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Accepted Manuscript

Tidal impact on suspended sediments in the Macuse estuary in Mozambique

Lucas Lavo António Jimo Miguel, João Wagner Alencar Castro, Fialho Paloge Juma Nehama

PII:

S2352-4855(17)30004-X

Reference:

RSMA 261

To appear in:

Regional Studies in Marine Science

Received date :

17 December 2016

Revised date :

5 July 2017

Accepted date :

8 July 2017

date : 5 July 2017 Accepted date : 8 July 2017 Please cite this article as:

Please cite this article as: Miguel, L.L.A.J., Castro, J.W.A., Nehama, F.P.J., Tidal impact on suspended sediments in the Macuse estuary in Mozambique. Regional Studies in Marine Science (2017), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.rsma.2017.07.002

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 TIDAL IMPACT ON SUSPENDED SEDIMENTS IN

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TIDAL IMPACT ON SUSPENDED SEDIMENTS IN THE MACUSE ESTUARY IN

MOZAMBIQUE 2 Fialho Paloge Juma Nehama; -1
MOZAMBIQUE
2 Fialho Paloge Juma Nehama;
-1

João Wagner Alencar Castro;

1, 2, 3 Lucas Lavo António Jimo Miguel; 1, 3

1 Programa de Pós-graduação em Geologia PPGl–UFRJ, Brasil.

2 Escola Superior de Ciências Marinhas e Costeiras – ESCMC/ Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Moçambique.

3 Laboratório de Geologia Costeira, Sedimentologia e Meio Ambiente - LAGECOST / Museu Nacional–UFRJ

Corresponding author e-mail: lucaslavomiguel@yahoo.com.br

10 Abstract

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Many studies around the world have found that tidal dynamics control the transport of suspended

sediments in estuaries, as well as their relationship with runoff discharges and bathymetry

morphology. This manuscript examines tidal impact on suspended sediments in the Macuse estuary

in Mozambique, southern Africa. Data was collected at 42 stations, including tidal current

measurements with an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP), tide elevation with a tidal gauge

and suspended sediments with a Niskin bottle. A 14-month model simulation was implemented

beginning in November 2013, forced by tides, wind regime and runoff discharges. The results

indicated a tidal elevation of 4 m that generated tidal currents of 120 cm s

-1 3 s -1 2
-1
3 s
-1
2

combined with the runoff of 500 m

s -1 for fine sand. Results of silt concentrations was about ~ 300 mg l -1

model accuracy of about R

-1

. These currents

and bathymetry configuration, drove the suspended

sediments during the ebb and flood tides. Suspended sediment concentrations suggested the

for silt and less than 10 cm

occurrence of sedimentation where water flow was less than 0.10 cm s

while fine sand was found to

in both tidal periods in ebb and flood tides during the rainy and dry seasons. The

= 0.88 between the observed and simulated results demonstrated the

ability to predict the impact of tides and runoff discharges in the Macuse estuary and may be

extended to other estuaries. The model matches in reproducing the sediment transport mechanism

will help making political decisions about the estuary sustainability and local coastal management.

Keywords: Tidal currents; Suspended sediments; Sedimentation; Macuse Estuary.

Suspended sediments; Sedimentation; Macuse Estuary. 20 21 22 23 be 0.2 mg l 24 25 26

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36 37 38 flood tides; 39 40 3- 41 rainy and dry seasons; 42 4

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38 flood tides;

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41 rainy and dry seasons;

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43 season and 200 mg l

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Highlights

1-

2-

-1 -1
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The tidal regime of 4 m in height generates tidal currents of 120 cm s

between the ebb and

Silt sedimentation occurred with 0.10 cm s

and fine sand was found to be 10 cm s

-1

;

Besides tidal currents, runoff discharge and wind energy has controlled the mixing in both

-1

in rainy

The observed and predicted sediment indicated silt concentration of 300 mg l

-1

in

dry season.

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1. Introduction

100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 1. Introduction Estuaries at land-sea

Estuaries at land-sea interfaces are critical to the functioning of coastal systems. Their dynamics

are caused primarily by a combination of tidal elevation and storm surges, changes to the wave

climate, and high runoff discharges which intensify during rainy seasons (Quinn et al., 2014).

Estuarine flooding or ebbing caused by tidal elevation combined to storm surge and to extreme

river flow can increase flood hazards in many estuaries (Maskell et al., 2013). Tidal elevation and

runoff discharges may change daily and seasonally, increasing flood risk, intensifying tidal current

dynamics, tidal asymmetry and the supply of suspended sediments. The sediment supply can

produce highly productive environments that may serve as important routes through which

terrestrial material enters into the ocean (Simpson et al., 2001). These materials are highly

influenced by environmental dynamics that change their sedimentological, chemical and biological

structure in different spatial and temporal scales (Valle-Levinson, 2010). Many studies confirm that

these changes may be caused by the combination of tidal dynamics and runoff discharges that

control the transport of suspended sediments and their morphology.

Several studies have indicated that potentially negative impacts of estuarine changes caused by

tidal changes and river flooding might include, sediment supply that may damage infrastructure and

population displacement (Hanson et al., 2011; Nicholls et al., 2011), increased erosion and loss of

Nicholls et al ., 2011), increased erosion and loss of land to the sea (Zhang et

land to the sea (Zhang et al., 2004), pollution and increased human health risk, and significant loss

of wetland habitats and ecosystems (Day et al., 1995; Nicholls et al., 1999). In this case, any

modelling process involving environmental factors might bring output results into questions.

Different researches about the impact of tides on the dynamic of suspended sediments in estuaries

are found around the world (Biggs, 1990; Gelfenbaum, 1983; Fain et al., 2001; Patchineelam and

Kjerfve, 2004; Grabemann and Krause, 2001) in which the principles were extended to the East

coast of Africa (Liu, 2014; Kitheka et al., 2005); Nehama, 2012; Chevane et al., 2016; Maskell et

al., 2013, Van der Lubbe, et al., 2014). These studies analyzed the importance of developing

modelling approaches to predict suspended sediments, water discharges and tidal flooding risk,

which will help assess impacts and support mitigation decisions for port construction.

Decadal increase of suspended sediment supply from both the river and sea may cause depth

changes and flood risk due to the lower depths caused by sediment deposition over long time scales

depths caused by sediment deposition over long time scales (Miguel, 2013). Specifically in East Africa, Liu

(Miguel, 2013). Specifically in East Africa, Liu (2014), Kitheka et al. (2005), Nehama (2012),

Chevane et al. (2016) provided various results of coastal processes in the region and have helped

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provide better unde rstanding o f tidal dyna mics and r unoff disch arges. The e ffect of the se factors o n

as

affects

focused on the imp pact of tida l elevation and river d ischarges o n suspende d sediment s in estuari es

strongly

Macuse

importa nce for cen tral Mozam bique and l andlocked c ountries in the interior .

a harbour for rural port project b y the Mo zambican
a harbour
for rural
port
project
b
y
the
Mo zambican

re cent

suspend ed sedimen ts modifie s not only

navigability

and harbo r logistics.

estuary mo rphology b ut also ligh t penetratio n as well

Meanwhile , there is n o studies in Mozambiq ue that hav e

impact of tides on sus pended sed iments at th e

with regio nal strateg ic

dominated by tides. T his study e xamines the

estuary i n Central

Mozambiqu e, where i s located

1.1. St udy site

Loc ated in Zam bezia Prov ince in cen tral Mozam bique, the Macuse riv er estuary s erves as on e

3

of the m ajor outlet s for discha rge of Nam acurra Rive r runoff, w hich is esti mated to av erage 500 m

cultivation

and

governmen

s -1 duri ng the rainy y season (F ig. 1). The Macuse flo odplain ha s been used

particul arly rice

Intensif ication of a griculture

River a s well as al ter its tidal

river ch annel.

a

developmen t,

t.

and the por t project m ay increase sediment s upply to th e Namacur ra

regimes a nd thus cau se immens e changes i n the bathy metry of th e

d thus ca u se immens e changes i n the bathy metry of th e

Fig 1. Mac use estuary w ithin the conte xt of southea st Africa in M ozambique. M

1 is the entra nce boundary , while the

Namacurra

River and righ t tributary are the upstream boundaries.

