What is it about?

Flocculation has an estuary-scale impact on the suspended sediment distribution. We first show that the spatial and temporal variations of the settling velocity due to flocculation are essential to reproduce the observed magnitude of the suspended sediment concentrations and its dependence on river discharge. Second, flocculation results in tidally-averaged land-inward sediment transport. Third, we conduct a sensitivity analysis of the freshwater discharge and floc break-up parameter, which shows that flocculation can cause additional estuarine turbidity maxima and can prevent flushing of the ETM for high freshwater inflow.

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Why is it important?

Our study stresses the importance of flocculation when modeling sediment transport in estuaries.

Perspectives

Writing this article was a great pleasure and initiated an ongoing collaboration between the co-authors.

Dante M. L. Horemans

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This page is a summary of: Unraveling the Essential Effects of Flocculation on Large-Scale Sediment Transport Patterns in a Tide-Dominated Estuary, Journal of Physical Oceanography, July 2020, American Meteorological Society, DOI: 10.1175/jpo-d-19-0232.1.
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