Encyclopedia of Estuaries

2016 Edition
| Editors: Michael J. Kennish


  • Lisa V. LucasEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-8801-4_200


Age. The time elapsed since a water parcel or constituent particle entered a defined water body (Bolin and Rodhe, 1973; Zimmerman, 1976; Takeoka, 1984).

Essential concepts, applications, and methods of estimation

“Age” is a hydrodynamic transport time scale commonly used to characterize the time elapsed between release of a substance (e.g., a pollutant) into a water body and its arrival at a location of concern (Shen and Haas, 2004). Parcels and particles may be released from origin regions as well as from point sources; therefore, in addition to the definition provided above, age has also been defined as the time elapsed since a parcel or particle left the region in which its age is prescribed to be zero (Delhez et al., 1999; Deleersnijder et al., 2001). As the time taken by a parcel since entering a water body to reach location x, age is commonly considered the complement to “residence time,” if residence time is defined as the time taken by a water parcel originating at x...

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United States Geological SurveyMenlo ParkUSA