Extensive evaporation in a modern temperate estuary: stable isotopic and compositional evidence

Barrie, G. M., Worden, R. H., Barrie, C. D. and Boyce, A. J. (2015) Extensive evaporation in a modern temperate estuary: stable isotopic and compositional evidence. Limnology and Oceanography, 60(4), pp. 1241-1250. (doi:10.1002/lno.10091)

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Abstract

Estuaries have long been recognized as sites of major compositional fluctuations that can have a range of effects including mineral growth in the water column and in the underlying estuarine sediment. We have studied chloride and sodium concentrations and stable isotopes (H and O) from a suite of estuarine waters from the temperate Anllóns estuary in NW Spain to assess the complexity of estuarine mixing process. Water samples were collected hourly from in estuary sites over three consecutive days and end-member samples were collected on each sampling day. Evaporative concentration of the estuarine waters is demonstrated by the maximum concentration of geochemically conservative chloride being as much as 17.5% greater in the estuary than in the local seawater. Relative to chloride concentration, both δ2H and δ18O values of estuary waters tend to be more enriched than would be expected for the simple physical mixing of river water and seawater. These patterns can only be plausibly accounted for through evaporation affecting the water, concentrating the chloride and causing isotope fractionation. We have modelled the effects of evaporation on chloride concentration and the stable isotopes in the estuary; the results closely match the distribution of analytical data suggesting that up to 40% evaporation has happened. We have demonstrated that two thirds of estuarine water samples analysed underwent between 5% and 40% evaporation. This previously unreported degree of evaporation in estuaries has important implications for any processes that is effected by the consequent degree of elevated solute concentration.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Boyce, Professor Adrian and Barrie, Dr Craig
Authors: Barrie, G. M., Worden, R. H., Barrie, C. D., and Boyce, A. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Limnology and Oceanography
Publisher:American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.
ISSN:0024-3590
ISSN (Online):1939-5590

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