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Water 2015, 7(11), 5986-6016; doi:10.3390/w7115986

An Unstructured Numerical Model to Study Wind-Driven Circulation Patterns in a Managed Coastal Mediterranean Wetland: The Vaccarès Lagoon System

1
Fondation Tour du Valat, Centre de Recherche Pour la Conservation des Zones Humides Méditerranéennes, Le Sambuc, Arles 13200, France
2
ARTELIA, 6 Rue de Lorraine, Echirolles 38130, France
3
Ifremer, Rue Jean Monnet, BP 171, Sète 34203, France
4
Laboratoire Chimie Environnement, Université d’Aix Marseille, 3 Place Victor Hugo, Marseille Cedex 3 13331, France
5
UFR Sciences, Université d’Aix Marseille, 3 Place Victor Hugo, Marseille Cedex 3 13331, France
6
SNPN, Centre d’Information de la Réserve Nationale de Camargue, La Capelière, Arles 13200, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 21 July 2015 / Revised: 29 September 2015 / Accepted: 26 October 2015 / Published: 30 October 2015
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Abstract

The spatiotemporal structure of wind-driven circulation patterns and associated water exchanges can drive important bio-hydrodynamic interactions in shallow lagoons. The Vaccarès lagoon system is a complex shallow hydrosystem located in the central part of the Rhône Delta (France). It is internationally recognized as part of a biosphere reserve within the framework of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme, and as a RAMSAR site. Due to its frequent occurrence in this area, and considering the shallowness of the Vaccarès lagoon system, wind is assumed to play a major role in the hydrodynamic and biological processes. In this study, a hydrodynamic model was developed to investigate the structure of wind-driven circulations in the Vaccarès lagoon system, to provide insights into their role in transport and water exchange processes. The implementation and assessment (calibration and validation) of the model is presented first. Simulations were then performed for two typical steady wind conditions and for one measured unsteady wind event. The results illustrate the influence of the complex geometry of the Vaccarès lagoon system on the wind-driven circulations, and the differences observed between the different sub-lagoons in this system. The differences in wind-induced water exchanges between these sub-lagoons are also discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal lagoon; mathematical model; hydrodynamics; calibration; validation; wind-driven circulation coastal lagoon; mathematical model; hydrodynamics; calibration; validation; wind-driven circulation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Boutron, O.; Bertrand, O.; Fiandrino, A.; Höhener, P.; Sandoz, A.; Chérain, Y.; Coulet, E.; Chauvelon, P. An Unstructured Numerical Model to Study Wind-Driven Circulation Patterns in a Managed Coastal Mediterranean Wetland: The Vaccarès Lagoon System. Water 2015, 7, 5986-6016.

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