Costa, S.; Picado, A.; Vaz, N.; Coelho, C.; Portela, L., and Dias, J.M., 2018. Climate change effects on suspended sediment dynamics in a coastal lagoon: Ria de Aveiro (Portugal). In: Shim, J.-S.; Chun, I., and Lim, H.S. (eds.), Proceedings from the International Coastal Symposium (ICS) 2018 (Busan, Republic of Korea). Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 85, pp. 521–525. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.
Coastal systems are very important interface areas between land and sea, subject to constant changes motivated by both natural and anthropogenic factors. In addition to the increasing modifications imposed by human activities, natural processes are also being altered as a result of climate change. Important consequences of climate change in coastal systems are sea level rise (SLR) and changes in freshwater discharge, due to modifications in rainfall patterns and air temperature. The aim of this work was to assess the impact of climate changes on the suspended sediment dynamics in a coastal system (the Ria de Aveiro, Portugal). A sediment transport model was implemented for this system and results used to investigate the impact of SLR and rivers discharge, separately and combined, considering a reference and five future scenarios. Maps of suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and sediment fluxes along the tidal cycle were analysed for each future scenario and compared with the reference scenario. In general, the highest changes on net sediment balance (difference between flood and ebb fluxes) are predicted for the scenario that only considers changes in river discharges, with a decrease of 33% relatively to the reference scenario. Combining changes in both river discharges and mean sea level (MSL), differences are attenuated, with a decrease of 6% in net sediment balance. However, for scenarios with changes only in MSL an opposite behaviour is expected, with an increase of 15%.