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Modelling the transport and decay processes of microbial tracers released in a macro-tidal estuary

Abu-Bakar, Amyrhul, Ahmadian, Reza ORCID: and Falconer, Roger A. ORCID: 2017. Modelling the transport and decay processes of microbial tracers released in a macro-tidal estuary. Water Research 123 , pp. 802-824. 10.1016/j.watres.2017.07.007

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The Loughor Estuary is a macro-tidal coastal basin, located along the Bristol Channel, in the South West of the U.K. The maximum spring tidal range in the estuary is up to 7.5 m, near Burry Port Harbour. This estuarine region can experience severe coastal flooding during high spring tides, including extreme flooding of the intertidal saltmarshes at Llanrhidian, as well as the lower industrial and residential areas at Llanelli and Gowerton. The water quality of this estuarine basin needs to comply with the designated standards for safe recreational bathing and shellfish harvesting industries. The waterbody however, potentially receives overloading of bacterial inputs that enter the estuarine system from both point and diffuse sources. Therefore, a microbial tracer study was carried out to get a better understanding of the faecal bacteria sources and to enable a hydro-environmental model to be refined and calibrated for both advection and dispersion transport. A two-dimensional hydro-environmental model has been refined and extended to predict the highest water level covering the intertidal floodplains of the Loughor Estuary. The validated hydrodynamic model for both water levels and currents, was included with the injected mass of microbial tracer, i.e. MS2 coliphage from upstream of the estuary, and modelled as a non-conservative tracer over several tidal cycles through the system. The calibration and validation of the transport and decay of microbial tracer was undertaken, by comparing the model results and the measured data at two different sampling locations. The refined model developed as a part of this study, was used to acquire a better understanding of the water quality processes and the potential sources of bacterial pollution in the estuary.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff (ARCCA)
Publisher: Elsevier / IWA Publishing
ISSN: 0043-1354
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 July 2017
Date of Acceptance: 2 July 2017
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 21:53

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