Solari, S., Chreties, Ch., López, G., Teixeira, L., 2014. Analysis of the recent evolution of the sand spit at the Solís Chico river mouth. In: Green, A.N. and Cooper, J.A.G. (eds.), Proceedings 13th International Coastal Symposium (Durban, South Africa), Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 70, pp. 616–620, ISSN 0749-0208.
The Solís Chico river, located on the southern Uruguayan coast, flows into the Río de la Plata estuary. The seaside resorts La Floresta and Parque del Plata are located on the estuary. In recent years the river mouth has migrated westward, away from the river axis, forming a sand spit that hinders the recreational use of Parque del Plata beach. In turn, at La Floresta there is a beach nourishment project whose main objective is to mitigate the erosion of the beach and the adjoining cliffs. This work aims to identify the causes of the recent migration of the river mouth and to analyze the possibility of using the sand spit as a borrow area for the beach nourishment. The river sediment supply to the coast for the period 1900–2010 was estimated, along with the long-shore and cross-shore sediment transport produced by sea waves. Furthermore, the plan-view stability of the river was studied in order to determine if the long-term evolution of the river is affecting the migration of the mouth. It was found that the migration of the mouth is mainly due to an extraordinarily high river sediment supply in 2002, combined with an increase in the net westward potential long-shore transport rate since the late 90s, and that the meander dynamics of the river are not affecting the evolution of the mouth. Additionally, the most likely area of natural breaching of the sand spit was identified, recommending its use as a borrow area for nearby beach nourishment.