Abstract

Two-dimensional data of mean and sediment flow collected at a natural confluence of channels in the inner Bahía Blanca Estuary are presented. We describe the two-dimensional flow field to assess the role of changes in bed morphology occurring during transport-effective events on the structure of flow at a confluence; and to examine how the flow structure varies with changes in the ratio of momentum flux. At each station, vertical profiles of velocity, salinity, temperature and suspended sediment were obtained during the whole tidal cycle and residual fluxes were obtained. Lagrangean flux is higher than possible fresh water input, denoting an extra output of water which is the flux over the tidal flats along the southern and northern coasts of the channel. The effect of the junction produces a distortion of the vertical profile flow and in the suspended sediment transport. The effect of the particular conformation of the system makes necessary for consider the lateral effect of the tidal flats in the circulation of the estuary which exerts a significant influence.

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