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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 57 (1973)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 370

Last Page: 398

Title: Variations in Morphology of Major River Deltas as Functions of Ocean Previous HitWaveNext Hit and River Discharge Regimes

Author(s): L. D. Wright (2), J. M. Coleman (2)


Procedures were developed to evaluate the relative contribution of riverine versus marine forces to the construction of river deltas. Seven deltas, the Mississippi (U.S.A.), Danube (Rumania), Ebro (Spain), Niger (Nigeria), Nile (Egypt), Sao Francisco (Brazil), and Senegal (Senegal), were found to represent a spectrum of delta Previous HittypesNext Hit reflecting process regimes ranging from fluvial-dominated, low-Previous HitwaveNext Hit-energy, (Mississippi) to Previous HitwaveNext Hit-dominated, low-fluvial-influence (Senegal). Deltas at the river-dominated end of the spectrum are characterized by highly irregular and protruding shorelines, a sparsity of Previous HitwaveNext Hit-built features, and low lateral continuity of sands. Previous HitWaveNext Hit-dominated deltas exhibit straight shorelines characterized by well-developed barriers and beach ridges with high l teral continuity of sands.

The configuration and landform suite characteristic of any given delta depend to a considerable degree on the Previous HitwaveNext Hit power adjacent to the shore and on river discharge relative to Previous HitwaveNext Hit forces. Nearshore Previous HitwaveNext Hit power is not correlative with deep-water Previous HitwaveNext Hit power but, owing to frictional attenuation, is also a function of the subaqueous slope. River-dominated shoreline configurations result only when the river is able to build flat offshore profiles; where the subaqueous slope is steep, Previous HitwaveTop-built shoreline landforms dominate the delta.

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