Rhone Delta

  • Created by: Nathan
  • Created on: 08-01-22 14:15


  • The River Rhone flows into the Mediterranean Sea just to the west of Marseilles in South France
  • The delta lies between the two main destributries of the River Rhone: the Grande Rhone and the Petit Rhone
  • In the 30km stretch between the city of Arles and the sea, the Rhone splits into many further distributies to form the delta 
  • the East branch, the Grande Rhone, is the biggest of the two branches and carries 85% of the rivers water into the Mediterranean sea 
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How is the delta formed?

  • The Rhone delta formed over the last 7000 years since the sea level rise at the end of the last ice age
  • The current shoreline began to take shape when a flood moved the course of the Rhone to where it is now
  • This lead to the material at the mouth of the abandoned channel to form the Beaudic Spit
  • In the 19th centurary, human managment cause a change in the shape going from  3 channels to one

There are a set of conditions needed for a delta to form:

  • low tidal range
  • low wind speeds
  • low wave action
  • high levels of sediment

the source of sediment for the Rhone is the Alps

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Landforms of the Delta

The low energy conditions mean that deposition occurs creating:

  • beaches
  • spits
  • bars
  • saltmarshes
  • lagoons
  • beaches
  • sand dunes
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recent changes

  • Climate change and increase in temperatures are having an impact on the Mediterranean.
  • sea levels rose by 2mm per yeaar since 1950 and increased storm activity have affected the delta leading to increased rates of erosion
  • winds from the SE can result in large wave surges
  • these are all eroding the delta


  • Authoritied have spent €15 million on coastal protection
  • this incudes:
  • groynes
  • rip rap
  • sea walls

this is to try and restore the equilibrium in the system.

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