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Previous studies find that the combination of transgressions and regressions and the sediment

o -1 -1 and 5.5 m s
o
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and 5.5 m s

supply have formed several tidal plains characterized by beaches with very fine and fine sand and

several mangrove fields that extend up to about 40 km inland to the Namacurra district. These fields

are composed of several species of typical mangrove vegetation and an abundance of very fine

material (mud, clay and silt), and are colonized by populations of benthos and molluscs.

Moore et al. (2008) state that the regional climate is tropical humid according to the Köppen

scale and is affected by the warm Mozambique current. This current has a strong effect on the

annual seasons according to studies by Ramsay (1995), Armitage et al. (2006), Halo et al. (2014),

Lutjeharms et al. (1988a). Two annual seasons are quite evident in the region - summer from

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September to March and winter from April to August. Annual rainfall averages roughly 1000 mm

year

Macuse riverine runoff occur during the austral summer between January and March when the

with annual average temperatures of 24

C (Moore et al., 2008). Maximum rainfall and

Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and associated rainfall belts reach their southernmost

position (Moore et al., 2008). The rainfall have fed runoff discharges that reach maximum

discharges of 800 m 3 s -1

The region has weak nebulosity and prevailing winds from the east and the southeast. The

between February and March.

with the predominating frequencies being

from the NE, E, SE, S and SW (Langa, 2007, Miguel, 2013). Although the wind intensities are

monthly 10 m winds vary between 3.5 m s

wind intensities are monthly 10 m winds vary between 3.5 m s relatively weak, the local

relatively weak, the local winds are the main factor responsible for generating waves averaging 1.5

m in height. The wave regime is predominantly from the southeast and is influenced by SE winds

that generate the south-north longshore water current (Lutjeharms et al., 1988a). This longshore

water current is responsible for the sediment transportation and coastal hydrodynamic circulation

along the Mozambique coastline. According to the National Institute of Hydrography and

-1

Navigation of Mozambique - INAHINA (2013), the region has a tidal range of about 4 m during

, that may cause erosion and

spring tides, which generates tidal currents of about 120 cm s

transport of particulate suspended sediments.

erosion and spring tides, which generates tidal currents of about 120 cm s transport of particulate
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2. Materials and methods

2.1.1. Synoptic data collection

We set up locations of 42 stations along the estuary that were identified in the field with GPS-

the es tuary that were identified in the field with GPS- Garmin, to get correct coordinates

Garmin, to get correct coordinates on the base map. The stations were selected to ensure greater

coverage of the study area, determining longitudinal and transversal vertical sections. In November

2013 and November 2014, was conducted a field survey with CTD profilers (conductivity,

temperature and depth sensors) and a tidal gauge to collect synoptic data, including water

-1

temperature, tidal currents, tidal elevation, water salinity, suspended sediments and water turbidity.

Salinity units are in PSU or g Kg

Suspended sediments were measured by sampling 3.5 liters of water in a Niskin bottle. The

, however in this research have been considered unitless.

collected sediments were filtered using 0.47 μm porosity fiberglass, 0.45 mm in diameter.

The meteorological data (from 2000 to 2013) were acquired from the National Meteorological

Institute of Mozambique (INAM), which routinely collects precipitation, air temperature and their

derivatives at a dense network of stations. Hydrological data were acquired from the National Water

Directorate of Mozambique for the period between 2000 and 2013 at the Licungu River at station

91 in Mocuba district, which continuously records water heights.

Mocuba district, which continuously records water heights. 2.1.2. ELCOM module The Estuary Lake and Coastal Ocean

2.1.2. ELCOM module

The Estuary Lake and Coastal Ocean Model (ELCOM) was developed at the University of

Western Australia. ELCOM is a numeric model that uses thermodynamic and hydrodynamic

principles to simulate the spatial and temporal variations of physical, chemical, biological, and

geological parameters in natural water bodies. This particular model was chosen because studies by

Hipsey and Hamilton (2008), Miguel (2013), Hodges and Dallimore (2013), Hodges and Dallimore

(2007), Hodges et al. (2000) have found that ELCOM is a strong and reliable tool for predicting

physical, biological and chemical parameters.

Indeed, the ELCOM model is a tool used to predict oceanographic parameters in natural water

bodies subjected to external environmental forces. These environmental forces are usually wind

stress, tides, precipitation, surface heating or cooling as well as inflows and outflows of water. The

model uses hydrostatic pressure assumptions based on the Navier-Stokes equations for

assumptions based on the Navier-Stokes equations for incompressible flow (Hodges and Dallimore, 2007). Besides

incompressible flow (Hodges and Dallimore, 2007). Besides the hydrostatic assumption for

pressure, the Boussinesq approximation and Reynolds averaged transport equations (1, 2 and 3) are

193 194 195 196 197 198 implemented (Hodges and Dallimore, 2013). The modeled and simulated

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implemented (Hodges and Dallimore, 2013). The modeled and simulated processes include

    b x   2 w cos    
 b
x
 
2
w
cos
 
 z
 x
 
y
 
b
 z
 y

n
 z

baroclinic and barotropic responses, rotational effects, tidal forcing, wind stresses, surface thermal

1

2

3

forcing, inflows, outflows and transport of salt, heat and passive scalars.

u

t

u

u

x

u

v w

y

u

z



p

x

 

2

v

v

t

w

v v v w v 

x y

z

u

u



w v w w

w

t

x

y

z

1

o

.

p

x

 

2

u

p

z

g

sin

sin

o is the water density.

are the winds at 10m height, and n stands for the east

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204 2.1.3.

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and north wind components. P is water pressure. is a local latitude. To simulate a Macuse

scenario, the Coriolis force was neglected in the simulation. Meanwhile, the water pressure, tidal

currents water density, wind regime, water temperature and salinity were used in the model.

CAEDYM module for suspended sediments

The ELCOM model is the main physical driver that controls the coupled CAEDYM model. It

206 provides spatially explicit, three-dimensional simulations of current and water temperature patterns 207 based on
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provides spatially explicit, three-dimensional simulations of current and water temperature patterns
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based on processes including baroclinic and barotropic responses, rotational effects, tidal forcing,
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wind stress, surface thermal forcing, water inflows and outflows, passive scalars and sediment
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modules in all classes based on the Wentworth-1922a classification. The physical predictions
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generated, such as those for temperature, tidal elevation, salinity and tidal currents, establish a
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physical context for the use of the CAEDYM model to generate spatially explicit prediction
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processes of biological, chemical and geological parameters in different time scales (Zhao et al,
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2009). The CAEDYM structure allows incorporating a submodule for suspended sediments, which
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generates spatial and explicit simulations of temporal variations. In this research submodule of the
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suspended sediment simulation is based on the calculation of suspended particles (inorganic
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particles) (equation 4) as proposed by Hipsey and Hamilton’s (2008).
 SS
v
 
SS
sed
1
s
s
cs
s
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SS
S
s
s
 t
Z
K
SS
sed
Z
ref
ss
s 
s
bot
4
−3
218 In which, SS s is the concentration of inorganic suspended solids for group s (g m
); v
s is the settling
219 velocity (m s −1 ); ∆z is the grid or layer thickness, S is
219 velocity (m s −1 ); ∆z is the grid or layer thickness, S is
219
velocity (m s −1 ); ∆z is the grid or layer thickness,
S
is the resuspension rate parameter in g m −2 s
s
−1 ;
−2
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τ is the shear stress (N m ), is the critical shear stress for group s; τ
τ
is a reference shear
cs
ref
−2
221 stress (1 N m
);
K
controls the effect of sediment limitation on resuspension (g); and SS s −sed is
ss
s
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the sediment SS mass of group s (g). According to Hipsey and Hamilton (2008), a critical shear
223 stress parameter
can be estimated from the dimensionless critical shield’s parameter, which in
τ cs
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turn is estimated from the dimensionless particle diameter D. Parameter D may be estimated as:
G
 1
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D
D
3
g
5
s
s
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Then G is the specific gravity of the re-suspended particles, g is gravitational acceleration (9.8 m s -2
227 ),
is the kinematic viscosity (10 −6 m 2 s −1 at 20 o C) and
D
is the particle size. The critical shield
S
s
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parameter was calculated according to value of D:
 0.5 tan
  D 
0.3
 0.6
0.25 D
tan
 
0.3
D
19
D 
229
0.4
6
0.013 tan
D
19
D
50
0.06 tan
  D 
50
o
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In which α is the angle of repose of the sediment from 30
o to 42
. The critical shear stress is then
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estimated from the equation,
  (   ) ;  
Ds
g is the specific sediment weight; and
=
 cs
s
m
s
s
m
−3
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g = 9800 N m
is the specific weight of the water-sediment mixture. Based on Stoke’s Law the
m
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settling velocity is calculated by using the particle density,
and diameter
D
:
s
s
s
s
 
S
(
T
,
S
)
s
w
2
234
v
g
(
D
)
7
s
s
18
 (
T )
s
235 Where
is water density calculated dynamically as a function of temperature and salinity; and μ is
w
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the dynamic viscosity of water calculated internally as a function of temperature.
237
238 2.1.4.
Model implementation
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2.1.4.1. Pre-processing
240
The model configuration for the Macuse estuary was implemented according to the Hodges and
241
Dallimore (2003) scheme (Fig 2). The numerical code of the ELCOM was written in the Fortran-90
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language. The diagram summarizes the key variables for the module execution, including pre-

243 processing, model execution and visualization. The configuration of suspended sediment variables

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was bas ed on the C AEDYM m odule unde r initial co nditions and

and visualiz ed through
and visualiz ed through

their prep aration that consider th e

geoche mical and b iological v ariables. T he data def ined in EL COM - CA EDYM we re processe d

simulta neously for the produc tion of Net work Comm on Data F orm (NetC DF) files in three types -

converted

vertical , horizontal curtain an d mesh prof iles. The p ost-processi ng phase c orresponds to the resul ts

in NetC DF format that were

Matlab.

Fortran-st ructured co mmands an d

that were Matlab. Fortran-st ructured co mmands an d Fig 2. Sc hematic diag ram for
that were Matlab. Fortran-st ructured co mmands an d Fig 2. Sc hematic diag ram for

Fig 2. Sc hematic diag ram for ELCO M - CAEDY M module (H odges and Da llimore, 2013 ).

A m ap totaling 600 km 2 at a 1:10000 scale (1998 -99 at GCS -WGS-1984 4, Tete 36)

was digitize d

a bathyme tric chart o btained by I nstituto Na cional de H idrografia e Navegaçã o

with M IKE21 from

The bilinea r interpolati on techniqu e was impl emented wi th the mod el

accurate tha n

the tria ngular inter polation tec hnique, the

we update d bathymet ry points w ith the fiel d

measur ements con ducted with an echo-so under Garm in 150. Th e final inter polated bat hymetry w as

de Moz ambique - I NAHINA.

algorith m provided automatica lly by the

Mike21. Alt hough this technique i s not more

lly by the M ike21. Al t hough this technique i s not more errors did

errors did not affect s ignificantly

the specifi c purpose

of

this stu dy. Therefo re, for the

bathymetr y accuracy

259 260 261 north-y, which corresponds to 17.82 262 263 264 265 266 267 268

259

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261 north-y, which corresponds to 17.82

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configured with a mesh grid of 20 m x 20 m (Fig 4), with 230 x-rows and 190 y-columns and 10

o included eleven
o
included
eleven

vertical layers. The ELCOM geographic position was identified as -0.707107 north-x and +0.70711

o

S and 37.07

E. The mesh grid was converted into an ELCOM

- CAEDYM configuration within four open boundary conditions, including: 1-ocean boundary in x-

row 230 and between y-column 80 and y-column 129 and at all layers; 2-runoff flow to the estuary

in row 1 and between columns 112 and 120; 3-lateral runoff flow between rows 42 and 55 in the

first column; and 4-lateral river flow between rows X = 171 and Y = 176 in y-column 61. In the two

upstream boundaries (2 and 3), we applied the water discharge forces and sediment concentrations.

In the downstream boundary 1 (ocean boundary), the tidal elevation from the Model-tpxo7 with a

o x

1/4 o

between January 2000 and December 2014 was implemented

(www.coas.oregonstate.edu/research/po/research/tide/index.html). These

tidal constituents:

S

M2, S2, N2, K2, K1, O1, P1, Q1, MF, MM and M4, which began at 00:00, 01/01/2014 (17.76

o

o

E). Their contributions are presented in table 1.

Table 1. Tidal constituents at water level boundary 1.

