Cox, D.; Kämpf, J., and Fernandes, M., 2013. Dispersion and connectivity of land-based discharges near the mouth of a coastal inlet.
This work investigates the physical marine connectivity between Adelaide's Barker Inlet and Port River system with discharges from a wastewater treatment plant that is located just outside the inlet. Cluster deployments of Lagrangian global positioning system drifters were used to determine the pathways and dispersive properties of currents in the region. We derived a lateral dispersivity of a mean value of 0.157 m2/s, ranging from 0.053 to 0.240 m2/s. Hydrodynamic modelling (calibrated with the dispersion data) indicates that, during winter months and neap tides, nutrients from the nearshore wastewater discharge intrude directly into the inlet. Modelling further indicates that this connectivity can be substantially reduced in the case of an offshore discharge ∼3 km offshore in a water depth of ∼5 m.