Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Hydrographic maintenance of deep anoxia in a tidally influenced saline lagoon

S. Kelly A B C , E. de Eyto B , M. Dillane B , R. Poole B , G. Brett A and M. White A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Earth and Ocean Sciences, School of Natural Sciences, National University of Ireland Galway, Co. Galway, H91 TK33, Ireland.

B Marine Institute, Furnace, Newport, Co. Mayo, F28 PF65, Ireland.

C Corresponding author. Email: sean.kelly@marine.ie

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF17199
Submitted: 10 March 2017  Accepted: 25 September 2017   Published online: 12 December 2017

Abstract

Low dissolved oxygen concentrations are of increasing concern in aquatic ecosystems, particularly at the interface between freshwater and marine environments. Oxygen depletion occurs naturally in many perennially stratified systems and it remains to be seen how climate change will affect these habitats. This is due, in part, to a lack of high-resolution, long-term data describing interannual variability in dissolved oxygen concentrations within stratified basins. Physicochemical parameters for Lough Furnace, an ecologically important tidal lagoon, were assessed using daily measurements (2009–14) from an undulating CTD (conductivity, temperature and depth) profiler and observations of tidal exchange flow. Continuous vertical saline stratification existed, with anoxia (<0.1 mg L–1) typically persisting below 6 m. Tidal inflows were generally restricted, with deep-water renewal events by intrusions of denser spring tidal water occurring episodically (three times in 6 years), following prolonged periods of low freshwater input. Although wind forcing alone was not sufficient to generate basin-scale mixing, the conditions that led to deep-water renewals may also be conducive to wind-driven upwelling events in nearshore areas. These findings have wider application to larger-scale two-layered stratified systems with deep anoxia because the ability to forecast such dynamic events is important for assessing the ecological implications of dissolved oxygen depletion.

Additional keywords: deep-water ventilation, high-resolution monitoring, hypoxia, stratification, wind-driven upwelling.


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