Impact of urban effluents on summer hypoxia in the highly turbid Gironde Estuary, applying a 3D model coupling hydrodynamics, sediment transport and biogeochemical processes

Type Article
Date 2017-10
Language English
Author(s) Lajaunie-Salla Katixa, Wild-Allen Karen, Sottolichio Aldo, Thouvenin Benedicte, Litrico Xavier, Abril Gwenael
Affiliation(s) Univ Bordeaux, CNRS, Environm & Paleoenvironm Ocean & Continentaux UMR, Lab EPOC, Pessac, France.
LyRE, SUEZ Res Ctr, Bordeaux, France.
CSIRO Marine & Atmospher Res, Hobart, Tas, Australia.
IFREMER, Plouzane, France.
Univ Fed Fluminense, Dept Geoquim, Niteroi, RJ, Brazil.
Source Journal Of Marine Systems (0924-7963) (Elsevier Science Bv), 2017-10 , Vol. 174 , P. 89-105
DOI 10.1016/j.jmarsys.2017.05.009
WOS© Times Cited 11
Keyword(s) Hypoxia, TMZ, Gironde Estuary, Wastewater, Oxygen, Modeling
Abstract

Estuaries are increasingly degraded due to coastal urban development and are prone to hypoxia problems. The macro-tidal Gironde Estuary is characterized by a highly concentrated turbidity maximum zone (TMZ). Field observations show that hypoxia occurs in summer in the TMZ at low river flow and a few days after the spring tide peak. In situ data highlight lower dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations around the city of Bordeaux, located in the upper estuary. Interactions between multiple factors limit the understanding of the processes controlling the dynamics of hypoxia.

A 3D biogeochemical model was developed, coupled with hydrodynamics and a sediment transport model, to assess the contribution of the TMZ and the impact of urban effluents through wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and sewage overflows (SOs) on hypoxia. Our model describes the transport of solutes and suspended material and the biogeochemical mechanisms impacting oxygen: primary production, degradation of all organic matter (i.e. including phytoplankton respiration, degradation of river and urban watershed matter), nitrification, and gas exchange. The composition and the degradation rates of each variable were characterized by in situ measurements and experimental data from the study area. The DO model was validated against observations in Bordeaux City.

The simulated DO concentrations show good agreement with field observations and satisfactorily reproduce the seasonal and neap-spring time scale variations around the city of Bordeaux. Simulations show a spatial and temporal correlation between the formation of summer hypoxia and the location of the TMZ, with minimum DO centered in the vicinity of Bordeaux. To understand the contribution of the urban watershed forcing, different simulations with the presence or absence of urban effluents were compared. Our results show that in summer, a reduction of POC from SO would increase the DO minimum in the vicinity of Bordeaux by 3% of saturation. Omitting discharge from SO and WWTPs, DO would improve by 10% of saturation and mitigate hypoxic events.

Full Text
File Pages Size Access
Author's final draft 58 2 MB Open access
17 2 MB Access on demand
Top of the page

How to cite 

Lajaunie-Salla Katixa, Wild-Allen Karen, Sottolichio Aldo, Thouvenin Benedicte, Litrico Xavier, Abril Gwenael (2017). Impact of urban effluents on summer hypoxia in the highly turbid Gironde Estuary, applying a 3D model coupling hydrodynamics, sediment transport and biogeochemical processes. Journal Of Marine Systems, 174, 89-105. Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmarsys.2017.05.009 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00388/49903/