Atmospheric Influence Over the Residence Time in the Bahia Blanca Estuary, Argentina

  • Jorge O. PieriniEmail author
  • Francisco Javier Campuzano
  • Paulo C. Leitão
  • Eduardo A. Gómez
  • Ramiro J. Neves


An integrated hydrodynamic and Lagrangian transport model was used to estimate the average residence time in the Bahia Blanca estuary (Argentina) for wind conditions of different seasons. The Bahia Blanca estuary consists on an elongated system of meandering bays surrounded by tidal flats and salt marshes where the tide is the principal forcing. Modelling results show that both the tidal amplitude and wind forcing affect significantly the residence time, since river discharge is very low. An increase in the wind intensity along the bays main axis causes a considerable increase in the intensity of the residual current and thus a modification of the average residence time over the model domain. In all seasons, the overall residence time ranges from 12 to 77 days. The values allow establishing a hydrodynamic performance for each of the estuary sectors over each seasonal period. These findings provide useful information to quantify the transport processes on the different sectors of the Bahia Blanca estuary necessary to understand temporal and spatial variations.


Residence time Bahia Blanca estuary Lagrangian transport Hydrodynamic model Mohid numerical model 



The Ecomanage project was financed by the Sixth Framework Programme FP6) of the European Commission (contract n: INCO-CT-2004-003715). The authors wish to thank the Consorcio de Gestión del Puerto de Bahia Blanca (CGPBB) who provide the weather and tidal time series, the Aguas Bonaerenses Sociedad Anónima (ABSA) water utility for supplying the river flow data and the Navy Hydrographical Service (SHN) for the currents data. We thank the anonymous reviewers for their careful reading of our manuscript and their many insightful comments and suggestions.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas (CIC)La PlataArgentina
  2. 2.Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía (CONICET-UNS)Bahía BlancaArgentina
  3. 3.Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Sección de Ambiente y Energia - Dep. de MecánicaMaretecLisbonPortugal
  4. 4.HidromodLisbonPortugal
  5. 5.UTN FRBBBahía BlancaArgentina

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