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Title: Salt Fluxes in a Complex River Mouth System of Portugal
Author: Vaz, N.
Silva, J.
Dias, J. M.
Issue Date: 10-Oct-2012
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Abstract: Measurements of velocity and salinity near the mouth and head of the Espinheiro channel (Ria de Aveiro lagoon, Portugal) are used to study the local variation of physical water properties and to assess the balance, under steady conditions, between the seaward salt transport induced by river discharge and the landward dispersion induced by various mixing mechanisms. This assessment is made using data sampled during complete tidal cycles. Under the assumption that the estuarine tidal channel is laterally homogeneous and during moderate tidal periods (except for one survey), currents and salinity data were decomposed into various spatial and temporal means and their deviations. Near the channel's mouth, the main contributions to the salt transport are the terms due to freshwater discharge and the tidal correlation. Near the channel's head, this last term is less important than the density driven circulation, which is enhanced by the increase in freshwater discharge. The remaining terms, which are dependent on the deviations from the mean depth have a smaller role in the results of salt transport. The computed salt transport per unit width of a section perpendicular to the mean flow is in close agreement to the sum of the advective and dispersive terms (within or very close to 12%). An imbalance of the salt budget across the sections is observed for all the surveys. Considerations are made on how this approach can inform the management of hazardous contamination and how to use these results to best time the release of environmental flows during dry months.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047349
ISSN: 1932-6203
Appears in Collections:CESAM - Artigos
DBio - Artigos
DFis - Artigos
PT Mar - Artigos

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