Scientia Marina, Vol 66, No 4 (2002)

Influence of the Barrie de la Maza dock on the circulation pattern of the Ría of A Coruña (NW-Spain)

Moncho Gómez-Gesteira
Physical Oceanography Group. Faculty of Science. University of Vigo, Spain

Maite Decastro
Physical Oceanography Group. Faculty of Science. University of Vigo, Spain

Ricardo Prego
Marine Biogeochemistry Research Group. Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, CSIC, Spain

Flavio Martins
University of Algarve, Portugal


A 3D hydrodynamical model is applied to the ria of A Coruña to analyze the evolution of the circulation pattern in the ria after the building of a breakwater (Barrie de la Maza dock) in the sixties. This circulation pattern has changed greatly. On the one hand, the circulation, which was almost parallel to the shore line under the original conditions, now shows a gyre near the end of the dock. On the other hand, a considerable increase (about 30%) in the velocities near the end of the breakwater and in the main channel of the estuary has been observed after the building of the dock. A stronger bottom shear stress has been generated in the estuary areas where the velocity increased. The bottom shear stress increase was particularly great (over 100%) near the end of the dock. This increase in the shear stress produced bottom erosion and matter resuspension, and consequently major changes in the bathymetry. In addition, in situ sedimentary measurements carried out by Lopez-Jamar (1996) corroborate the bottom erosion in the main chanel of the estuary and at the end of the dock produced by the velocity increase generated by the building of the breakwater.


Breakwater influence; Galician Rias; circulation pattern; bathymetry; shear stress

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Copyright (c) 2002 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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