, Volume 611, Issue 1, pp 133–146 | Cite as

Hydraulic regime-based zonation scheme of the Curonian Lagoon

  • Ferrarin Christian
  • Razinkovas Arturas
  • Gulbinskas Saulius
  • Umgiesser Georg
  • Bliūdžiutė Lina


The aim of this study was to delineate the spatial zonation of the Curonian Lagoon based on the hydraulic regime and the sediment characteristics. A finite element hydrodynamic model has been applied to the Curonian Lagoon to simulate the circulation patterns for three years. With the help of a transport diffusion model the salinity distribution and the residence times of the Curonian Lagoon have been investigated when forced by river runoff and by wind. The finite element method permitted to follow the details of bathymetry and morphology of the lagoon, describing the areas of special interest with higher resolution. The hydrodynamic model has been validated using in situ water level and salinity measurements. A statistical GIS analysis of the bottom sediment characteristics and the modeled residence times and salinity distribution led to a synthetic hydraulic regime-based zonation scheme. The derived classification scheme is of crucial value for understanding the renewal capacity and biota distribution patterns in the lagoon.


Curonian Lagoon Finite element model Hydraulic zonation Residence times 



The authors wish to thank the Marine Research Centre, Lithuanian Ministry of Environment, and Hydrometeorological Service, Lithuanian Ministry of Environment, for providing forcing and validation data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ferrarin Christian
    • 1
  • Razinkovas Arturas
    • 2
  • Gulbinskas Saulius
    • 2
  • Umgiesser Georg
    • 1
  • Bliūdžiutė Lina
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Marine ScienceISMAR-CNRVeneziaItaly
  2. 2.Coastal Research and Planning InstituteKlaipėda UniversityKlaipedaLithuania

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