Transport and mixing in estuarine and coastal waters

Charlie Thompson (University of Southampton) and Laurent Amoudry (NOC) 

Coastal and estuarine environments sit at the interface between terrestrial and marine ecosystems and help support ever expanding populations in the coastal zone. These shallow environments are extremely dynamic and are shaped by complex processes, interactions and feedbacks operating at a wide range of spatio-temporal scales. They are also particularly susceptible to environmental and climate change, such as sea level rise, increased storminess, altered hydrological cycles and terrestrial loading. These all combine with increasing stresses due to human population to result in more frequent and more severe unwanted impacts, such as coastal flooding, coastal erosion, excess turbidity, hypoxia, harmful algal blooms. A number of these are linked to transport of sediment and particulate matter, as suspended particulate matter limit light availability and visibility in coastal and estuarine waters, and sediments are a transport vector for nutrients and pollutants. Coastal and estuarine environments are also colonised by biota (from bacteria and microphytobenthos through to higher invertebrates and plants), which influence sediment bed structure and stability and interact with water flows thus resulting in complex biological-sediment-hydrodynamic interactions.

We invite contributions that investigate transport and mixing processes in the coastal ocean and estuaries due to the interactions between hydrodynamics (eg, freshwater discharge, winds, surface gravity waves, tides), bathymetry, sediments, and biology. Transport and pathways of particulate matter and feedback mechanisms in coastal sediments are of particular interest, including cohesive and non-cohesive sediments, particle behaviour, biogenic mediation of sediment transport, and morphodynamics on event to decadal timescales.

We welcome submissions covering field observations (including remote sensing and autonomous systems), laboratory experiments, theoretical analyses and numerical modelling.