Water renewal analysis of the Santos Estuarine System using computational modeling

Abstract The investigation of processes inherent in an estuary system allows us to infer more precisely its complex dynamics, assisting in the development of action strategies for environmental management plans and projects in coastal areas. This paper describes a hydrodynamic study of the Santos Estuarine System (São Paulo State, Brazil), focused on its water renewal analysis. A computational model was implemented using SisBaHiA® (Base System for Environmental Hydrodynamics) in order to reproduce the hydrodynamic patterns of the system. Simulations based on Eulerian Transport Model were performed to compute renewal rates for summer and winter representative periods. Results presented on maps and time series indicated that after 30 days the entire system has a total renewal greater than 95%. Seasonal differences could only be verified on the inner regions of the estuary, such as Piaçaguera Channel.