Effects of Tidal Range Variability and Local Morphology on Hydrodynamic Behavior and Salinity Structure in the Caete River Estuary, North Brazil

Publisher:
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Publication Type:
Journal article
Citation:
Cavalcante, Georgenes, Feary, David, and Kjerfve, Bjorn 2013, 'Effects of Tidal Range Variability and Local Morphology on Hydrodynamic Behavior and Salinity Structure in the Caete River Estuary, North Brazil', International Journal of Oceanography, vol. 2013, pp. 315328-1-315328-1 0.
Issue Date:
2013
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Tidal influence and local morphology on circulation and salt transport are investigated in the Caete river estuary, a well-mixed estuary along the north coast of Brazil. Velocity, temperature, and salinity data were collected in three different locations along the estuary?s main channel, over three single, 13?h tidal cycles. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between tidal distortion and salinity by using classical methods of comparison of three cross-channel circulation characteristics, as well as computation of salt flux and vertical mixing. Findings indicate a flood-ebb asymmetry in currents, due to the distinct funneling morphology of the estuary, with shallow marginal areas being dominant towards the estuary head, while both stratification and shear dominate near the estuary mouth. The tidal currents enhanced vertical diffusion in the mid- and lower reaches, explaining the prevailing weakly stratified conditions, while the dominant well-mixed conditions in the upper estuary are a result of a combination of stronger flood currents and negligible vertical saline gradient. The predominant downstream salt transport supports the conclusion that there is little accumulation of salt in the Caete river estuary. In addition, findings indicate that tidal correlation and Stokes drift are important components in the upper estuary, while tidal correlation played an important role in the middle estuary, with fluvial discharge most important in the lower estuary.
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