Study Describes Transport Pathways During Estuary and Coastal Waters Exchange
An international science team conducted a tidal-cycle study across a Destin, Florida inlet to better understand currents and the transport of dissolved and suspended materials between an estuary and the coastal ocean.
They observed salinity and water temperature fronts at low and high tide. The high tide front transported oceanic buoyant material into the estuary throughout the water column. In contrast, a plume-like front at low tide moved material seaward near the surface. These plume-like fronts may prevent buoyant material from entering an estuary during most of the tidal cycle. After a tidal cycle, water density gradients in the water column were the main drivers of residual flows. They published their findings in the January 2015 edition of Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science: Tidal and nontidal exchange at a subtropical inlet: Destin Inlet, Northwest Florida.