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Title: Origin and evolution of Tagus estuarine beaches
Authors: Taborda, R.
Freire, P.
Silva, A.
Andrade, C.
Freitas, M. C.
Keywords: Wave generation;Sediment transport;Holocene transgression
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: Estuaries are unique systems with an unquestionable economical, ecological and recreational value which has motivated a large amount of research work. Out of the research focus emerge the estuarine margins and more particularly the estuarine beaches, especially in what concerns their macro-scale evolution. This work aims to understand the origin and evolution of Tagus estuary beaches. To meet this objective, a detailed geomorphological characterization of peri-estuarine margins, complemented with geological and sedimentological data, was performed. This study was coupled with the analysis of meteorological and hydrodynamic processes that control the estuarine sedimentary dynamics; particular attention was given to local waves through the application of a wind-wave generated model calibrated with field data. The origin of Tagus estuarine beaches is related with the Holocene transgression, which promoted the drowning of the present-day upper estuarine depression and generated a wide and shallow fetch-limited basin. From the transgressive maximum onwards the estuary initiated an infilling process dominated by fluvial fine-grained deposition within the estuarine basin, whereas sand input was retained in a bay-head delta. At the same time, fetch-limited waves promoted the erosion of estuarine margins, initiating beach development, related to the growth of sand spits anchored in Plio-Pleistocene reliefs. This process depended on wave energy and also on mean wave power direction, which controlled the spit growing pattern. At present, beach evolution reflects the disturbance of sediment budget due to the increase of human intervention in estuarine margins.
Appears in Collections:DHA/NEC - Comunicações a congressos e artigos de revista

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