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Short- and long-term temporal variations in salinity and the oxygen, carbon and hydrogen isotopic compositions of the Hooghly Estuary water, India

Ghosh, Prosenjit and Chakrabarti, Ramananda and Bhattacharya, SK (2013) Short- and long-term temporal variations in salinity and the oxygen, carbon and hydrogen isotopic compositions of the Hooghly Estuary water, India. In: CHEMICAL GEOLOGY, 335 . pp. 118-127.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chemgeo.2012.10.051


The Hooghly River estuary provides a unique experimental site to understand the effect of monsoonal river discharge on freshwater and seawater mixing. Water samples collected bi-weekly for a duration of 17 months were analyzed for salinity, delta O-18,delta C-13(DIC), as well as delta D to investigate the differential mixing of freshwater and seawater. The differences in salinity and delta O-18 of samples collected during low and high tides on the same day are strongly correlated suggesting a well mixed water column at our sampling site. Low salinity and depleted delta O-18 during monsoon is consistent with increased river discharge as well as high rainfall. We identified different slopes in a delta O-18 versus salinity plot for the estuary water samples collected during monsoon and non-monsoon seasons. This is driven by composition of the freshwater source which is dominated by rainwater during monsoon and rivers during non-monsoon months. Selected delta D analyses of samples indicate that groundwater contributes significantly to the Hooghly Estuary during low rainfall times of the year. delta C-13(DIC) measured in the water recorded low values towards the end of monsoon indicating low productivity (i.e. increased organic respiration) while progressively increasing delta C-13(DIC) values from October till January as well as during some of the pre-monsoon months can be explained by increasing productivity. Very low delta C-13(DIC) (similar to-20%0) suggests involvement of carbon derived from anaerobic oxidation of organics and/or methane with potential contribution from increased anthropogenic water supply. An estimate of seawater incursion into the Hooghly Estuary at different times of the year is obtained by using salinity data in a two-component mixing model. Presence of seawater was found maximum (31-37%) during February till July and lowest (less than or equal to 6%) from September till November. We notice a temporal offset between Ganges River discharge farther upstream at Farakka and salinity variation at the Hooghly Estuary. We believe that this time lag is a result of the physical distance between Farakka and Kakdweep (our sampling location) and put constraints on the travel time of river water during early monsoon. (c) 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, NETHERLANDS
Keywords: Hooghly River;Tropical estuary;Salinity;Stable isotopes;Monsoon
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Earth Sciences
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2013 11:07
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2013 11:07
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/45953

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