[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the Bach Dang–Cam Estuary, northern Vietnam, mechanisms governing cohesive sediment aggregation were investigated in situ in 2008–2009. As part of the Red River delta, this estuary exhibits a marked contrast in hydrological conditions between the monsoon and dry seasons. The impact on flocculation processes was assessed by means of surveys of water discharge, suspended particulate matter concentration and floc size distributions (FSDs) conducted during a tidal cycle at three selected sites along the estuary. A method was developed for calculating the relative volume concentration for the modes of various size classes from FSDs provided by the LISST 100X (Sequoia Scientific Inc.). It was found that all FSDs comprised four modes identified as particles/flocculi, fine and coarse microflocs, and macroflocs. Under the influence of the instantaneous turbulent kinetic energy, their proportions varied but without significant modification of their median diameters. In particular, when the turbulence level corresponded to a Kolmogorov microscale of less than ~235 μm, a major breakup of flocs resulted in the formation of particles/flocculi and fine microflocs. Fluctuations in turbulence level were governed by seasonal variations in freshwater discharge and by the tidal cycle. During the wet season, strong freshwater input induced a high turbulent energy level that tended to generate sediment transfer from the coarser size classes (macroflocs, coarse microflocs) to finer ones (particles/flocculi and fine microflocs), and to promote a transport of sediment seawards. During the dry season, the influence of tides predominated. The turbulent energy level was then only episodically sufficiently high to generate transfer of sediment between floc size classes. At low turbulent energy, modifications in the proportions of floc size classes were due to differential settling. Tidal pumping produced a net upstream transport of sediment. Associated with the settling of sediment trapped in a near-bed layer at low turbulent energy, this causes the silting up of the waterways leading to the harbour of Haiphong.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The variability in salinity and temperature in the southwest lagoon of New Caledonia (2,100 km2) under non-storm conditions is analyzed using a 4-year data set (1997-2001). Seasonal and interannual variations in salinity are amplified near shore. Temperature is larger in bays than in the open lagoon during summer, the reverse is true in winter. El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) related nearshore temperature variations parallel those at regional scale, but with seasonal variations amplified. Haline stratification, if any, is enhanced in coastal areas.