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National Estuaries Network

Kromme Estuary LTER
The permanently open Kromme Estuary drains a cathment that is under severe impoundment resulting in little freshwater reaching the estuary. This situation gives rise to abnormally high salinity conditions in the upper estuary that is only interrupted when water is released from the impoundments upstream, or when rainfall induced flooding occurs. These characteristics prompted SAEON to launch a long-term observation strategy in order to better understand the effects of long-term water abstraction on an estuarine ecosystem. Read more..
Gamtoos Estuary LTER
The Gamtoos Estuary is situated in St Francis Bay, ca. 50 km west of Port Elizabeth. Gamtoos receives more freshwater compared to the adjacent Kromme Estuary, despite water being abstracted for irrigation and other agricultural activities. Throughout the year, salinity gradients are well established over both vertical and horizontal axes. It is a productive system thanks to an abundance of nutrients that fuel a thriving plankton community and in turn a myriad of consumers including fishes and birds. Read more..
Swartkops Estuary LTER
A characteristic feature of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan, the Swartkops Estuary ranks 11th of 275 estuaries in RSA based on conservation importance. A vibrant delta of shallow channels, sandbanks and salt marshes provide essential refuge to a variety of invertebrates, fishes and birds. Poor water quality, urban encroachment and floodplain modification are known issues. SAEON monitors in the long-term temperature, salinity and sediment accretion in this estuary.
Kariega Estuary LTER
Flanking the eastern perimeter of the popular holiday town of Kenton-On-Sea, the Kariega Estuary is a hotspot for water sports, fishing and game viewing. The upper estuary meanders through the world renowned Kariega and Sibuya game reserves where the big 5 can be viewed in a malaria free safari setting. Despite it's aesthetic charm, several ecological issues exist. Of these, the low level of freshwater flow due to abstraction for urban and agricultural use is arguably the most concerning. SAEON monitors in the long-term temperature, salinity, water quality and plankton dynamics in this estuary. Read more...
Influence of sedimentological and hydrological processes on the distribution of salt marshes in the Keurbooms Estuary, Western Cape
The project assess the influence of sediment dynamics on the distribution of the salt marshes in the Keurbooms estuary. This is a student project lead by MSc candidate Mr Athi Mfikili, supervised by Manager of SAEON Elwandle Node, Dr Tommy Bornman. Read more..
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