Articles | Volume 16, issue 9
Research article
18 Sep 2012
Research article |  | 18 Sep 2012

An analytical solution for tidal propagation in the Yangtze Estuary, China

E. F. Zhang, H. H. G. Savenije, S. L. Chen, and X. H. Mao

Abstract. An analytical model for tidal dynamics has been applied to the Yangtze Estuary for the first time, to describe the tidal propagation in this large and typically branched estuary with three-order branches and four outlets to the sea. This study shows that the analytical model developed for a single-channel estuary can also accurately describe the tidal dynamics in a branched estuary, particularly in the downstream part. Within the same estuary system, the North Branch and the South Branches have a distinct tidal behaviour: the former being amplified demonstrating a marine character and the latter being damped with a riverine character. The satisfactory results for the South Channel and the South Branch using both separate and combined topographies confirm that the branched estuary system functions as an entity. To further test these results, it is suggested to collect more accurate and dense bathymetric and tidal information.