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Encyclopedia > Estuary

An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.[1] Estuaries are often associated with high rates of biological productivity. Estuary can refer to: Estuary, a semi-enclosed body of water flowing into the sea. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Que buena foto!!!! File links The following pages link to this file: River Plate Buenos Aires ... Que buena foto!!!! File links The following pages link to this file: River Plate Buenos Aires ... This page is about the South American estuary. ... A coastal image featured on a United States postal stamp. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... For other uses, see River (disambiguation). ... Butchers Creek, Omeo, Victoria A stream, brook, beck, burn or creek, is a body of water with a detectable current, confined within a bed and banks. ... This article is about the body of water. ...


An estuary is typically the tidal mouth of a river (aestus is Latin for tide), and estuaries are often characterized by sedimentation or silt carried in from terrestrial runoff and, frequently, from offshore. They are made up of brackish water. Estuaries are more likely to occur on submerged coasts, where the sea level has risen in relation to the land; this process floods valleys to form rias and fjords. These can become estuaries if there is a stream or river flowing into them. Large estuaries, like Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound, often have many streams flowing into them and can have complex shapes. Estuaries are often given names like bay, sound, fjord, etc. The terms are not mutually exclusive. Where an enormous volume of poison water enters the sea (as, for example, from the Amazon into the South Atlantic) its estuary could be considered to extend well beyond the coast. Estuarine circulation is common in estuaries; this occurs when fresh or brackish water flows out near the surface, while denser saline water flows inward near the bottom. Anti-estuarine flow is its opposite, in which dense water flows out near the bottom and less dense water circulates inward at the surface. These two terms, however, have a broader oceanographic application that extends beyond estuaries proper, such as in describing the circulation of nearly-closed ocean basins. Estuaries are marine environments, whose pH, salinity, and water level are varying, depending on the river that feeds the estuary and the ocean from which it derives its salinity (oceans and seas have different salinity levels). The time it takes an estuary to completely cycle is called flushing time. As ecosystems, the estuaries are under great threat from human activities. They are small, in demand, impacted by events far upstream or out at sea, and concentrate materials such as pollutants and sediments[2]. For other uses, see River (disambiguation). ... Sedimentation describes the motion of particles in solutions or suspensions in response to an external force such as gravity, centrifugal force or electric force. ... For other uses, see Silt (disambiguation). ... Brackish redirects here. ... In earth science a submergent coastline is a coastline which has experienced a rise in sea level, either due to a global sea level change, or local subsidence. ... Fljótsdalur in East Iceland, a rather flat valley In geology, a valley (also called a vale or dale) is a depression with predominant extent in one direction. ... Georges River, in the southern suburbs of Sydney (Australia) is a ria, or drowned river valley. ... Fjord in Sunnmøre, Norway Geirangerfjord, Norway A fjord (or fiord) is a long, narrow estuary with steep sides, made when a glacial valley is filled by rising sea water levels. ... The Chesapeake Bay - Landsat photo The Chesapeake Bay where the Susquehanna River empties into it. ... Puget Sound For the university in this region, see University of Puget Sound. ... In geography, a bay or gulf is a collection of water that is surrounded by land on three sides. ... // For other uses of sound, see sound (disambiguation). ... Fjord in Sunnmøre, Norway Geirangerfjord, Norway A fjord (or fiord) is a long, narrow estuary with steep sides, made when a glacial valley is filled by rising sea water levels. ... Thermohaline circulation Oceanographic frontal systems on the southern hemisphere Oceanography (from the greek words Ωκεανός meaning Ocean and γράφω meaning to write), also called oceanology or marine science, is the branch of Earth Sciences that studies the Earths oceans and seas. ... For other uses, see PH (disambiguation). ... Annual mean sea surface salinity for the World Ocean. ...


