11 Jan 2023
11 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESSD.

Measurements and modeling of water levels, currents, density and wave climate on a semi-enclosed tidal bay: Cádiz (SW Spain)

Carmen Zarzuelo1, Alejandro López-Ruiz1, María Bermúdez2, and Miguel Ortega-Sánchez2 Carmen Zarzuelo et al.
  • 1Departamento de Ingeniería Aeroespacial y Mecánica de Fluidos, Universidad de Sevilla, Camino de los Descubrimientos s/n, 41092, Seville, Spain
  • 2Andalusian Institute for Earth System Research, University of Granada, Avda. del Mediterráneo, s/n, 18006 Granada, Spain

Abstract. Estuarine dynamics are highly complex as a result of the temperature and salinity gradients, as well as the multiple interactions between atmospheric, maritime and hydrological forcing agents. Given the environmental and socioeconomic importance of estuaries and their current and future threats due to human interventions and climate change, it is of vital importance to characterize these dynamics, monitor their evolution and quantify the expected impacts derived from climate change. This paper presents a hybrid database combining data obtained in six field surveys (in 2012, 2013 and 2015) and results from a physically-based 3D numerical model for the Bay of Cádiz (southern Spain), a highly anthropized mesotidal estuary. The 3D dataset includes water levels, currents, density and wave climate, allowing for an analysis of bay dynamics at different time scales ranging from intratidal processes to seasonal variabilities. The results offer an example of the potential uses of the dataset and include (1) an assessment of the spatial and seasonal variability of the estuarine dynamics and (2) an analysis of the effects of severe weather events. These examples provide convincing evidence regarding how the dataset can be employed in multiple research fields and applications, including ocean-bay interactions, water exchange between basins, long- and short-wave propagation along creek systems and energy extraction of tidal waves. Therefore, this hybrid dataset may be of significant interest for stakeholders and scientists from different sectors (water engineering, ecology, urban development, energy, etc.) working on the environmental management of the Gulf of Cádiz and other tidally-dominated shallow bays. It can also serve as a benchmark test for numerical hydrodynamic models, infrastructure intervention assessments (e.g., dikes or breakwaters) or renewable energy conversion system models.

Carmen Zarzuelo et al.

Status: open (until 08 Mar 2023)

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Carmen Zarzuelo et al.

Data sets

Hydrodynamic data for the Bay of Cádiz (southern Spain) Zarzuelo, C., López-Ruiz, A. Bermúdez, M., & Ortega-Sánchez, M.

Carmen Zarzuelo et al.


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Short summary
This article presents a hydrodynamic dataset for the Bay of Cádiz in southern Spain, a paradigmatic example of a complex geometry, tidal bay under high anthropogenic pressures. The dataset brings together both measured and modelled data of water levels, currents, density and waves for the period 2012–2015. It allows the characterization of the bay dynamics from intratidal to seasonal scales. Potential uses include the study of ocean-bay interactions, wave propagation or energy assessments.