Wei Li, Zhenghua Su


The Qiantang Estuary (QE) in the east coast of China is famous for its hyperconcentrated tidal bore with the highest sediment concentration up to about 80 kg/m3 (Pan et al., 2013). Recent research for some European estuaries has indicated that hyperconcentrated environment may affect tidal propagation through hydraulic drag reduction, resulting in an enlarged tidal range and even a regime shift in the estuary (Winterwerp and Wang, 2013). However, this water-sediment interactions have not been considered in the tidal prediction of the Qiantang Estuary in the past. Instead, a bed roughness even smaller than that of glossy glass has often been used to fit the observed tidal data in the mathematical modelling.

Therefore, the present study aims to reveal whether the hyperconcentration-related drag reduction can explain the mechanism of very small bed roughness in the Qiantang Estuary and to what extent it can affect the tidal propagation especially for the tidal range. First, an analytical model is used to predict the tidal range along the QE (from Wenyan to Ganpu stations) for different methods of bed friction. Then, mathematical modelling is conducted to shed light on the processes of tidal wave propagation for the corresponding approaches. The results of the two models are compared together with the field observations to further verify the ability of the analytical model and the significance of the effects of hyperconcentration-related drag reduction.

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Li, Su, van Maren, Wang, and de Vriend (2017): Mechanisms of hyperconcentrated flood propagation in a dynamic channel-floodplain system, Advances in Water Resources, vol. 107, pp. 470-489.

Pan, Zeng, Tang et al (2013): A study of sediment characteristics and riverbed erosion/deposition in Qiantang Estuary, Hydro-Science and Engineering, iss. 1, pp. 1-6 (in Chinese).

Winterwerp and Wang (2013): Man-induced regime shifts in small estuaries-I: theory, Ocean Dynamics, vol. 63, pp. 1279-1292.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v36.currents.70