Constituent

Amplitude (m)

Phase ( o )

Constituent Amplitude (m) Phase ( o ) M2 1.1001 41.05 S2 0.6328 82.59 N2 0.1862 25.80
Constituent Amplitude (m) Phase ( o ) M2 1.1001 41.05 S2 0.6328 82.59 N2 0.1862 25.80
Constituent Amplitude (m) Phase ( o ) M2 1.1001 41.05 S2 0.6328 82.59 N2 0.1862 25.80

M2

1.1001

41.05

S2

0.6328

82.59

N2

0.1862

25.80

K2

0.1784

79.10

K1

0.0315

354.23

O1

0.0499

345.74

P1

0.0092

10.20

Q1

0.0135

321.14

MF

0.0121

2.57

MM

0.0058

355.49

M4

0.0085

334.63

0.0092 10.20 Q1 0.0135 321.14 MF 0.0121 2.57 MM 0.0058 355.49 M4 0.0085 334.63
0.0092 10.20 Q1 0.0135 321.14 MF 0.0121 2.57 MM 0.0058 355.49 M4 0.0085 334.63
0.0092 10.20 Q1 0.0135 321.14 MF 0.0121 2.57 MM 0.0058 355.49 M4 0.0085 334.63
2.57 MM 0.0058 355.49 M4 0.0085 334.63 2.1.4.2. Initial conditions Initial conditions were

2.1.4.2. Initial conditions

Initial conditions were implemented at the three boundaries (BC-1, BC-2, and BC-3) to execute

the model, including water level, water temperature, water salinity, runoff and fine sand and silt

concentrations (Table 2). At all of the boundaries, constant values of water salinity and water

the boundaries, constant values of water salinity and water temperature were defined, and every volume of

temperature were defined, and every volume of water in the computational domain was considered

to be quiescent and vertically well mixed. A time interval of 120 seconds was defined for the

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280 simulation, for which 210000 iterations were performed, and the output data were recorded hourly.

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294

295

296

297

298

299

300

301

302

303

289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 Table

Table 2. The initial conditions at the boundary interfaces. Where BC-1 represents the Macuse estuary entrance, BC-2 the right tributary and BC-3 the Namacurra River.

Model boundary

Model boundary

Parameter of Initial condition

BC-1

Parameter of Initial condition BC-1 BC-2 BC-3 1.0 1.0 29 29.2 29 27.5 0 0 0

BC-2

BC-3

BC-2 BC-3 1.0 1.0 29 29.2 29 27.5 0 0 0 0 300 500

1.0

1.0

29

29.2

29

27.5

0

0

0

0

300

500

1.0 1.0 29 29.2 29 27.5 0 0 0 0 300 500

Initial uniform water level (m)

2.6

Initial uniform temperature ( o )

29

Initial uniform salinity (PSU)

29

Initial uniform sand concentration (mg l -1 )

0

Initial uniform silt concentration (mg l -1 )

0

Initial uniform water runoff (m 3 s -1 )

0

0 Initial uniform silt concentration (mg l - 1 ) 0 Initial uniform water runoff (m

2.1.4.3. Model execution

The model was configured to run a simulation of 14 months, which included the summer and

winter seasons. This was due to significant variations in seasonal conditions that may have relevant

impact on the runoff discharges, sediment supply, wind force and solar radiation. These factors may

affect the water temperature, water salinity, biological activity and estuarine and ocean circulation.

Regarding the simulation applied to the Macuse estuary, a spin-up period of 5 days was

implemented according to the model stability to guarantee the initial hydrodynamic conditions

 2 x x  x
2
x
x
 x

tU

hydrodynamic conditions  2 x x  x  tU (Table 2). A time step of

(Table 2). A time step of 60 seconds was adopted to ensure numerical stability with 555,000 time

steps, with hourly saving of output data. The model was run for one month for spin-up verification

and then performed a one-year run, which was completed after two weeks of simulation. The

8

stabilization time was calculated according to the equation:

 t g ' D
 t
g
'
D

In which g´ is equal to 100 (maximum parameter estimated for shallow water), D = 15 m (average

depth of the estuary) and

= 20 m (corresponding to the dx size of the bathymetry). The model

9

stability constant was estimated using the equation:

CFL

304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318

304

305

306

307

308

309

310

311

312

313

314

315

316

317

318

variation of the tidal range. The excellent matches be tween the spring tid es for
variation of
the tidal
range. The
excellent matches be tween the
spring tid es for all

3. Res ults

3.1. Evaluatin g model res ults

To

ensure the a ccuracy of the simulat ed tidal elev ation withi n the mode l domain, th e model w as

calibrat ed and vali dated using data obtai ned from a tidal gauge and CTD

profilers fix ed at statio n

M3 (the port zone) . In this cas e, the wate r levels wer e reproduc ed excellent ly, indicati ng the abilit y

the sprin g to neap

of the n umerical m odel to des cribe the fe atures of the

to floo d tides, and

indicate d that the

observed an d

modelle d data, con firm the ac curacy of th e model, c apturing bo th the tidal amplitudes and the tid al

phases

salinity was estima ted at R 2 =

perform ance in th e Macuse

paramet ers.

conservativ e

0.79. These significant correlation s indicate th e accuracy of the mod el

tidal signa l such as p hase, amplit ude, and eb b

results of this analys is

model repro duced well the tidal el evation of 4

m, tidal cu rrents of 1 20 m s -1 , an d

salinity variation b etween 34

and 35 (Fi g. 3). These

in a signifi cant correla tion of R 2 = 0.86, wh ereas the co rrelation o f observed and modele d

River estua ry for bot h neap and

o f observed and modele d River estua ry for bot h neap and 319 320
o f observed and modele d River estua ry for bot h neap and 319 320

319

320 Fig. 3. A - Comparison

321 salinity.

between the observed and modelled tid es. B - Comp arison betwee n the observe d and simulat ed

B - Comp a rison betwee n the observe d and simulat ed 322 For sediment

322 For sediment v erification, the compa rison betwe en the obse erved and s imulated se diments w as

and M5 ( Table 3, Fi g. 4). Both observed a nd the mo delled resul ts

88 % accur acy obtaine d

324 matche d well with R 2 = 0.88.

323 conduct ed at statio ns M1, M3

Moreover,

it is impo rtant to not e that the

325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339

325

326

327

328

329

330

331

332

333

334

335

336

337

338

339

340

341

342

343

344

345

346

347

348

indicate s the robus tness of th e model pe rformance

suspend ed sedimen ts.

tness of th e model pe rformance suspend ed sedime n ts. for satisfac torily repro

for satisfac torily repro ducing dat a outputs f or

Ta ble 3. Observ ed and simula ted suspended

sediments an d their correl ation on 16 an d 17/11/2013 in Fig. 4.

Stations Depths (m) Obs. S S (mg l - 1 ) M5 1 1 11

Stations

Depths (m)

Obs. S S (mg l -1 )

M5

1

1

11

M5

5

1

59

M5

10

2

40

) M5 1 1 11 M5 5 1 59 M5 10 2 40 Si mulated SS
) M5 1 1 11 M5 5 1 59 M5 10 2 40 Si mulated SS

Si mulated SS ( mg l -1 )

120

170

250

Si mulated SS ( mg l - 1 ) 120 170 250 110 160 130 250

110

160

130

250

260

170

1 ) 120 170 250 110 160 130 250 260 170 M3 1 1 00 M3

M3

1

1 00

M3

5

1 68

M3

10

61

M1

3

3

01

M1

7

3

07

M1

12

2

12

3 3 01 M1 7 3 07 M1 12 2 12 F i g. 4. Compar
3 3 01 M1 7 3 07 M1 12 2 12 F i g. 4. Compar

F ig. 4. Compar ison between the observed and simulated suspended se diments

Spe cific evalua tions indica ted that the

tidal regim e with a m aximum he ight of 4 m had the ro le

a maximu m velocity of 120 cm s

neap tides.

