What Controls the Shape of a Delta?
ES1304  Identification of Types of Deltas

Many deltas can be characterized as wave-, river- or tide-dominated, but others show some of the effects of each of these processes. In the following images, focus on the overall shape of the delta to infer the dominant process.

  • To identify river-dominated deltas, look for thin fingers of the delta protruding into the basin. It also helps to consider if the delta is located in a protected area, away from strong currents or waves.
  • A smooth coastline is the main characteristic of wave-dominated deltas.
  • Tide-dominated deltas generally show wide lobes of land perpendicular to the coast.

  !   Click each dot to see an image of a delta. Examine the delta and consider how all three processes work to shape it. Infer which process is dominant in each image, then answer question 2 below.

2. Make a sketch of each delta. Identify the delta as wave-, river, or tide-dominated.

 Step:   1   2   3