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River delta morphotypes emerge from multiscale characterization of shorelines
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  • Lawrence Vulis,
  • Alejandro Tejedor,
  • Hongbo Ma,
  • Jaap H Nienhuis,
  • Connor Broaddus,
  • Jack Brown,
  • Douglas Arthur Edmonds,
  • Joel Carey Rowland,
  • Efi Foufoula-Georgiou
Lawrence Vulis
University of California, Irvine

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Alejandro Tejedor
Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi
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Hongbo Ma
Tsinghua University
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Jaap H Nienhuis
Utrecht University
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Connor Broaddus
University of California, Irvine
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Jack Brown
Indiana University,
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Douglas Arthur Edmonds
Indiana University
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Joel Carey Rowland
Los Alamos National Laboratory (DOE)
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Efi Foufoula-Georgiou
University of California, Irvine
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Delta shoreline structure has long been hypothesized to encode information on the relative influence of fluvial, wave, and tidal processes on delta formation and evolution. We introduce here a novel multiscale characterization of shorelines by defining three process-informed morphological metrics. We show that this characterization yields self-emerging classes of morphologically similar deltas, i.e., delta morphotypes, and also predicts the dominant forcing of each morphotype. Then we show that the dominant forcings inferred from shoreline structure generally align with those estimated via relative sediment fluxes, while positing that misalignments arise from spatiotemporal heterogeneity in deltaic sediment fluxes not captured in their estimates. The proposed framework for shoreline characterization advances our quantitative understanding of how shoreline features reflect delta forcings, and may aid in deciphering paleoclimate from images of ancient deposits and projecting delta morphologic response to changes in sediment fluxes.
07 Jan 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
17 Jan 2023Published in ESS Open Archive
16 Apr 2023Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 50 issue 7. 10.1029/2022GL102684