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Sediment dynamics in altata ensenada del pabellón, a coastal lagoon located in the Gulf of California

Carbajal, Noel, Montaño Ley, Yovani, Páez Osuna, Federico, Guevara Macías, María de Jesus
Journal of coastal conservation 2018 v.22 no.4 pp. 709-720
coastal water, coasts, ecosystems, equations, hydrodynamics, models, sediment transport, sediments, surface water, tides, Gulf of California, Mexico
Heavy load sediment transport take place along the eastern coast of the Gulf of California, interacting with several coastal lagoons like Altata Ensenada del Pabellón, one of the most productive ecosystems of México and where the sediment dynamics plays a crucial role in the conservation issue of marine species. Enormous amounts of sediment are found along this coastline teeming with coastal lagoons. A major concern of this investigation was to determine the erosion and accretion areas within the lagoon as well as whether the coastal body of water behaves as exporter or importer of sediment. The effect of tidal currents on the transport of sediment in a shallow coastal environment has been investigated, emphasizing the study of the mechanisms of the geomorphologic development of the sea bottom. The tidal hydrodynamics has been investigated applying the vertically integrated shallow water equations through a modified two dimensional non-linear finite difference model. The results reveal that the coastal lagoon behaves as exporter of sediment to the Gulf of California. The tidal dynamics induces noticeable erosion and accretion processes. Important changes of the order of 0.04 m per year were predicted nearby the inlet. This investigation revealed that the 2D tidal flow is a feasible approach to get a conceptual understanding of sediments dynamics in coastal lagoons.