3-4 Estuaries

3-4 Estuaries - ES TUARI ES Topic 17 hapte 8 r C Estuary De...

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ESTUARIES Topic 17 Chapter 8
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Estuary Definition: Semi-enclosed coastal body of water with connection to the sea Tidal movement and mixing of freshwater and seawater
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Classification of estuaries: Salinity regime: freshwater = 0-0.5 ‰; oligohaline brackish = 0.5-3‰; mesohaline brackish = 3-10‰; polyhaline brackish = 10-17‰; oligohaline seawater = 17-30‰; mesohaline seawater = 30-33‰; polyhaline seawater > 34 ‰; brine > 38 ‰ However, high temporal variation in salinity may invalidate this classification
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Formation of estuaries: Drowned river valley - on coastlines with wide, low plain where the sea encroaches on a river Chesapeake Bay
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Fjord deep valley cut by glacier with a sill at mouth Norway and Alaska
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Bar-built - shallow basin behind an offshore bar or barrier island Behind an inlet with a flood-tide and ebb-tide delta and the basin may be exposed at low tide Barataria Bay, Terrebonne Bay, Outer Banks of North Carolina
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Tectonic - valley formed by faults or local subsidence associated with tectonic activity San Francisco Bay River-delta - large river delta with much freshwater inflow. Unstable deposits, shifting bays etc. Nile, Mississippi, Yellow, & Amazon Rivers
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Other types of estuaries: Many brackish seas (Baltic Sea, Black Sea, Lake Pontchartrain) are estuarine with low salinity, little tidal mixing and limited salt water exchange Most estuaries are young, < 10,000 yrs
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Water circulation/stratification 1. Salt-water wedge force of river flow > tidal flow Strong halocline with low salinity at surface Mississippi River/delta example
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Figure 8.2 Figure 8.3
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2. Partially mixed
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3-4 Estuaries - ES TUARI ES Topic 17 hapte 8 r C Estuary De...

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