Residence time and Posidonia oceanica in Cabrera Archipelago National Park, Spain

A. Orfila*, A. Jordi, G. Basterretxea, G. Vizoso, N. Marbà, C. M. Duarte, F. E. Werner, J. Tintoré

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Flushing time and residence time are studied in a small inlet in Cabrera National Park, Western Mediterranean Sea. Flushing time is studied using ADCP in situ data. Observed flushing time data are compared with the simulations from a three-dimensional coastal ocean numerical model. Residence time is assessed using virtual lagrangian particles and studying the number remaining within the analyzed domain. Results show a good agreement between observations and modeling estimations of the flushing time (i.e. 6 days from the ADCP data and 5.6 days from the numerical model). Residence time estimations yield a broad range of values, from 1 h in the Bay to over 30 days depending also on the horizontal and vertical position where particles were released. A continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR) model for the Port yields a value of 8.7 days. Results obtained for the residence time appear to have a determinant impact over the meadows of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica, present inside the Port. Recirculation patterns and complex flows in coastal environments create a non-uniform distribution of the areas of accumulation of non-conservative properties that indicate that residence time concept is the correct approach when studying the impact of water transport over biological communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1339-1352
Number of pages14
JournalContinental Shelf Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Flushing time
  • Posidonia oceanica
  • Residence time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Geology


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