Original Articles


Published in: Southern African Journal of Aquatic Sciences
Volume 17, issue 1-2, 1991 , pages: 103–115
DOI: 10.1080/10183469.1991.9631317
Author(s): J.L. Largier, USA, J.H. SlingerCouncil for Scientific and Industrial Research, South Africa


The nature of estuarine circulation under highly stratified conditions is reviewed in the context of southern African estuaries that are small and have a constricted connection to the ocean. While the focus is on the generic hydrodynamic processes and features, attention is given to field observations from a particular estuary as a way of illustrating these processes and features. Notable features are the tidal intrusion front, the bottom density current and the long-residence deep water in the upper estuary. The important hydrodynamic processes, which account for these features, are internal hydraulic control of exchange through the mouth, buoyancy-driven landward intrusion of sea water, upward shear-driven entrainment and ebb tidal outflow.

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