Analysis of water quality and circulation of four recreational Miami beaches through the use of Lagrangian Coherent Structures

L. A. Fiorentino, M. J. Olascoaga, A. Reniers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Four popular, recreational beaches in Miami, FL are Hobie Beach, Virginia Key Beach, Crandon Park Beach, and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. While all of the beaches are within a few miles of each other in Biscayne Bay, they have greatly differing water qualities, as determined by the testing for fecal indicator bacteria performed by the Florida Department of Health. Using the geodesic theory of transport barriers, we identify Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCSs) in each area. We show how these material curves, which shape circulation and mixing patterns, can be used to explain the incongruous states of the water at beaches that should be comparable. The LCSs are computed using a hydrodynamic model and verified through field experimentation at each beach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-189
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 15 2014



  • Beaches
  • Coast
  • Lagrangian Coherent Structures
  • Pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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