A port complex was implanted in the coast region of Suape, PE-Brasil, in 1979–80, which altered the geomorphological and hydrodynamic conditions of the area, mainly in the estuary of the Ipojuca River. Water samples were collected from the surface and the deep layer to determine the salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, transparency, and temperature from three fixed stations in the estuary of the Ipojuca River during the summer and winter before (1978) and after (1986–87) the port's construction, in order to evaluate the effects of the port-induced changes. The data were subjected to a principal component analysis and to individual t tests. The first principal component, the axis of maximum information, alone explained 50% of the total variance, being associated with the generalized increase of the chemical parameters after the port's construction, mainly the salinity. Despite the fact that the results of the t tests presented significant differences only for the dissolved oxygen, pH, and temperature, the increased salinity produced the greatest ecological effects in the estuary. The water flow of the Ipojuca River was diverted toward the ocean, decreasing the river-flow velocity at the mouth. This decrease in flow caused a sedimentation in the area, a decrease in the circulation and depth, and a transformation of the mouth of the river into a coastal lagoon with an increase in evaporation and salinity. A delay of more than 2 hours was observed in the dynamic tide in relation to the normal 6-hour cycles. Despite an increase in the concentration of dissolved oxygen and transparency values, effects that theoretically improve environmental conditions, a morphological transformation occurred that caused drastic changes in the estuary's circulation and in the tidal currents.
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