Journal of Earth System Science

, Volume 114, Issue 3, pp 353–368 | Cite as

Sedimentary structures of tidal flats: A journey from coast to inner estuarine region of eastern India

  • A. ChakrabartiEmail author


Sedimentary structures of some coastal tropical tidal flats of the east coast of India, and inner estuarine tidal point bars located at 30 to 50 kilometers inland from the coast, have been extensively studied under varying seasonal conditions. The results reveal that physical features such as flaser bedding, herringbone cross-bedding, lenticular bedding, and mud/silt couplets are common to both the environments. In fact, flaser bedding and lenticular bedding are more common in the point bar facies during the monsoon months than in the coastal tidal flat environments. Interference ripples, though common in both the environments, show different architectural patterns for different environmental domains. Interference ripples with thread-like secondary set overriding the earlier ripple-form, resembling wrinkle marks, are the typical features in estuarine point bars near the high water region. Because structures which are so far considered as key structures for near-coastal tidal flats are common to both the environments, caution should be exercised for deciphering palaeo-environments, particularly for Proterozoic rocks, where one has to depend only on physical sedimentary structures.


Sedimentary structures estuarine point bar open sea tidal flats monsoon effects 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen G P 1972 Etude des Processus Sedimentaires dans l’estuarine de la Grinode; Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Bordeaux.Google Scholar
  2. Alexander C R, Nittrour C A, Demaster D J, Park Y A and Park S C 1991 Macrotidal mudflats of the southwestern Korean coast: a model for interpretation of intertidal deposits;J. Sedim. Res. 61 805–824.Google Scholar
  3. Amos C L 1991 The post-glacial evolution of Chignecto Bay, Bay of Fundy, and its modern environment of deposition; In:Clastic tidal sedimentology (eds) D G Smith, G E Reinson, B A Zaitlin and R A Rahmani,Candian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 16 59–90.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson F E 1973 Observations of some sedimentary processes acting on a tidal flat;Marine Geology 14 101–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhattacharya A 2000 Surface sculpture and layering in the transitional zone between intertidal and supratidal flats of the mesotidal tropical coast of eastern India;Tidalite 2000 Dynamics, Ecology and Evolution of the Tidal flats (Abstract) 7–8.Google Scholar
  6. Chakrabarti A 1972 Beach structures produced by crab pellets;Sedimentology 18 129–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chakrabarti A 1974 Cyclic characteristics in the size distribution pattern of beach sediments and their relation to sand movements;Senckenbergiana maritima 6 75–103.Google Scholar
  8. Chakrabarti A 1977 Mass-Spring-Damper system as the mathematical model for the pattern of sand movement for an eroding beach around Digha, West Bengal, India;J. Sedim. Petrol. 47 311–330.Google Scholar
  9. Chakrabarti A 1980 Influence of biogenic activity of ghost crabs on the size parameters of beach sediments;Senckenbergiana maritime 12 183–199.Google Scholar
  10. Chakrabarti A 1981 Burrow patterns ofOcypode ceratophthalma (PALLAS) and their environmental significance;J. Palaeontol. 55 431–441.Google Scholar
  11. Chakrabarti A 1984 Problems in making relief peels and certain remedial measures.Ind. J. Earth Sci. 11 249–254.Google Scholar
  12. Chakrabarti A 2003 Large point bars in a monsoonal estuarine environment (east coast of India); An atlas of near surface sedimentary and biogenic structures;Senckenbergiana maritima 32 95–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chang J H, Choi J Y and Park Y A 2000 Intertidal deposits controlled by Holocene sea-level rise in Gomso Bay, West of Korea.;Tidalite 2000 Dynamics, Ecology and Evolution of the Tidal flats (Abstract) 14–17.Google Scholar
  14. Choi K S and Park Y A 2000 Tidal rhythmites in the Kuunggi Bay, west coast of Korea: A comparison between Holocene and Late Pleistocene example;Tidalite 2000 Dynamics, Ecology and Evolution of the Tidal flats (Abstract) 22.Google Scholar
