Along-channel velocity, salinity, and total suspended sediment concentration profiles were measured during 15 complete neap and spring tidal cycles in the dry and rainy seasons in four cross-sections in a tropical estuary, Itamaracá, Pernambuco, Brazil. The net longitudinal fluxes of salt and sediments were decomposed into advective, tidal, and cross-sectional shear transports. The advective transport of both salt and suspended sediments were for most parts export-directed and greater than the combined river discharge, suggesting a non-steady state. The dispersive tidal transport was decomposed into four separate mechanisms of which tidal pumping transport and tidal wave transport (similar to transport by Stokes’ drift) are the main transport mechanisms. The cross-sectional shear transport was negligibly small, and thus, vertical nor lateral effects are significant with respect to longitudinal dispersion in the case of Itamaracá.
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Vol. 2005 • No. 214