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Use of a Real-Time Remote Monitoring Network (RTRM) to Characterize the Guadalquivir Estuary (Spain)

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Author(s): Gabriel Navarro | Isabel Emma Huertas | Eduardo Costas | Susana Flecha | Manuel Díez-Minguito | Isabel Caballero | Victoria López-Rodas | Laura Prieto | Javier Ruiz

Journal: Sensors
ISSN 1424-8220

Volume: 12;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1398;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: real-time remote monitoring network | water quality node | Guadalquivir estuarine ecosystem | turbidity control

ABSTRACT
The temporal variability of hydrological variables in the Guadalquivir estuary was examined during three years through a real-time remote monitoring network (RTRM). The network was developed with the aim of studying the influence of hydrodynamical and hydrological features within the estuary on the functioning of the pelagic ecosystem. Completing this data-gathering network, monthly cruises were performed in order to measure biogeochemical variables that are indicative of the trophic status of the aquatic environment. The results showed that several sources of physical forcing, such as wind, tide-associated currents and river discharge were responsible for the spatio-temporal patterns of dissolved oxygen, salinity and turbidity in the estuary. The analysis was conducted under tidal and flood regime, which allowed us to identify river discharge as the main forcing agent of the hydrology inside the estuary. In particular, episodes of elevated turbidity detected by the network, together with episodes of low salinity and dissolved oxygen were closely related to the increase in water supply from a dam located upstream. The network installed provided accurate data that can be rapidly used for research or educational applications and by policy-makers or agencies in charge of the management of the coastal area.
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