-1

factor tha t controls

of gene rating the ti dal currents

-1 factor tha t controls of gene rating the ti dal currents (Fig. 5). T hese

(Fig. 5). T hese tidal c urrents with

reached their peak after the fl ood tides i n both the s pring and

that the

circulat ion with ma ximum tid al currents o f 70 cm s -1 at station

currents had a stro ng correlati on with the suspended sediments, which wer e estimated at R 2 = 0.9 1.

M3 (Fig. 6). The ebb an d flood tid al

It is import ant to notic e

the estuarin e

estuary g eometry de fined the U -velocity a s the main

349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360 361 362 363

349

350

351

352

353

354

355

356

357

358

359

360

361

362

363

364

This co rrelation i s highly s ignificant

concent rations of

high-su spended sed iment conc entrations o f 160 mg l - 1 .

and reflect ed in the
and reflect ed in the

relative lo w suspend ed sedime nt

110 mg l -1

during ebb

tides, whil e flood tid es were ch aracterized by relativel y

whil e flood tid es were ch a racterized by relativel y Synopti c data Fig.
whil e flood tid es were ch a racterized by relativel y Synopti c data Fig.

Synopti c data

Fig. 5. A

3.2.

The

– Tidal elev ation and U - velocity. B - T idal elevation

and suspend ed sediments. C – Correlati on between U -

velocity and simulated sus pended sedim ents.

1:10000 s cale bathy metry inter polated wit h Mike21

demonstrat ed a confi guration th at

indicate d shallow

The EW

be stron ger than th e V-velocit y componen t. Accordin g to the de pths presen ted, site A

depths in th e entrance region and relatively d eep depths along the r iver (Fig. 6 ).

U tidal cu rrents flux t o

demonstrate d

for the po rt

of 2 m at the river en trance, the 4 m tidal r egime allow s

river orie ntation com bined with the geomor phology, p ermitted the

that it i s narrower and deeper (14 m dept h) than B

constru ction. Desp ite the mini mum depth

m dept h) than B constru ction. Desp ite the mini mum depth water d epths

water d epths of 6 m

which expla ins why it is favorable

at flood ti des, which has set mini mum vesse l draft for n avigation.

Part icular analy ses are foc used on be d level vari ations beyo nd the vicin ity of the M

acuse Riv er

B) for the port constr uction. Spe cial attenti on was give n to the are a

and the proposed a reas (A and

365 366 367 368 369 370 371 372 373 374 375 376 377 378 379

365

366

367

368

369

370

371

372

373

374

375

376

377

378

379

380

381

382

383

384

of the ti dal entranc e, which is very impor tant due to its effects o n sediment transport b y U-velocit y

erosion pr ocess is th e primary
erosion pr ocess is th e primary

(Fig. 10 ). Indeed, t he U-veloc ity variatio n between - 20 cm s -1 a nd 80 cm s -1 is respon sible for be d

factor in th e

channel deepening of the Nam acurra Riv er and sedi mentation a t its entranc e. This sed imentation is

level v ariations ca used by h ydraulic er osion. The

very str ong at the r iver entranc e due to th e weak U-v elocity inte nsity, there fore, it begi ns to weake n

Macuse Riv er

along th e channel t o the Macu se River. T he lower de pths found at the entra nce to the

give wa y to the pri mary tidal

due to sed iment suppl y

from th e rivers.

flow, eventu ally becom ing a depos sitional area

rivers. flow, eventu ally becom ing a depos s itional are a Fig. 6. I n
rivers. flow, eventu ally becom ing a depos s itional are a Fig. 6. I n

Fig. 6. In terpolated bat hymetry usin g the bilinear method in the Mike21 mod el. A and B i ndicate the pr oposed sites f or port constru ction.

second fac tor that co ntributes to

The bathymetr y defined h as different water flux es accordin g to the slo pe and geo metry of th e

the water ’s

process. Th e

1000 mm year -1 have a

supply and transport o f sediment and the sed imentation that accum ulates at th e

riverbed . Therefor e, the wate r discharg es are the

current

flux and s ediment tr ansport co mbined wit h the sedi mentation o r erosion

fed by aver age rains of

maximu m runoff d ischarges o f 850 m 3 s -1

in March

strong r ole in the

entranc e of the M acuse River . This runo ff is dilute d by ocean water duri ng the rain y season an d

River wit h two wat er types a nd in a qu ite turbulen t state. In deed, in sit u

and low tid al elevation s

leaves

observa tions of tid al free-surf ace elevati on data ind icated that high tidal

drove th e tidal curr ents and sal inity distrib ution along

icated that high tidal drove t h e tidal curr ents and sal inity distri b

the Macuse

the estuary .

385 386 387 388 389 390 391 392 393 394 395 396 397 398 399

385

386

387

388

389

390

391

392

393

394

395

396

397

398

399

400

401

402

403

404

A c lose associ ation betw een the tid al elevatio n and tidal

T here was a o C with n o expressiv e changes changes b etween
T here was a
o C with n o expressiv e changes
changes b etween 34
and 36
-

current w as observe d during th e

transitio n between

between

hours fr om 16 to 1 7 Novemb er/2014, wi th salinity f ound to be 35.9 at flo od tides and

the ebb an d flood tid es and vic e-versa.

strong co rrespondenc e

and 09:17:0 0

35.5 at lo w

in the perio d

of

salinity va riation and daily tidal variation m easured be tween 07:0 0:00 hours

tides. T he observe d in situ te mperature a veraged 29

from 0 7:00:00 ho urs to 09:1 7:00 hours

on 16 an d 17 Nove mber 2014 . Field obs servations

turbidit y concentra tion indicat ed relativel y high valu es at the ent rance of ro ughly 160 N TU and 12 0

strong tid es

influenc e, which ar e associate d with botto m roughne ss, the wate r velocity a nd sedimen t size.

NTU a t the catch ment. In t he entranc e zone, the se concent rations ind icated the

3.3. Mo del output data

The model outp uts confirm

the accura cy of the m odel for re producing l arge-scale t idal pattern s,

tidal cu rrents, salin ity variatio n, temperat ure changes and suspen ded sedime nts. The tid al range of 4

m prov ides good

hydrody namics stu died. For e xample, at s tations M1 , M3 and M 5, the wate r temperatu re and wat er

salinity

water t ypes includ e the ocea n water w ith salinity

documente d informati on to expl ain the im pact of the

tides on t the estuarin e

correlated well to ex plain the tw o possible

water type s in the T- S diagram s. These tw o

A, while th e

type s in the T- S diagram s . These t w o A, while th

freshwa ter and bra ckish water had salinity

of less tha n 34 - B.

ter and bra ckish water had salinity of less tha n 34 - B. Fig. 7-a.

Fig. 7-a. The annual T -S diagrams ( a, b and c) an d the relation between salin ity and suspen ded sediment s (d, e, f) at t he

405 406 407 408 409 410 411 412 413 414 415 416 417 418 defined

405

406

407

408

409

410

411

412

413

414

415

416

417

418

defined s tations M1, M 2 and M3. B - Indicates th e brackish wa ter and runof f discharges.

type.

