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Chenaux tidaux et dynamique des prés-salés en régime méga-tidal : approche multi-temporelle du siècle à l'événement de marée

Abstract : Salt marshes are complex interfaces between land and sea of high environmental values. These vulnerable landforms are now subjected to particular attention since they are very sensitive to sea level changes and storm events. This study focuses on salt marsh dynamic subjected to a mega-tidal range (higher than 10 m) that received less attention, through the study of two estuaries of the north-western coast of France: The Couesnon estuary in the Bay of Mont -Saint-Michel and the Somme estuary. The originality of this study is to consider a wide range of time scales, from the secular one to tide events. At secular time scale, we measure the evolution of salt marsh surfaces in the Somme bay, from historical documents and aerial photographs. The comparison with the Couesnon estuary reveals a surprisingly similar evolution of salt marsh extension, since the derivation and embankment of their main river in early mid XIXth century. After a period of rapid salt marsh extension, a concomitant reduction of growth rates is observed in both estuaries in the early XXth century. We propose that the increase in sea level rise during this period is responsible for the reduced growth of salt marshes. The pluriannual analysis highlights periods of erosion of salt marshes resulting from the tidal channels migration on salt marsh fringe. However, the pluriannual time scale does not capture the processes governing the dynamics of channel migration. This has motivated a 3 years study of a sinuous tidal channel located on the fringe of the marsh with the aim to understand its dynamics at daily to annual scales. We have acquired 36 high resolution topographic surveys with Terrestrial Laser Scanner. We used daily surveys during spring tides of various High Water Level (HWL) to analyze channel dynamics at tidal event timescales. Daily TLS measurements revealed a non-linear relationship between bank erosion and tidal height. This relationship is related to a sharp increase in flow velocities during the ebb (up to 2.2 m/s) for overmarsh tides. Spatially averaged accretion on the inner bend tends to increase linearly with HWL and is increased by a factor 2 during summer/autumn spring tides at the peak of pioneer vegetation development. We propose empirical laws of sedimentation and erosion depending on the tide height, which model that 6% of the highest tides of the year are responsible for 90 % of salt marsh erosion by channel migration, while sedimentation is dominated by frequent tides. These results highlight the need to incorporate the influence of vegetation on sedimentation rates as well as tidal migration processes in models of salt marsh dynamic in mega-tidal environment. Long term modeling should account for the highest tides of the year, that make tidal channel very sensitive to the nodal cycle (18.6 years) which controls the occurrence of the highest tides in mega-tidal environment.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 12, 2014 - 2:22:25 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01005360, version 1


Jérôme Leroux. Chenaux tidaux et dynamique des prés-salés en régime méga-tidal : approche multi-temporelle du siècle à l'événement de marée. Géomorphologie. Université Rennes 1; Université Européenne de Bretagne, 2013. Français. ⟨tel-01005360⟩



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