Abstract

The spatial distribution of particle size spectra shows a two-layer stratification in May but reveals three-layer structure in September, both in the Saguenay fjord and in the adjacent waters of the St. Lawrence estuary, near the sill. In May, the particle size spectra in the surface layer show considerable variability whereas, in the bottom waters, they appear to be relatively homogeneous. In September, the deeper, more homogeneous water mass is less extensive. It is apparently eroded by diffusion and advection during summer months and becomes restricted to intermediate depths towards the head of the fjord. During the same period, a water mass with physical and particulate properties different from the upper layers occupies the bottom of the fjord. Principal component analysis shows that variations in particle size spectra are independent from one layer to another. Water masses with identical physical and particulate properties located in both sides of the sill illustrate the influence of the St. Lawrence estuary on the Saguenay fjord. These water masses, generally located below the sill depth, indicate the existence of powerful advective mechanisms in this region.

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