Hangzhou Bay is a typical funnel-shaped high turbid estuary along a mesotidal coast of the East China Sea. In this paper, field studies are undertaken in an attempt to better understand tide-induced fine sediment transport processes in the Bay. Field observations were made mainly of current velocities (speeds and directions) and suspended sediment concentrations at six different relative depths and two stations in September 1992. Results show that (1) high near-bed suspended sediment concentrations varied from 1·81 to 4·00 kg m−3 during the spring tide and from 1·04 to 8·00 kg m−3 during the neap tide; (2) tide-induced near-bed fine sediment resuspension processes are indicated by several periodic suspended sediment concentration peaks; and (3) a hysteresis effect, or suspension-lag, occurs in suspended sediment concentration and resuspension events. Tide-induced fine sediment processes are mainly responsible for very high concentration suspensions of fine sediments in Hangzhou Bay. The occurrence of the suspension-lag phenomenon is likely to be common in other similar muddy tidal environments.