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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

The salinity responses of tropical estuaries to changes in freshwater discharge, tidal mixing, and geomorphology: case study of the man-impacted Senegal River Estuary (West Africa)

Cristele Chevalier, Marc Pagano, Daniel Corbin, Robert Arfi


Salinity in estuaries is influenced by a variety of processes including tidal advection and diffusion and river discharge. The effect of hydrodynamic features on salinity was studied in the Senegal River Estuary (SRE). This estuary is of strategic importance for large populations, but it has been greatly affected by human action (regulation of the freshwater inflow, change in the location of the river mouth ...) which caused major changes in salinity and ecological functioning. To analyse the impacts of these changes and to determine the spatial and temporal variations in salinity in the SRE, we used a combination of 3D modelling and field measurements. The overall salinity depends on freshwater inflow and tidal fluctuations. Salinity variation is mainly driven by ebb and flood near the mouth and by fortnightly cycles upstream. The enlargement of the mouth increases salinity while its shifting location changes the location of the salinity front and creates a slack water zone downstream. Connection and disconnection of the tributaries also affects the salinity. This study explains how the recent modifications have increased spatial variation and reduced seasonal differences of salinity. It provides a tool for managing the water in the estuary.

MF13169  Accepted 10 February 2014
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