A - Indicates
A - Indicates

M1, 32.4 an d 34 at M3 , and betwe en 32.5 and

the ocean wat er

The average an nual salinit y at all stat ions (Fig. 7 -b), exhibi ted increasi ng salinity profiles wit h

33.5 at M 5.

M1 had salt ier water t han M3 an d M5, whic h

depth v arying betw een 34.6 a nd 34.9 at

The ch anges prese nted make

present ed fresh wa ter discharg es that dilu ted the ocea n water to

it quite ev ident that

brackish wa ter. Meanw hile, vertic al

tempera ture profile s with dept h decrease d from the

surface to t he bottom c hanging at M1 betwee n

23.20 o C and 23.4 o C, at M3 b etween 20.8 o C and 21. 3 o C and at M5 betwee n 21.6 o C a nd 22.3 o C.

3 o C and at M5 betwee n 21.6 o C a nd 22.3 o C.
3 o C and at M5 betwee n 21.6 o C a nd 22.3 o C.

Fig. 7 -b. Average a nnual salinity and temperat ure profiles at stations M1, M2 and M3.

Bas ed on the p roposed eq uation 7, w e identifie d a silt-sett ling velocit y of 0.10 c m s -1 , and a

a silt-sett ling velocit y of 0.10 c m s - 1 , and a by

by draggi ng mechani cs on the r iverbed wh ile the silt

remained in

the Macus e geomorp hology ind icated that

U-velocity

fine-san d settling v elocity of a bout 10 cm s -1 or less. These veloc ities explai n why the f ine sand w as

suspensio n.

is the mai n factor th at drives th e

usually transported

Indeed,

419 hydrodynamics of the Macuse estuary. The velocities presented in Fig. 8 indicate a maximum
419 hydrodynamics of the Macuse estuary. The velocities presented in Fig. 8 indicate a maximum
419
hydrodynamics of the Macuse estuary. The velocities presented in Fig. 8 indicate a maximum of 20
-1
420
cm s
in the rainy season, which is higher than the settling velocity for both fine sand and silt. The
421
maximum velocity was reached during the spring tides in the ebb period with a maximum of 120
-1
-1
422
cm s
. Minimum velocity of 0 cm s
was detected during the transition tides between ebb and flood
423
periods. Figure 8-a) and b), makes it quite evident that zero velocities are found at the bottom layers
424
suggesting proper conditions for fine sand and silt settling.
425
In both rainy and dry seasons, it is evident that the mixing energy was driven by water current
-1
426
patterns. In response, strong mixing occurred when the water speed was over 10 cm s
,
and
-1
-1
427
possible stratification when water speed was less than 10 cm s
for fine sand and 0.10 cm s
for silt.
428
Indeed, for example, the fine sand was usually transported on the bottom layers by dragging, while
429
the
silt fluxes were distributed at all water layers with concentrations ranging between 180 mg l -1
-1
430
and
260 mg l
. During the flood tide, due to the lower river intake and increased tidal elevation, the
-1
-1
431
suspended sediment (SS) concentrations reached between 180 mg l
and 300 mg l
. Smaller SS
432
concentrations were observed in the dry season, influenced by the modulation of the local tide,
-1
-1
433
which ranged between 180 mg l
and 200 mg l
. During ebb tides, the highest SS concentrations
434
occurred near the entrance of the estuary and was influenced by the resuspension process.
435
The rising tide increased the SS concentration from the inner estuary to the harbour zone. In the

436

437

438

439

440

441

442

443

444

445

446

447

448

449

450

436 437 438 439 440 441 442 443 444 445 446 447 448 449 450 transition

transition between stations M1 and M5, the U-velocities drop expressively because of the

converging movements between the river discharge and tidal propagation (Fig. 8-a, Fig. -b). It is

evident that the main source of silt and fine sand is the Namacurra River. The water discharge from

the

addition, this combination is responsible for the advective transport of suspended matter, water

Namacurra combined with tidal currents drives silt and fine sand downstream in the estuary. In

salinity, and water temperature in the Macuse estuary (Fig. 8-a, Fig. 8-b).

It was observed that in the rainy season, the transport of salt was predominantly associated with

runoff from the Namacurra River and the right tributary, forcing the salt water to the entrance and

demonstrating the strong fluvial influence during the rainy season. In the dry season, the runoff was

low and the salt water was transported upstream in the estuary to the catchment zone. The

downstream transport during the ebb tides the water salinity had values close to 35. Salt

accumulation at the catchment may result between May and December, when was observed a

may result between May and December, when was observed a negative water balance and salinization oriented

negative water balance and salinization oriented upstream (from the ocean to the Namacurra River).

The transport of salt associated with the river discharge was more strongly influenced by tides at all

the stations in the dry season due to the reduced storage of freshwater during the tidal change. The

451 452 453 454 455 456 457 458 459 460 461 462 463 simulat ed

451

452

453

454

455

456

457

458

459

460

461

462

463

simulat ed temperat ure data in dicates that the warme r water ca me from th e river, whi le the cold er

and salinit y

generat ed water de nsities (sig ma-t) betw een 20 kg

m -3 and 24 to the ocean was about
m -3 and 24
to the ocean
was about

and salt ier water m oved from the ocean to the river . The comb ination of temperature

kg m -3 , whi ch suggest a mixture

of

of

more oc ean water t han runoff. The mixtu re was expr essive due

5 days.

water rete ntion-time

In b oth the rai ny and dry

seasons, t he wind en ergy at the

surface w as about 3 0x10 -6 J an d

reached bottom la yers at abo ut 3 m, wh ich contrib uted to wat er mixing a nd suspen ded sedime nt

transpo rt. The shea r energy at the bottom

10 -4 J in t he rainy an d dry seaso ns, while th e

shear en ergy along the water c olumn was about 200x 10 -6 J in bo th the rainy

paramet ers had a st rong role in

dissipat ion energy was about 1 J with high values obs erved at the entrance.

and dry se asons. Thes e

the water mixing in b oth seasons due to the ebb and flo od tides. Th e

in b oth seasons due to the ebb and flo o d tides. T h e
in b oth seasons due to the ebb and flo o d tides. T h e

Fig. 8-a. Typi cal results of simulated dat a during the ra iny season in 2014.

464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 477 478

464

465

466

467

468

469

470

471

472

473

474

475

476

477

478

479

465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 477 478 479 Fig.
465 466 467 468 469 470 471 472 473 474 475 476 477 478 479 Fig.

Fig. 8-b. Typ ical results o f simulated da ta during the

dry season in 2014.

