Seasonal variation in seabed elevation in the muddy intertidal zone of the Chao Phraya River delta, an area of serious coastal erosion for 40 years, was assessed using information on waves and tides predicted by numerical simulations. The study area is under the influence of the Southeast Asian monsoon climate and lies in the innermost part of a sheltered gulf, across which a low-gradient slope has developed. Observations, aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of a prototype breakwater on mitigating coastal erosion, indicated that the seasonal variation in the seabed elevation, typically about 30-cm, was caused primarily by seasonal changes in wave direction and height. The breakwater seems to have contributed to a net rise in the seabed level at sites behind the structure. Seabed erosion was most apparent during the northeast monsoon, when waves are weak. Erosion under this low wave energy state was attributed to the combined effect of wave breaking and the low tidal level. A difference in the observed seabed accretion rate between the transitional intermonsoon period and the succeeding southwest monsoon period was attributed to the direction of the wave energy flux; offshore sediments seem to have been supplied efficiently to the study area by waves during the transitional period. Another potential cause of seabed erosion and accretion during the wet southwest monsoon season was the discharge of water and sediments from local canals associated with intense tropical rainfall; this discharge seems to be linked to land use in the coastal area. The results of this study show the importance of monitoring across-shore sediment transport for better understanding of coastal erosion processes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Earth-Surface Processes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)