Coasts in general and estuaries in particular are the most dramatically variable environments in the world ocean realm. Interactions between physical processes, geomorphology, and biology are closely linked and gradients in most variables are very large. Although research on coasts and estuaries has grown steadily during the past 40 years, our understanding of the processes and linkages still requires refinements and further detailed knowledge that new available technologies hopefully will be able to provide. Most of the knowledge about estuaries has been derived from environments in North America and Europe with more than 87% of all papers published in international scientific journals based on estuaries located there. In comparison, less than 1% of published papers derive from estuaries located in Latin America (Perillo and Piccolo, 1998; Perillo et al., 1999). However, the Americas, both North and South, include more than 40%...

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