Hydro-Sedimentary viability of a projected tidal inlet on the western side of Araruama Lagoon– RJ

ABSTRACT The Araruama Lagoon, Brazil’s largest hypersaline lagoon, is an important estuarine system located in the southeast of the state of Rio de Janeiro. This lagoon is oblong-shaped and extends for circa 40 km from west to east at its longest axis. Since it has a negative water balance and only one connection with the open sea, through the long Itajuru Channel, there is very little water renewal, which causes a natural tendency to eutrophication. Creating a new maritime connection on the western side of the Lagoon would take advantage of the very frequent ENE winds, generating a drift from east to west that would increase water renewal and, consequently, enhance the quality of the environment. This paper analyses the hydro-sedimentological viability of this tidal inlet using computer models. Initially the sizing of a stable inlet is discussed considering an analysis based on well established criteria of stability of tidal inlets and with 1D computational modeling. Afterward, through 2DH hydro-sedimentological modeling, the morphodynamic evolution of the lagoon, its tidal inlets and adjacent maritime region, are analyzed considering the projected situation. The inlet considered changed very little in the lagoon’s bathymetry and remained unobstructed during the 365 days of simulation.