Diagnostic modeling of residence times in estuaries

Anabela Oliveira, Antonio M. Baptista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The variability of estuarine residence times is elucidated through accurate, diagnostic numerical tracking of a large number of particles, complemented with statistical analysis. Residence times are shown to have strong spatial and temporal variability, which is accentuated by exchanges between the estuary and the coastal ocean due to chaotic stirring at the mouth. The concept of a single residence time per estuary, while convenient from both ecological and engineering viewpoints, is therefore shown to be an oversimplification. Maps of residence times and cumulative histograms are examined as alternatives. The former are attractive only for once-through tracers, while the latter appear useful over a broader range of tracer characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1935-1946
Number of pages12
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnostic modeling of residence times in estuaries'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this