Wind and Tide-Induced Hydrodynamics and Sedimentation of Two Tidal Inlets in Western Greece
To quantify the detailed mechanisms that cause sedimentation at the tidal inlets in the Messolonghi-Aetoliko lagoonal system, the MIKE 21 FM (HD & ST) numerical simulation models were applied. The study focuses on the hydrodynamic circulation in the vicinity of the tidal inlets and the associated wind and tide-induced currents, as well as sediment transport, bed level evolution and total sediment load accumulation, with emphasis on the vicinity of two tidal inlets, where the problem is more acute. Based on the numerical predictions, which have been qualitatively corroborated via satellite images from Google Earth, it is shown that under the prevailing winds and tidal action, sandbars are formed in front or behind the tidal inlets depending on the wind direction, resulting in a gradual decrease of the mean water level at the mouths. Under the combined action of the tide and the wind the characteristic horizontal structure of the flow includes cyclonic and anti-cyclonic eddies that form at the near tip area of the jetties, which are associated with sediment transport mechanisms.