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Climatology of Maipo and Rapel river plumes in Central Chile
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  • Julio Salcedo-Castro,
  • David Donoso,
  • Gonzalo Saldías,
  • Freddy A Saavedra
Julio Salcedo-Castro
Universidad de Playa Ancha

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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David Donoso
Universidad de Concepción
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Gonzalo Saldías
Universidad del Bíobío
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Freddy A Saavedra
Universidad de Playa Ancha
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River-influenced areas are very important coastal ecosystems, due to their influence on nutrients and the structure of planktonic and benthic communities. Many studies have focused on the interaction between river runoff, wind and river plume characteristics, by means of observations and modeling. This study aimed to improve our understanding about the circulation and seasonal pattern of river plumes in Central Chile, using the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS). Results were in reasonable agreement with observations. The plumes exhibit a minimal area during summer-fall, with a northwest orientation caused by southwesterly winds and lower river discharges. A larger plume area is developed during June-September, as result of higher winter precipitations. The orientation of the plumes during winter is westward, driven by higher river discharge and wind from the northwest. An interesting feature reproduced by the model was the trend to coalesce as observed in satellite imagery.