Tidal Sandbanks in Mar Chiquita Coastal Lagoon, Argentina


  • Nestor W. Lanfredi
  • Carlos F. Balestrini
  • Carlos A. Mazio
  • Sergio A. Schmidt


Coastal lagoon, tidal inlet, tidal currents, sediment dynamics, tidal sandbanks, bank formation, power spectra, depth closure


Tides and tidal currents were measured continuously over the tidal inlet and coastal lagoon of Mar Chiquita, southeastern Argentina. The oceanic tides present semidiurnal characteristics, predominantly the M2 component. Pronounced asymmetries observed inside the lagoon respond to contributions from superior harmonics. The friction terms of this dispersive medium play an important role in the translation of tidal waves. Considering the combined effects of wave agitation and net transport by tidal currents, it is inferred that a mechanism may exist between the outer bank and the tidal inlet to which it supplies sand. During the 12 day field study it was observed that strong storms can construct a major bank in a matter of hours.