Abstract

Tidal currents on the sandy, southern slope of Fraser River delta have generated dunes with heights of 0.5–3.5 m and lengths of 11–108 m. Dune geometry and migration measurements indicate net sediment transport to the northwest in the direction of flood tidal currents. Two current meters moored in the dune field showed greater frequencies of occurrence and higher mean current speeds in the flood direction compared with the ebb. Predictions from two bed-material load models indicate sediment transport is overwhelmingly dominated by flood currents. There is no obvious source of sand to replace sediment transported in the dune field, suggesting net erosion of the surface. A previous analysis of bathymetric data also shows recent erosion of the lower slope and overall slope steepening. These patterns of erosion could lead to slope failure and damage to coastal structures.

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