbons). The eastern side of the strait experiences seasonal changes in the direction of net bedload transport and maintains 'S' and 'V' shaped sandbanks.

Sediment availability also influences the bedform facies. Western Torres Strait experiences net westward bedload transport through the Strait However, sandbanks (indicating high sediment availability) are found in the central shallow and high current velocity areas, while sand ribbons (indicating low sediment availability) are a distal fades on the western side of the Strait. This sequence of bedforms indicates that sediments are preferentially trapped within the central portion of the Strait and not transported further west into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Item ID: 41888
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-695X
Keywords: Torres Strait, sandbank, banner bank, sand ribbon, bedload transport, bedload parting
Funders: Geoscience Australia, Torres Strait Cooperative Research Centre, Qld Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F)
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 15:54
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040607 Surface Processes @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969902 Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. Climate Related) @ 100%
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