Articles | Volume 21, issue 7
Research article
04 Jul 2017
Research article |  | 04 Jul 2017

The physics behind Van der Burgh's empirical equation, providing a new predictive equation for salinity intrusion in estuaries

Zhilin Zhang and Hubert H. G. Savenije

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Cited articles

Abdullah, A. D., Gisen, J. I. A., van der Zaag, P., Savenije, H. H. G., Karim, U. F. A., Masih, I., and Popescu, I.: Predicting the salt water intrusion in the Shatt al-Arab estuary using an analytical approach, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 4031–4042,, 2016.
Banas, N. S., Hickey, B. M., and MacCready, P.: Dynamics of Willapa Bay, Washington: A highly unsteady, partially mixed estuary, J. Phys. Oceanogr., 34, 2413–2427, 2004.
Cai, H., Savenije, H. H. G., and Toffolon, M.: A new analytical framework for assessing the effect of sea-level rise and dredging on tidal damping in estuaries, J. Geophys. Res.-Oceans, 117, C09023, 2012.
Dyer, K. R.: (New revised issue) Estuaries: a Physical Introduction, John Wiley & Sons Aberdeen, UK, 1997.
Fischer, H. B.: Mass transport mechanisms in partially stratified estuaries, J. Fluid Mech., 53, 671–687, 1972.
Short summary
An estuary is where fresh water rivers meet the salty open sea. This mixture of salty fresh water leads to a varying water quality. There a model works well showing how far the salty water can travel, with an empirical parameter that needs to be calibrated every time. This paper provides a possible solution for this parameter to make the model predictive. Also, the model was improved by considering 2-D exchange flow. This new model was supported by observations in 18 estuaries around the world.