Monday, 11 March 2013

Salt Marshes

A Salt Marsh is an area of saline (salty) water in an intertidal zone between land and sea, and is characterized by halophytic plants eg Oxford Ness in Suffolk

The intertidal mudflats form in well-sheltered areas like creeks, inlets and estuaries where fine sediment can be deposited or in the case of spits and artificial sea defences where tidal waters flow gently, still depositing fine sediments.

They are exposed at low tide and at least partially flooded at high tide. This means that only salt resistant aka halophytic vegetation can live there.

They are usually very flat with numerous creeks/channels cutting through them.

Conditions needed for them to form...

  • Sheltered Water
  • Relatively gentle tidal action
  • Intermittent erosion that is light enough to allow plants to grow
  • Where pioneer species are salt-tolerant (halophytes)

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