The water salin ity distribu tion reflect s the combi nation of al ll the transp ort process es, includin g

density ci rculation an d

a critical r ole in dete ermining th e

silt and fin e

sand co ncentration s are result s of the mix ing proces s and hydro dynamics, in which th e spatial an d

density changes, st ratification and mixin g. These pr ocesses in t urn control

modify

the water- -column m ixing. Turb ulent mixi ng plays

stratific ation and r esidual circ ulation of Macuse est uary. Mean while, the

suspended

time dis tribution is controlled by persiste nt tidal cha nges. In thi s case, the maximum c oncentratio n

predicte d was abo ut 300 mg

l -1 with hi gh concentr ations duri ng spring t ides and c oncentration s

lower th an 100 mg l -1 during e bb tides in neap tides (Fig. 9-a an d 9-b). The results ind icated stron g

currents

sedimen ts downwa rd or leftwa rd of site A (see Fig. 4 ).

s -1 and 12 0

presented a steep top ographic sl ope that us ually projec ts suspende d

where the bathymetry

The 4 m high t ides were r esponsible for the abs olute speed changes be tween 0 cm

esponsible for the abs o lute speed changes be tween 0 cm cm s - 1

cm s -1 ( Fig. 9-a an d 9-b). The periodic sp eed change s were stron g during sp ring tides a nd relativel y

tides. Th e role of t hese speed s ware ref lected in t he suspend ed sedime nt

weak d uring neap

concent ration in th e water colu mn during the rainy an d dry seaso ns.

480 481 482 483 Fig. 9 -a. Short tim e serious of fi n e

480

481

482

483

480 481 482 483 Fig. 9 -a. Short tim e serious of fi n e san
480 481 482 483 Fig. 9 -a. Short tim e serious of fi n e san

Fig. 9 -a. Short time serious of fin e sand (a, b, c ), silt (d, e, f) and U-veloci ty (g, h, i ), in the rainy sea son

e, f) and U-veloci t y (g, h, i ), in the rainy sea son Fig.

Fig. 9-b. Short tim e serious of fi ne sand (a, b, c), silt (d, e,

f) and U-veloc ity (g, h, i), in

the dry seaso n

484 485 changed from a 100 mg l 486 487 488 489 490 491 492

484

485 changed from a 100 mg l

486

487

488

489

490

491

492

493

494

495

496

497 of suspended sediments.

498

499

500

501

502

503

504

505

506

507

508

509

510

511

512

513

514

515

In the transition period from the neap to spring tides, the concentration of suspended sediments

-1

to 270 mg l

-1

the concentration of suspended sediments -1 to 270 mg l -1 . The separated investigation of

. The separated investigation of the rainy and dry seasons

facilitated a more thorough analysis of suspended particles, which allowed us to identify and

quantify the variation of several physical parameters correlated to sediment transport and their

characteristics. In this case, for the sake of simplicity, results from the rainy season indicated a

strong correlation between the suspended sediments and tidal oscillation. This was observed in the

high concentration of both fine sand and silt during the spring and floodtides (Fig. 9-a and Fig. 9-b).

The fine sand flux was not observed expressively in the simulation because of the high weight and

-1

relatively high density. Despite the relatively unexpressive concentration of the fine sand in the

. During

the dry season, there were strong changes in the suspended sediments with relatively lower

rainy and dry seasons, low concentrations were observed with a maximum of 0.15 mg l

concentrations than that of the rainy season. The changes were caused with no significant

discharges from the main boundary rivers and were immediately reflected in the low concentrations

Pronounced changes in concentration between the rainy (in February) and dry season (in June)

were observed in our analysis (Fig. 9-a, Fig. 9-b). At station M3, silt concentrations were relatively

low and unexpressed fine sand concentrations were observed in the two seasons. The results reflect

-3 -1 , while 8x10 mg l
-3
-1
, while 8x10
mg l

a strong relationship between the variation in the tidal currents and direct changes in the suspended

sediment concentrations. While the runoff discharges are observed seasonally with relatively large

concentrations in the rainy season between January and May and relatively low concentrations

during the dry season between July and December (Fig. 9-a, Fig. 9-b). More generally, these results

illustrate the intimate relationship between the tidal flow and sediment transport patterns of the two

groups (silt and fine sand). In response, may have a role in the morphodynamics that may be

expected from any alteration of the Macuse estuary bathymetry.

Specific results in February illustrated that the estuary geomorphology and topography

configuration may control the U-velocity, which governs the suspended sediment in the Macuse

estuary. This process was confirmed at station M3 where the maximum concentration of sand was

6x10 -6 mg l -1

concentrations indicate each station’s dependence on the main sources of sediment and tidal energy.

were observed at station M5 with the

and

U-velocity ranging between -21 cm s

240 mg l

at station M1. These

was observed at station M1 and 0.10 mg l -1

and 261 mg l

-1

-1

at station M1 and 0.10 mg l - 1 and 261 mg l -1 -1 Silt

Silt concentration values between 220 mg l

-1

-1

and 20 cm s

. The concentration was about 200 mg l

and 50 cm s

-1

-1

-1

when the U-velocity was between -50 cm s

-1

at M3. Moreover, at the

516 517 518 519 520 521 522 523 524 525 526 527 528 529 station

516

517

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station

between

Februar y and June and an inti mate relatio n with the d riving U-ve locity and r unoff disch arges.

M1 with U -velocity b etween -50

cm s -1 an d 50 cm s -1 was regi stered silt c oncentratio n

50 cm s - 1 was regi s tered silt c oncentrati o n 170 mg

170 mg l -1 and -230 m g l -1 . Both results for s ilt and fine sand presen ted differe nces betwee n

and M5 in creased wit h depth fro m

the surf ace to the

transpo rt process o n the riverb ed by tidal currents co mbined wi th the river slope that increases th e

bottom wit h a maxim um of 0.01 5 mg l -1 (Fi g. 10). Thi s suggests the draggin g

Ver tical profile s of suspen ded fine sa nd at statio ns M1, M3

gravity water flux. Contradict ory to the fi ne sand, th e silt decre ased with d epth from t he surface t o

the bott om at the

changed

214 mg l -1 . At M5 the annual

between 1 79 mg l -1 a nd 118 mg l -1 . At stati on M3 the s ilt changed between 2 04 mg l -1 an d

M1, M3 an d M5 stati ons. At stat ion M1, th e annual av erage silt c oncentratio n

average silt concentrati on changed between 2 08 mg l -1 an d 212 mg l - 1 .

that silt a nd fine san d sources

are the Na macurra Ri ver and rig ht

These a nnual prof iles suggest

tributar y that decre ase express ively their c oncentratio ns towards the river en trance.

their c oncentrati o ns towards the river en trance. Fig. 10. Ann u al vertical

Fig. 10. Ann ual vertical pr ofiles of fine sand and silt a t M1, M3 and

M5.

530 4. Results discussion 531 The field and modeled data outputs agreed that there is

530 4. Results discussion

530 4. Results discussion 531 The field and modeled data outputs agreed that there is a

531 The field and modeled data outputs agreed that there is a strong relationship between tidal

532 oscillation and tidal currents, as well as with suspended sediments. Tidal currents, gravity flow, and

533 river discharge were previous identified by Dias et al. (2016) as the three forces responsible for the

534 advective transport of salt in estuarine systems. The results obtained in this research indicated that

535 might cause additionally the advective transport of suspended sediments (silt and fine sand).

536 The tidal range of 4 m in height proved that the Macuse estuary is dominated by tidal currents

537 with sufficient tidal prism that permits the river entrance maintain against longshore and cross-

538 shore wave-driven littoral sediment transport. Despite the mesotidal regime found in Macuse

539 estuary, the results agree with those of Cooper (2001) in microtidal estuaries of Republic of South

540 Africa. Furthermore, the magnitude of the tide and the runoff discharges determined the

541 concentration of suspended sediments closer to the catchment and entrance. Thus, the higher the

542 magnitude of the tides or runoff discharges, the higher the suspended sediments concentration

543 during the dry or rainy seasons. These results are in good agreement with those of Dias et al.

