Intratidal and Subtidal Circulation in a Tropical Estuary during Wet Season: The Maroni, French Guiana

Type Article
Date 2019-12
Language English
Author(s) Ross Lauren1, Sottolichio Aldo2, Maury Tanguy3, Lesourd Sandric4, Gardel Antoine3
Affiliation(s) 1 : Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469, USA
2 : CNRS EPOC Laboratory, University of Bordeaux, 33615 Pessac, France
3 : USR LEEISA, CNRS, Ifremer, University of Guyane, 97300 Cayenne, French Guiana
4 : UMR 6143 M2C, University of Caen-Normandie, 14000 Caen, France
Source Journal Of Marine Science And Engineering (2077-1312) (MDPI AG), 2019-12 , Vol. 7 , N. 12 , P. 433 (23p.)
DOI 10.3390/jmse7120433
WOS© Times Cited 5
Note This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydro-Morphodynamics of Coastal Areas
Keyword(s) tropical estuary, subtidal flow, wet season, wind-driven flow, channel curvature

Observations of water level, current velocity, river discharge, wind and salinity were collected in the Maroni estuary, on the border of French Guiana and Suriname during the wet season of 2018 to explore subtidal circulation patterns. Measurements are complimented by the application of analytical models with an aim to diagnose forcing mechanisms responsible for producing subtidal flows during the day of data collection and to extrapolate these findings to other time periods with variable wind and river forcing. Subtidal along-channel flows were found to be dominated by river discharge, with seaward directed velocities found throughout the channel section reaching 40 cm s −1 . This pattern was altered with strong southwesterly winds, which produced and inverse gravitational circulation pattern despite the elevated river discharge. Secondary, or cross-channel flows, displayed a three-layer vertical structure in the main channel due to a combination of channel curvature and tidal asymmetry in the lateral baroclinic pressure gradient. The pressure gradient was produced by a salinity intrusion front that only manifested in the channel during flood tide. This is the first comprehensive study of tidal and subtidal flow dynamics in the Maroni estuary.

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Ross Lauren, Sottolichio Aldo, Maury Tanguy, Lesourd Sandric, Gardel Antoine (2019). Intratidal and Subtidal Circulation in a Tropical Estuary during Wet Season: The Maroni, French Guiana. Journal Of Marine Science And Engineering, 7(12), 433 (23p.). Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :