Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

2019 Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Morphodynamic Stability of Tidal Inlet-Bay Systems

  • Ashish J. MehtaEmail author
  • Earl J. Hayter
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93806-6_385


Sandy tidal inlets and associated back-barrier bays tend to show remarkably stable morphology in spite of sea level rise. This is brought about by morphodynamics which includes the process by which an inlet-bay system achieves a stable equilibrium configuration or form. In general, the relationship between process and form can be described empirically, by analytic modeling and by numerical modeling. The most important feature of morphodynamics is a dynamic feedback between process and form as the form-restoring mechanism. Conditions under which inlet-bay systems achieve and sustain equilibrium configuration due to tide and wave forcing are briefly reviewed following the basic inlet stability model of Escoffier (1940). Several inlet-bay systems in the state of Florida have been selected as case studies.


Tidal inlets flanking barrier islands are prominent coastal landforms along extensive sandy stretches of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and Pacific coasts of the...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nutech Consultants, Inc.GainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Coastal EngineeringUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  3. 3.Environmental LabUS Army Engineering Research and Development CenterVicksburgUSA