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Water circulation and coastal trapping of brackish water in a tropical mangrove-dominated bay in Kenya
Kitheka, J.U. (1996). Water circulation and coastal trapping of brackish water in a tropical mangrove-dominated bay in Kenya. Limnol. Oceanogr. 41(1): 169-176
In: Limnology and Oceanography. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography: Waco, Tex., etc.. ISSN 0024-3590, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Brackish water; Estuarine dynamics; Lee eddies; Mangrove swamps; Tidal currents; Tides; Water circulation; ISW, Kenya, Gazi Bay [Marine Regions]; Brackish water
Author keywords
    River wash; Rivierbezinksel

Author  Top 
  • Kitheka, J.U.

Abstract
    Water circulation patterns in a tropical mangrove-fringed bay with seagrass and coral reef are driven by tides that generate strong reversing tidal currents. The wind, which has an onshore component, generates a net clockwise-rotating eddy. The dominant tidally driven water circulation pattern, coupled with the effects of onshore wind and alongshore current generated by wave breaking, promotes the coastal trapping of turbid brackish water and its inherent nutrient content. This brackish water inundates the mangrove swamp and seagrass beds but not the coral reef ecosystem. weak stratification prevails during the wet season in the upper parts of Kidogoweni Creek as a result of freshwater influx from rivers. In the dry season, well-mixed homogeneous water is found in most regions of the bay. A small zone of hypersaline water (salinity reaching 38 PSU) is found in the upper region of the mangrove-dominated creeks during the dry season. The connection between the mangrove swamp, with its wide salinity variations, and seagrass beds is apparently through river plumes and tidal effects. The link between seagrass beds and coral reefs is mainly through tidal influences.

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