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Residence time, exposure time and connectivity in the Scheldt Estuary
de Brauwere, A.; de Brye, B.; Blaise, S.; Deleersnijder, E. (2011). Residence time, exposure time and connectivity in the Scheldt Estuary. J. Mar. Syst. 84(3-4): 85-95. dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmarsys.2010.10.001
In: Journal of Marine Systems. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0924-7963, more
Peer reviewed article

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Keywords
    Age; Exposure; Renewal; Residence time; ANE, Netherlands, Westerschelde [Marine Regions]; Marine
Author keywords
    Residence time; Exposure time; Connectivity; Return coefficient; Scheldt Estuary; Water renewal

Authors  Top 
  • de Brauwere, A., more
  • de Brye, B., more
  • Blaise, S., more
  • Deleersnijder, E., more

Abstract
    Residence times and exposure times are computed for 13 boxes in the Scheldt Estuary, using the high-resolution tracer-transport model SLIM. The concepts are clearly defined and related to how they should be computed. First, the timescale values are compared with results published previously that were obtained with a simple box model, and an unexpected difference is revealed. This may suggest that a high-resolution model is necessary, even for the computation of such integrated quantities as residence or exposure times. Secondly, the newly computed residence times are compared to the exposures times to illustrate their intrinsic differences. From this difference, it is possible to propose a return coefficient, expressing the fraction of the exposure time that is due to “returning water”, i.e. water which has already left the estuary at least once. Finally, the estuarine exposure times are decomposed into the different box exposure times, resulting in a connectivity matrix. This matrix expresses how much time is spent in each of the estuarine subdomains during the water parcels' journey through the estuary.

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