The circulation of the lower Capibaribe Estuary (Brazil) and its implications for the transport of scalars

  • Carlos Augusto França Schettini Universidade Federal de Pernambuco; Departamento de Oceanografia
  • Josineide B. de Miranda Universidade Federal de Pernambuco; Departamento de Oceanografia
  • Arnoldo Valle-Levinson University of Florida; Civil and Coastal Engineering Department
  • Eliane C. Truccolo Universidade Federal de Pernambuco; Departamento de Oceanografia
  • Ernesto C. Domingues Universidade Federal de Pernambuco; Departamento de Oceanografia
Keywords: Hydrodynamics, Hydrology, Water quality, Salinity, Suspended particulate matter

Abstract

The Capibaribe Estuary is a water body that crosses the Recife Metropolitan Area (RMA), one of the largest population centers in Brazil, and causes large pollutant loads and poor water quality. The fresh water inflow of wastewater from the RMA can account for three times the volume of the river discharge during the low discharge period. This article assesses the hydrodynamics and potential transport of particulate and dissolved scalars in this estuary. A field experiment was conducted to record the water level, current velocity, salinity, temperature and suspended particulate matter (SPM) contents during a full semi-diurnal tidal cycle. This experiment was performed during low river discharge and spring tide conditions. The estuary showed a partially mixed circulation pattern. The residual transport of water and salt were up estuary, while the SPM residual transport was down estuary. The former were understood as the effect of the residual circulation around the islands, while the latter was interpreted as a morphological factor inducing greater resuspension during the ebb, despite the symmetrical ebb and flood currents. This mechanism may transport SPM to the inner shelf, even under tide-dominated conditions when the opposite would be expected.

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Published
2016-09-01
How to Cite
Schettini, C., Miranda, J., Valle-Levinson, A., Truccolo, E., & Domingues, E. (2016). The circulation of the lower Capibaribe Estuary (Brazil) and its implications for the transport of scalars. Brazilian Journal of Oceanography, 64(3), 263-276. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-87592016119106403
Section
Original Article