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Dolch, T.. Coarsening of tidal flat sediments - long-term mud depletion in a tidal bay in the northern Wadden Sea (SE North Sea). In: Schwarzer, K., Schrottke, K., Stattegger, K. (eds.). From Brazil to Thailand - New Results in Coastal Research. Coastline Reports (16), pp. 59-62. EUCC - Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V., Rostock, 2010.

Zusammenfassung: The Wadden Sea is a highly dynamic system characterised by unconsolidated sediments and continuous changes which are mainly driven by hydrodynamics. The grain size composition of the tidal flats reflects information on the prevailing hydrodynamic conditions. The long-term development of the grain size composition of tidal flat surface sediments was surveyed in a shallow semi-enclosed bay in the northern Wadden Sea in order to gain information on changing hydrodynamic forces. Surface sediments were sampled during low tide from November 2004 to December 2006. The outcome was a general spatial distribution pattern of sediment types which was compared to earlier surveys conducted in 1932 - 1933, 1981 and 1989. A significant general coarsening of the surface sediments can be observed over the last 70 years. It is suggested that changing hydrodynamic conditions, that accompany ongoing climate change, are primarily responsible for the mud depletion. The coarsening of sediments is furthermore supported by rigid coastal protection measures, which increase energy levels in the bay, and a reduced areal extent of intertidal seagrass and mussel beds which means a reduction of sheltered areas.
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