Where fresh and saltwater mix in coastal estuaries they form

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Basic Information about Estuaries

where fresh and saltwater mix in coastal estuaries they form

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Brackish water is water having more salinity than freshwater , but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing seawater with fresh water together, as in estuaries , or it may occur in brackish fossil aquifers. The word comes from the Middle Dutch root " brak ". Certain human activities can produce brackish water, in particular civil engineering projects such as dikes and the flooding of coastal marshland to produce brackish water pools for freshwater prawn farming. Brackish water is also the primary waste product of the salinity gradient power process. Because brackish water is hostile to the growth of most terrestrial plant species, without appropriate management it is damaging to the environment see article on shrimp farms. Technically, brackish water contains between 0.

An estuary is an area where a freshwater river or stream meets the ocean.
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We've made some changes to EPA. Photo Credit: Marc Hinz. An estuary is a partially enclosed, coastal water body where freshwater from rivers and streams mixes with salt water from the ocean. Estuaries, and their surrounding lands, are places of transition from land to sea. Although influenced by the tides, they are protected from the full force of ocean waves, winds and storms by land forms such as barrier islands or peninsulas.

Estuaries and their surrounding wetlands are bodies of water usually found where rivers meet the sea. Estuaries are home to unique plant and animal communities that have adapted to brackish water—a mixture of fresh water draining from the land and salty seawater. However, there are also several types of entirely freshwater ecosystems that have many similar characteristics to the traditional brackish estuaries. For example, along the Great Lakes, river water with very different chemical and physical characteristics mixes with lake water in coastal wetlands that are affected by tides and storms just like estuaries along the oceanic coasts. These freshwater estuaries also provide many of the ecosystem services and functions that brackish estuaries do, such as serving as natural filters for runoff and providing nursery grounds for many species of birds, fish, and other animals.

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What is an estuary?

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Brackish water

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3 thoughts on “Where fresh and saltwater mix in coastal estuaries they form

  1. In addition to classifying estuaries based on their geology, scientists also classify estuaries based on their water circulation.

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