PERILLO Gerardo Miguel E.
capítulos de libros
Geomorphologic and physical characteristics of the Bahía Blanca Estuary. Argentina
Estuaries of South America: their geomorphology and dynamics.
Springer Verlag
Lugar: Berlín; Año: 1999; p. 195 - 216
Located at the southwest of the Buenos Aires Province, Argentina, the Bahia BlancaEstuary (Fig. 9.1) is considered the second largest estuary in the country after the Riode la Plata. However,its geomorphologic and physical characteristics vary significantlyfrom all other estuaries in Argentina and South America. Actually The Wash,locatedin the United Kingdom, is probably the only estuary in the world that have generalcharacteristics quite similar to Bahia Blanca.Besides its scientific interest, the estuary is economically very important since thelargest deepwater harbour system of Argentina, which manages most of the country'sexports of agricultural products, is located along its northern coast. Associated withthe Ingeniero White port, a series of subsidiary harbours are related to petrochemicalindustries, fisheries and the largest naval base of the country.Although research studies in this estuary date back to 1967,most of them were relatedto specific biologic and chemical projects. Little information about the geomorphologyand physical parameters was available prior to the intense studies that startedin 1983 and continues today. About 90% of all the studies made in the estuary wereconcentrated on its Principal Channel.Furthermore, during 1990 the navigation route included in the Principal Channelwas dredged from 9.5 m (33 ft) to 13.5m (45 ft) nominal depths. Over 35 million m3 ofsediment were extracted from the channel and harbour areas and disposed on the tidalflats and offshore locations. This dredging has introduced major changes in the circulationpattern of the estuary and the amount of sediment transport that have notbeen estimated yet..Even though the now available large data base, only the general characteristics ofthis very complex environment have been uncovered. The objective of this review isto provide the present status of the knowledge about the geomorphological and physicalcharacteristics of the estuary and to define the main directions that future researchshould follow to obtain a better picture of its dynamics.