544 (2016), Kitheka et al. (2005) and D’Aquino et al. (2010) in similar systems.

545 The unidirectional flows of U-velocity indicated that in the dry season, marine waters have a

546 greater influence on the estuary system, which results in flood tides that are higher than ebb tides at

results in flood tides that are higher than ebb tides at 547 stations M1, M3 and

547 stations M1, M3 and M5. Dias et al. (2016), Stanev et al. (2007) and Dias et al. (2013b) recently

548 experienced same related results in similar environments. The U-velocity results suggest that the

549 Macuse estuary is well mixed and the ocean water is transported upstream predominantly via tidal

550 propagation. The stationary U-velocity pattern in the estuary revealed the fluvial influence on the

551 estuarine system, which diminished the water salinity to 30 during the rainy season between

552 January and March. Dias et al. (2013b) state that positive values for U-velocity during the rainy

-1

553 season may transport freshwater downstream. This process was found at the Macuse estuary where

. The

554 the freshwater was exported by a unidirectional U-velocity with a maximum of 80 cm s

555 transport of runoff from the Namacurra River in the rainy season generated positive current

556 velocities (downstream from the estuary) during both the flood and ebb tides. However, in the dry

557 season, the flood velocities indicated the entrance of ocean water with salinity of about 35 (Fig. 8).

-1

-1

558 Field results revealed expressive suspended sediment concentrations with a maximum of 307

559 mg l

560 mgl

. In fact, the concentration of suspended sediments changed cyclically as a function of tidal

sediments changed cyclically as a function of tidal , while the predicted suspended sediment concentrations

, while the predicted suspended sediment concentrations indicated a maximum of about 300

561 562 563 564 565 566 567 568 569 570 571 572 573 574 575

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591 roughness, margin friction, sediment density and fluid viscosity. This may raise questions about the

592 scale of uncertainty from the modeling of complex natural environments such as the Macuse

variation and seasonal runoff discharge volume. These concentrations revealed a vertical light

-1
-1

attenuation caused by the concentration of suspended sediments of 300 mg l

and runoff discharges

from the main boundaries. On the other hand, the turbidity between 120 NTU and 160 NTU

revealed the attenuated light penetration in the water column, which corroborates the explanation

given by (Bowers et al., 2004); Mills et al. (2002); Painting et al. (2007); Devlin et al. (2008) and

Corbett (2010), who found that opaque particles in the water block the light penetration.

Seasonal suspended sediments results indicated relatively higher suspended sediment

concentrations in the rainy season than in the dry season. The tidal modulation combined with river

discharge influenced the highest suspended concentrations during the rainy season. While the low

suspended concentrations during the dry season were influenced by the tidal modulation. These

results are similar to those reported for other similar estuaries (Kitheka et al., 2005; Schettini, 2003;

Cooper, 2001). The deposition and resuspension was related to cyclic changes in tidal currents (Fig.

8), which corroborate conclusions of Brockmann and Dippner (1987), Boon and Duinevel (1996),

Stanev et al. (2007), Schettini (2003), Shi et al. (2003) and Chen et al. (2005) in similar

environmental conditions. The suspended particulate matter and resuspension matter from the

bottom was usually caused by tidal changes, which agrees with the findings of Tian et al. (2009) in

a similar environment. Tidal currents are the main controlling factor that governs the water

-1 .
-1
.

circulation and re-suspended sediments in the Macuse estuary. Because of the tidal currents, the

fine sand settled quickly at the main boundaries because of the weight, viscosity, gravity, density

and bottom roughness. In contrast, silt was transported significant distances in the water column.

These results agreed with those of Hurzeler et al. (1995) in a similar study, who concluded that the

suspended sediment deposition changes the buoyancy of the inlet flow density and changes the

background flow to the surface over a relatively short distance. In this case, the tidal dynamics

provide strong evidence of their role in the transport of suspended sediments during the spring and

neap tides of about 300 mg l

Various studies around the world (Dias et al., 2016; Cooper, 2001; Brockmann and Dippner,

1987; Kitheka et al., 2005; Tian et al., 2009; Boon and Duinevel , 1996; Stanev et al., 2007; Shi et

al., 2003; Chen et.al., 2005) agree that sediment transport in estuaries is governed by tidal dynamics

and tidal asymmetry, plus their relationship with the runoff discharges and geomorphology.

relationship with the runoff discharges and geomorphology. However, it is worth noting that other factors may

However, it is worth noting that other factors may control sediment transport such as bed

593 594 595 596 597 598 system). 599 600 601 602 603 604 605 606

593

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598 system).

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606 by the weak current speed of 20 cm s

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617 velocities.

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623 confirmed the model’s prediction of 300 mg l

estuary. Indeed, there are many factors to be considered, including environmental patterns, relative

to be considered, including environmental patterns, relative sea-level rise/fall, sediment supply and river discharges in

sea-level rise/fall, sediment supply and river discharges in different scales. These factors may be

responsible for sediment transport and any modeling process should question the quantities of

output data. Despite these issues, general numerical modeling approaches in estuarine systems tend

to support analysis, contributing to the understanding of existing processes (e.g. Macuse estuary

Recent analyses have allowed researchers to increase the accuracy of models used in the

planning of estuary development and of changes caused by different development phases. For

example, the data results obtained in this study show that the two sites proposed for harbor

construction by the Mozambique government have stronger potentialities at site A than B. The

suitable oceanographic potential found at site A is supported by the relative insignificant suspended

sediment deposition and the 25 m depth of the site. These conclusions sustain the hypothesis that no

dredging would be needed at site A over a long time scale, while site B would be strongly affected

-1

and suspended sediment deposition index. These factors are

aggravated by the 4 m depth, which is not suitable for ship navigation. The benefits of

understanding the sediment transport and estuarine morphodynamics may extend beyond their

importance to the hydrodynamics and bathymetry at the Macuse estuary to policy and political

bathymetry at the Macuse estuary to policy and political decisions about the estuary’s sustainability and local

decisions about the estuary’s sustainability and local coastal management.

5. Conclusions

during the transition period

1

, , suggesting that the suspended

sediments were maintained in the water column when the tidal currents were greater than critical

- The 4 m high tidal regime generated tidal currents of 120 cm s

-1

between the ebb and flood tides and vice-versa. The critical silt settling velocity was 0.10 cm s

-1

-1

while the fine sand velocity settling speed was found to be 10 cm s

2

- Two water types were detected in both seasons, including water type A (ocean water) with

salinity greater than 34 during the dry season and type B (brackish water) with salinity less than 30.

Moreover, the wind mixing energy combined with the bottom and shear stress energy were

controlling factors in the mixing of the estuary waters in both the rainy and dry seasons.

3

of the estuary waters in both the rainy and dry seasons. 3 - The field results

- The field results indicated maximum suspended sediment concentrations of 310 mg l -1 , which

-1

, in which the comparison indicated a correction of

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R

maximum of 300 mg l

currents had a lead role in the transportation of suspended sediments during the rainy and dry

seasons.