Crimson Publishers Publish With Us Reprints e-Books Video articles


Examines in Marine Biology & Oceanography

Coastal Dynamics in Estuaries and Deltas under the Combined Effects of Large Dams Built Upstream and Rising Sea Levels

  • Open or CloseJean Albergel1* and Yadh Zahar2

    1University of Montpellier, UMR LISAH, IRD, France

    2University of Carthage, VDEC lab, LR01ES20, Tunisia

    *Corresponding author:Jean Albergel, UMR LISAH-IRD, 2 Place Pierre Viala - 34060 Montpellier Cedex 1, France

Submission: January 09, 2023;Published: January 23, 2023

DOI: 10.31031/EIMBO.2023.05.000609

ISSN : 2578-031X
Volume5 Issue3


The river streams meet the sea level either by estuaries in which the ocean flows more or less far, or by deltas, large sedimentary constructions reclaimed from the sea. The coastal dynamics of estuaries and deltas is very dependent on the difference in altitude between sea level and the bottom of the riverbed at its mouth, on the sedimentary loading transported by the river at sea, on the erosive force of the tides and on the marine currents. Among these drivers, two are rapidly changing in the Anthropocene: i) The rise of sea level due to climate change or various digging engineering works, ii) The rate of sediment transported by rivers due to the multiplication of large dams or more land husbandry inside the watershed. This review paper recalls the importance of estuaries and deltas, places with high populations due to the port sites they shelter, the richness of the alluvial lands or the importance of mangroves for natural resources and biodiversity. They indicate the principles that drive their formation and evolution. They show from the literature the important changes at the mouths of major rivers during the Anthropocene. Finally, they detail the evolution of the Medjerda Delta in Tunisia, well known since antiquity. Recent studies show the speed of its construction since the Punic period and the even faster reopening of the Gulf of Utica since the construction of large dams, the recent change of land use in the river basin and the rise in sea level. They conclude with a discussion on this global trend of the invasion of estuaries and deltas by the sea.

Keywords:Estuary; Delta; Coastal dynamics; Rise sea level; Large dams; Medjerda river

Abbreviations:RSL: Rise Sea Level ; IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; SSP: Shared Socio-Economic Pathways replace the so-called ; RCP: Representative Concentration Pathways Scenarios

Get access to the full text of this article