High resolution bed level change and synchronized biophysical data from 10 tidal flats in northwestern Europe
datasetposted on 25.03.2020 by Zhan Hu, Pim Willemsen, B.W. (Bas) Borsje, C. Wang, H. (Heng) Wang, D. (Daphne) van der Wal, Z. (Zhenchang) Zhu, Bas Oteman, V. (Vincent) Vuik, B. (Ben) Evans, Iris Möller, J.P. (Jean-Philippe) Belliard, A. (Alexander) van Braeckel, S. (Stijn) Temmerman, T.J. (Tjeerd) Bouma
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Tidal flats provide valuable ecosystem services such as flood protection and carbon sequestration. Erosion and accretion processes govern the eco-geomorphic evolution of intertidal ecosystems (marshes and bare flats), and hence substantially affect their valuable ecosystem services. To understand the intertidal ecosystem development, high-frequency bed-level change data are thus needed. However, such datasets are scarce due to the lack of suitable methods that do not involve excessive labour and/or instrument cost. By applying newly-developed Surface Elevation Dynamics sensors (SED-sensors), we obtained unique high-resolution daily bed-level change data sets in the period 2013-2017 from 10 saltmarsh sites situated in the Netherlands, Belgium and Britain in contrasting physical and biological settings. At each site, multiple sensors were deployed for 9-20 months to ensure sufficient spatial and temporal coverage of highly variable bed level change processes. The bed level change data are provided with synchronized hydrodynamic data, i.e. water level, wave height, tidal current velocity, and medium grain size (D50) as well as (for some sites) chlorophyll-a level and organic matter content of the surface sediment. This dataset has revealed diverse spatial morphodynamic patterns over daily to seasonal scales, which are valuable to theoretical and model development. On the daily scale, this dataset is particularly instructive as it includes a number of storm events, the response to which can be detected in the bed level change observations. Such data are rare but useful to study tidal flat response to highly energetic conditions.