Hydrodynamics of a small trained tidal inlet (Currumbin Creek, Australia)
- 1Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, Griffith University, Australia
- 2School of Engineering, Gold Coast Campus, Griffith University, Australia
Abstract. Small tidal inlets are important features of coastal areas, in terms of provision of access from a back barrier water-body to the ocean as well as periodic circulation of fresh nutrients for the local ecology. Usually, dimensional and geometrical characteristics contribute significantly to morphological stability or instability of a particular inlet and necessitate an individual investigation of any desired location. In other words, generalized usage of previous empirical and experimental research of a different position can hardly be used for other places. In this regard, one of the powerful tools to understand the physical processes of a particular region is to collect as much field data as possible. Such a dataset is used to further analyse and explore the governing processes and can also be used for building a numerical computer model for supplementary studies.
In this research, the results of a comprehensive field measurement at Currumbin Creek, Queensland, Australia are presented. This study is part of broader research to investigate the long term evolution of the Currumbin entrance and its adjacent beaches. Currently, an annual dredging campaign is needed to reduce the risk of flooding due to excess rainfall inundations and to maintain water quality.
The majority of data were collected over a three month period consistent with the time of the 2012 dredging operation. However, due to the loss of some instrumentation, data collection for some of the parameters was repeated till the middle of May 2013. All collected data included: (1) nearshore waves and tide; (2) creek tidal variation; (3) creek flow discharge and velocity; (4) bathymetric survey of the creek; (5) beach profile evolution survey; and (6) sediment sampling. The measurement showed that the creek entrance is tidally dominated, with flood events having a major role in sediment transport into the creek. The nearshore stations' wave data illustrated the marginal effect of the beach curvature between updrift and downdrift stations. Thus, the historical dataset available from the updrift wave rider buoy will be selected to be used for future numerical modelling. Although changes of some beach profiles were comparatively insignificant, the dramatic changes of the profile lines nearby the inlet channel and also rapid bathymetric change of the flood shoal following the dredging completion are valuable information to better calibrate and interpret a local sediment modelling study for the next phase. Essentially, this evaluation needs to be considered for proposing any alternative maintenance activities.