Dissolved oxygen (DO) is not only a fundamental parameter of coastal water quality, but also an indication of organics decomposed in water and their degree of eutrophication. There has been a concern about the deterioration of dissolved oxygen conditions in the Minjiang River Estuary, the longest river in Fujian Province, Southeast China. In this study, the syntheses effects on DO was analyzed by using a four year time series of DO concentration and ancillary parameters (river discharge, water level, and temperature) from the Fuzhou Research Academy of Environmental Sciences, at three automated stations along the Minjiang River Estuary. Hypoxia occurred exclusively in the fluvial sections of the estuary during the high temperature and low river discharge period and was remarkably more serious in the river reach near the large urban area of Fuzhou. Enhancement of respiration by temperature and discharge of domestic sewage and industrial wastewater, versus regeneration of waters and dilution of pollutant concentration with increased river discharge, which regarded as the dominant antagonist processes that controlled the appearance of seasonal hypoxia. During the high temperature and the drought period, minimal mainstream flow above 700 m3
, reduction of pollutants and forbidding sediment dredging in the South Channel should be guaranteed for strong supports on water quality management and drinking water source protection.
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