1130. Estuaries


Downstream part of a river valley, subject to the tide and extending from the limit of brackish waters. River estuaries are coastal inlets where, unlike ‘large shallow inlets and bays’ there is generally a substantial freshwater influence. The mixing of freshwater and sea water and the reduced current flows in the shelter of the estuary lead to deposition of fine sediments, often forming extensive intertidal sand and mud flats. Where the tidal currents are faster than flood tides, most sediments deposit to form a delta at the mouth of the estuary. Baltic river mouths, considered as an estuary subtype, have brackish water and no tide, with large wetland vegetation (helophytic) and luxurious aquatic vegetation in shallow water areas.

Last update: 17 Mar. 2019
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