  15. Dalrymple R W, Amos C L and McCann S B 1982 Beach and nearshore depositional environments of the Bay of Fundy and southern Gulf of St. Lawrence;Inter. Assoc. Sedimentologists Guidebook. 11th Congress, Hamilton, p. 116.Google Scholar
  16. Davies J L 1972 Geographical variation in coastal development. Oliver & Boyd, Edinburgh, p. 204.Google Scholar
  17. De Raaf J F M and Boersma J R 1971 Tidal deposits and their sedimentary structures (seven examples from western Europe)Geologie en Mijnbouw 50 479–507.Google Scholar
  18. Eisma D 1997 Intertidal deposits: River mouths, tidal flats and coastal lagoons, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Boston, London, New York, p. 525.Google Scholar
  19. Evans G 1965 Intertidal flat sediments and their environment of deposition in the Wash;Quarterly J. Geol. Soc. Lond. 121 209–245.Google Scholar
  20. Geyl W F 1976 Tidal neomorphs;Zeitschrift. Geomorph. N F20 308–330.Google Scholar
  21. Hertweck G 1971 Der Golf von Gaeta (Tyrrhenisches Meer), V. Abfolge der Biofaziesbereichen in den Vorstrand und Schelfsedimenten;Senckenbergiana maritima 3 247–276.Google Scholar
  22. Hertweck G 1972 Georgia coastal region, Sapelo Island, USA: Sedimentology and biology, V. Distribution and environmental significance of Lebensspuren and in situ skeletal remains;Senckenbergiana maritima 4 125–167.Google Scholar
  23. Howard J D and Reineck H E 1972 Georgia coastal region, Sapelo Island, USA. Sedimentology and biology IV Physical and biogenic sedimentary structures of nearshore shelf;Senckenbergiana maritime 4 81–123.Google Scholar
  24. Larsonneur C 1975 Tidal deposits, Mont Saint-Michel Bay, France; In:Tidal deposits (ed.) R N Ginsburg, Pp. 21–30.Google Scholar
  25. Martini I P 1991 Sedimentology of subarctic tidal flats of Western James Bay and Hudson Bay Ontario deposition; In:Clastic Tidal sedimentology (eds) D G Smith, G E Reinson, B A Zaitlin and R A Rahmani,Candian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 16 301-312.Google Scholar
  26. Matsunaga N and Honji H 1980 Formation mechanisms of brick pattern ripples;Rep. Res. Inst. Applied Mechanics, Kyushu Univ. Vol. XXVIII 88 27–38.Google Scholar
  27. Middleton G V and Southard J B 1984 Mechanics of sediment movement;SEP M Short Course 3 Tulsa Oklahoma, p. 401.Google Scholar
  28. Mukherjee K K, Das S and Chakrabarti A 1987 Common physical sedimentary structures in a beach-related opensea siliciclastic tropical tidal flat at Chandipur, Orissa and evaluation of weather conditions through discriminant analysis;Senckenbergiana maritima 19 261–293.Google Scholar
  29. Redfield A C 1967 Ontogeny of a saltmarsh estuary; In:Estuaries (ed.) G H Lauff,Am. Assoc. Adv. Sc. Publ. 83 108-114.Google Scholar
  30. Reineck H E 1972 Tidal flats;SEPM Spec. Publ. 16 146–149.Google Scholar
  31. Reineck H E and Wunderlich F 1968 Classification and origin of flaser and lenticular bedding;Sedimentology 11 99–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Reineck H E and Singh I B 1973 Depositional sedimentary environments; Springer-Verlag, Berlin, New York, p. 439.Google Scholar
  33. Thompson R W 1968 Tidal flat sedimentation on the Colorado River delta, Northwestern Gulf of California;Geol. Soc. Am. Memoir. 107 133.Google Scholar
  34. Van Straaten sL M J U 1954 Composition and structure of recent marine sediments in the Netherlands;Leidse Geologie Mededelserv 19 1–119.Google Scholar
  35. Wang Ying, Collins M B and Zhu Dakui 1990 A comparative study of open coast tidal flats: the Wash (UK), Bohai Bay and West Yellow sea (main land China);Proc. Int. Symp. Coast Zone 120-130.Google Scholar
  36. Wang Ying 1983 The mudflat coast of China;Can. J. Fisheries and Aquatic Sc. 40(1) 160–171.Google Scholar
  37. Yokokawa M and Masuda F 1991 Tidal influence on foreshore deposits, Pacific coast of Japan; In:Clastic tidal sedimentology (eds) D G Smith, G E Reinson, B A Zaitlin and R A Rahmani.Can. Soc. Petrol. Geol. Mem. 16 315-320.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Printed in India 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology and GeophysicsIndian Institute of Technology, KharagpurWest BengalIndia

Personalised recommendations