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Controls on Tidal Channel Morphology and Distribution in The Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia

Norhifzan Ishak, 2013

Master Degree of Master of Science (Petroleum Geology)

Australian School of Petroleum, 

The University of Adelaide

Abstract

Tidal channels are affected by a variety of processes including tidal range, wave height and the
size of catchment area. The geometry of such channels varies in response to these controls and
an example dataset of 128 major tidal channels from within the Gulf of Carpentaria were
assessed to determine links between process and form. The shoreline spacing of tidal channels in
the Gulf of Carpentaria was also examined to determine whether they have a tendency to form at
regular intervals along various contiguous sections of the Gulf shoreline. Statistics describing the
tidal channel's length, width profile of individual channels are analysed along with proxies for
the tidal range, width-distance slope and width curve profiles. The analysis reveals that width
curve profiles of most individual channels can be reasonably approximated with an exponential
curve throughout the gulf. The distance between each major tidal channel in the Gulf of
Carpentaria varies and the most common distance is less than 10km, and this also applies to the
distance to equiwidth and the distance from equiwidth to the coast. Better understanding of the
geometry and distribution of tidal channels has the potential to aid reservoir volume
predictions. For example, by applying statistics like the best fit exponential curve for tidal

Australian School of Petroleum
THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE

SA 5005 AUSTRALIA

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