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High-Frequency Monitoring of Suspended Sediment Variations for Water Quality Evaluation at Deep Bay, Pearl River Estuary, China: Influence Factors and Implications for Sampling Strategy

1
School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
3
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
4
State Key Laboratory of Tropical Oceanography, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510301, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2018, 10(3), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10030323
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 14 March 2018 / Published: 15 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Water Quality and Ecosystems)
Suspended sediment (SS) is an important water quality indicator of coastal and estuarine ecosystems. Field measurement and satellite remote sensing are the most common approaches for water quality monitoring. However, the efficiency and precision of both methods are typically affected by their sampling strategy (time and interval), especially in highly dynamic coastal and estuarine waters, because only limited measurements are available to analyze the short-term variations or the long-term trends of SS. Dramatic variations of SS were observed, with standard deviation coefficients of 48.9% and 54.1%, at two fixed stations in Deep Bay, China. Therefore, it is crucial to resolve the temporal variations of SS and its main influencing factors, and thus to develop an improved sampling strategy for estuarine ecosystems. Based on two years of continuous high-frequency measurements of SS and concurrent tidal and meteorological data, we demonstrated that the tide is the dominant factor influencing the SS variation among tide, wind (speed and direction), and rainfall in Deep Bay, China. For the monitoring of maximum suspended sediment concentration (SSC), the recommended optimum sampling time coincides with the occurrence of the ebb tides, whereas multiple sampling times are recommended for monitoring of minimum SSC. Although variations of SS are also affected by other factors, the recommended sampling strategy could capture the maximum and minimum SSC variations exactly more than 85% days in a year on average in Deep Bay. This study provides a baseline of SS variation and direct sampling strategy guidance for future SS monitoring and could be extended to other coastal or estuarine waters with similar climatological/tidal exposures. View Full-Text
Keywords: suspended sediment; estuary; Deep Bay; tide; rainfall; wind suspended sediment; estuary; Deep Bay; tide; rainfall; wind
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhou, Q.; Tian, L.; Wai, O.W.H.; Li, J.; Sun, Z.; Li, W. High-Frequency Monitoring of Suspended Sediment Variations for Water Quality Evaluation at Deep Bay, Pearl River Estuary, China: Influence Factors and Implications for Sampling Strategy. Water 2018, 10, 323.

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