Sea-level Trends along Freshwater and Seawater Mixing in the Uruguayan Rio de la Plata Estuary and Atlantic Ocean Coast  

José E. Verocai1,2 , Gustavo J. Nagy1 , Mario Bidegain3
1. Grupo de Cambio Ambiental y Gestión Costero-Marina, IECA, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la República (UdelaR) and Climate Vulnerability, Impacts and Adaptation Network (CliVIA-N), Montevideo, Uruguay
2. Servicio de Oceanografía, Hidrografía y Meteorología de la Armada (SOHMA), Montevideo, Uruguay
3. Instituto Uruguayo de Meteorología (INUMET) and CliVIA-N, Montevideo, Uruguay
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2016, Vol. 6, No. 7   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2016.06.0007
Received: 14 Dec., 2015    Accepted: 19 Feb., 2016    Published: 23 Feb., 2016
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Verocai J.E., Nagy G.J., and Bidegain M., 2016, Sea-level trends along freshwater and seawater mixing in the Uruguayan Rio de la Plata estuary and Atlantic Ocean coast, International Journal of Marine Science, 6(7): 1-18 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2016.06.0007)


Sea level is rising worldwide with local differences due to global and regional drivers. This article analyses yearly freshwater and sea level trends and fluctuations during the mixing of fresh- and sea-water along the Uruguayan coast of the Rio de la Plata River estuary and the Atlantic coast from 1961 to 2014. The global and regional drivers as well as local co-variables are described, classified in nine discrete classes and inter-correlated. Despite the observed increasing trends, local sea level rises (SLR) are not well correlated with global SLR except at the estuarine-ocean boundary (Punta del Este station). Freshwater inflow, which variability often coincides with Oceanic El Niño-La Niña (ONI-ENSO) events, is the first descriptor of sea level fluctuations and outliers all along the coast, particularly at Punta del Este. Local SLR roughly follows the overall global trend with periods of acceleration and stabilization often coinciding with ENSO events.

Global sea level rise; ENSO; Global and local drivers; Estuaries
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