Theme 2 deals with the quality aspects of discharges from rivers to estuaries, direct discharges to estuaries, the twice daily influx of sea water mixing with the water remaining in the estuary and the effect of the estuary discharge on the adjacent marine environment.

The paper compares the flow characteristics and qualities of the Rivers Medway, Trent and Severn at the tidal limits at different periods and indicates the effect of these discharges on the quality of the upper reaches of the estuary. The extent and distribution in place and time of the oxygen sag in the Trent estuary is recorded as also is the concentration of cadmium and ammonia in the Severn estuary.

The physical characteristics of the estuaries are described and reference is made to the statute law relating to control of estuarial pollution.

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