Hydrographic Study of a Highly Stratified River Mouth Estuary. Alvarado Coastal Lagoon, México

Monday, 15 December 2014
Hector Perales-Valdivia and Rosario Sanay, University of Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico
Two 24 hours surveys on high and low river discharge conditions were used to describe the hydrography and the currents at the entrance of Alvarado Coastal Lagoon, México, located at the southwestern coast of the Gulf of México. This study represent the first of this kind in this lagoon. The Alvardo Coastal Lagoon sustains several economical fisheres in the region, including the shrimp fishery. The inlet of the Alvarado Coastal Lagoon is a microtidal rivermouth estuary. In each survey, towed ADCP and hydrographic data were sampled during a diurnal tidal cycle for three across-inlet transects located near the mouth. 12 track repetitions were completed allowing to distinguish the subtidal and tidal signals. In both runoff conditions a salt wedge was present, and showed surface-bottom salinity difference up to 35 psu. During high river discharge condition the salt wedge was present only during flood tide. The thicknesses of the interface, and upper and bottom layers oscillated according the tide. The water surface layer was always toward the ocean. During low river discharge condition the salt wedge was present for the whole tidal cycle. The vertical position of the interface oscillated as the tide did but keeping a constant thickness.