- Volume 4 Issue 2
Hampyong Bay is a semienclosed and macrotidal bay which opens to the eastern Yellow Sea through a narrow inlet in the southwestern coast of Korea. In order to understand the tidal-flat sedimentation in the semienclosed setting, morphology, sediments, accumulation rate and sea cliff erosion were investigated in the tidal flat of Hampyong Bay. The tidal flat of Hampyong Bay lacks intertidal drainage systems, and generally shows the concave-upward profile whose relief is designated by marked morphological features such as high-tide beaches, intertidal sand shoals and tidal creeks. Surfacial sediments of the tidal flat mainly consist of mud, sandy mud, gravelly mud, gravelly sand and muddy gravel, thus showing the textural characteristics of multimodal grain-size distribution, poorly sorting and positive skewness. The sediments generally coarsen landward due to the increase in coarse fraction content. Sedimentary structures are deeply bioturbated, but parallel lamination and lenticular bedding are locally found in the mudflat near mean low water line. Annual accumulation rates across the tidal flat (along Line SM) average -5.2 cm/yr with a range of -45.8~+4.2 cm/yr, indicating that the tidal flat is erosional. In general, erosion rates of upper and lower tidal flat are higher than those of middle tidal flat. Seasonally, the erosion rates are much higher during spring and winter when dominant wind direction corresponds to the long axis of Hampyong Bay. Sea cliffs are eroded at a rate of 1.4 m/yr. The biggest sea cliff erosion generally occurs 1~2 months later after tidal flats were extensively eroded. Such erosions of tidal Oats and sea cliffs in the semienclosed bay setting are interpreted to be due to wind waves coupled with local sea-level rise.