The division of an estuary into homogeneous areas from both hydrodynamic and ecological standpoints is essential to any estuarine basin management model. This paper presents an approach based on a heuristic algorithm to achieve such a division. The methodology implemented through an interactive computer program named Tejo 1 applies morphological, water quality and management criteria in order to achieve the disaggregation. The approach is equally applicable to river or lake basins, with only minor adaptations. An application of Tejo 1 to the Tejo estuary is included for illustrative purposes, which resulted in the final division of the estuary into 11 homogeneous areas.

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