BIOL 231 – Marine Environment
An integrated study of the Mpenjati Estuary-Beach System. (Physical Component)
Private Bag X 5600
This study was conducted at the Mpenjati Estaury which is located in Port Shepstone and lies along the south coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of water which is either permanently or periodically open to the sea and within which there is measurable variation salinity due to the mixture of fresh water derived from land, however the fresh water inflow may not be perennial, the connection to the sea may be closed for part of the year and tidal influence may be negligible. The…show more content… ). Extreme storms can have greater effects, for example by completely destroying sand bars or other sediment deposits. All this implies that when there are strong waves estuary mouths open wider and when there are no waves the estuary mouths remain closed.
River flow or fresh water in flow has a significant influence on estuaries (Levin and Boesch et al., 2001). Especially on the environmental conditions of the estuaries, such as salinity levels and estuary health, biological, physical, geological and chemical aspects of TOCE (Levin and Boesch et al., 2001). When river flow mixes with sea water along the mouth dynamics of estuaries this contributes to diverse habitats and biological abundance (Levin and Boesch et al., 2001). Fresh water inflows also have an influence on the mouth of estuaries together with the tidal flushing (Levin and Boesch et al., 2001). In some cases when there is low river flow, the entrances or mouth of estuaries may close off completely (Levin and Boesch et al., 2001). So river flow plays an important role in the functioning of estuaries.
Material and Methods
The time in which this component too place was during low tide (midday) and the mouth of the Mpenjati estuary was taken as the starting reference point for measuring the slope. Group 2A was subdivided into three main groups, each of which observed, measured or scribed an element of the beach slope. In the subgroups there were four