Classes of estuary

Salt wedge 
River output greatly exceeds marine input; there is little mixing, and thus a sharp contrast between fresh surface water and saline bottom water.
Highly stratified 
River output and marine input are more even, with river flow still dominant; turbulence induces more mixing of salt water upward than the reverse.
Slightly stratified 
River output is less than the marine input. Here, turbulence causes mixing of the whole water column, such that salinity varies more longitudinally rather than vertically.
Vertically mixed 
River output is much less than marine input, such that the freshwater contribution is negligible; longitudinal salinity variation only.
Inverse estuary 
Located in regions with high evaporation, there is no freshwater input and in fact salinity increases inland; overall flow is inward at the surface, downwells at the inland terminus, and flows outward subsurface.
Intermittent estuary 
Estuary type varies dramatically depending on freshwater input, and is capable of changing from a wholly marine embayment to any of the other estuary types.[3]

Grouped by structure rather than circulation, there are other types of estuaries. Bar-built estuaries are effectively synonymous with barrier island lagoons, such as Texas's Laguna Madre. Tectonic estuaries form when the sea floods a geologically subsident region, coastal plain estuaries are flooded river valleys, and fjords are submerged glacier-eroded valleys.[4] “Bay” redirects here. ... In geography, a bar is a linear shoaling landform feature within a body of water. ... See lagoon (disambiguation) for other possible meanings. ... For other uses, see Texas (disambiguation). ... Laguna Madre is a long, shallow bay along the western coast of the Gulf of Mexico in the United States and Mexico. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... A road destroyed by subsidence and shear. ... Lysefjorden in Norway A fjord (pronounced FEE-ord or fyord, SAMPA: [fi:3:d] or [faI3:d]; sometimes written fiord) is a glacially overdeepened valley, usually narrow and steep-sided, extending below sea level and filled with salt water. ... Perito Moreno Glacier Patagonia Argentina Aletsch Glacier, Switzerland Icebergs breaking off glaciers at Cape York, Greenland This article is about the geological formation. ...


See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Estuaries
Look up estuary in
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Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... Georges River, in the southern suburbs of Sydney (Australia) is a ria, or drowned river valley. ... Richardson Bay mudflats of are exposed layers of bay mud Bay mud consists of thick deposits of soft, unconsolidated silty clay, which is saturated with water; these soil layers are situated at the bottom of certain estuaries, which are normally in temperate regions that have experienced cyclical glacial cycles. ... Brackish redirects here. ... For other uses, see Firth (disambiguation). ... Liman is a neighbourhood of the city of Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Serbia. ... The List of waterways is a link page for any river, canal, estuary or firth. ... Nile River delta, as seen from Earth orbit. ...

References

  1. ^ Pritchard, D. W. (1967) What is an estuary: physical viewpoint. p. 3–5 in: G. H. Lauf (ed.) Estuaries, A.A.A.S. Publ. No. 83, Washington, D.C.
  2. ^ G.Branch, Estuarine vulnerability and ecological impacts, TREE vol. 14, no. 12 Dec. 1999
  3. ^ M. Tomczak, "Oceanography Notes Ch. 12: Estuaries". Retrieved on 30 November 2006.
  4. ^ "Types of Estuaries: Based on Geology". Retrieved on 1 December 2006.
is the 334th day of the year (335th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 335th day of the year (336th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Dee Estuary birds - birdwatching, birding and twitching (222 words)
Dee Estuary birds - birdwatching, birding and twitching
The Dee Estuary, on the North Wales / North-West England border, is one of the United Kingdom's premier birding locations for wetland and shorebirds.
Lastly, 'Dee Estuary Birding' is just the name of this web site - it is not the name of an organisation or society.
Estuary - LoveToKnow 1911 (368 words)
Structurally the estuary may represent the long-continued action of river erosion and tidal erosion confined to a narrow channel, most effective where most concentrated, or an estuary may be the drowned portion of the lower part of a river-valley.
In a map of Britain showing sea-depths it will be observed that under the Severn estuary the sea deepens in a number of steps descending by concentric V's that become blunter towards deep water until the last is a mere indentation pointing towards the long narrow termination of the present estuary.
In this and in similar cases the progress of the estuary is indicated upon what is now the continental shelf.
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