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A modeling study on the hydrodynamics of a coastal embayment occupied by mussel farms (ria de Ares-Betanzos, NW Iberian Peninsula)

AuthorsDuarte, Pedro; Álvarez-Salgado, Xosé Antón ; Fernández-Reiriz, María José ; Piedracoba, Silvia ; Labarta, Uxío
KeywordsHydrodynamic modeling
Galician rias
Ria de Ares-Betanzos
Aquaculture rafts
Mussel cultivation
Residual circulation
Issue Date2014
CitationEstuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 147: 42-55 (2014)
AbstractThe present study suggests that both under upwelling and downwelling winds, the residual circulation of Ria de Ares-Betanzos remains positive with a strong influence from river discharge and a positive feedback from wind, unlike what is generally accepted for Galician rias. Furthermore, mussel cultivation areas may reduce residual velocities by almost 40%, suggesting their potential feedbacks on food replenishment for cultivated mussels. The Ria de Ares-Betanzos is a partially stratified estuary in the NW Iberian upwelling system where blue mussels are extensively cultured on hanging ropes. This type of culture depends to a large extent on water circulation and residence times, since mussels feed on suspended particles. Therefore, understanding the role of tides, continental runoff, and winds on the circulation of this embayment has important practical applications. Furthermore, previous works have emphasized the potential importance of aquaculture leases on water circulation within coastal ecosystems, with potential negative feedbacks on production carrying capacity. Here we implemented and validated a 3D hydrodynamic numerical model for the Ria de Ares-Betanzos to (i) evaluate the relative importance of the forcing agents on the circulation within the ria and (ii) estimate the importance of culture leases on circulation patterns at the scale of the mussel farms from model simulations. The model was successfully validated with empirical current velocity data collected during July and October 2007 using an assortment of efficiency criteria. Model simulations were carried out to isolate the effects of wind and river flows on circulation patterns
Description14 páginas, 9 figuras, 3 tablas
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2014.05.021
Appears in Collections:(IIM) Artículos
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