The ecology of the Mar Menor coastal lagoon: A fast changing ecosystem under human pressure
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Bibliographic CitationPérez-Ruzafa, A., Marcos, C. & Gilabert, J., 2005. The ecology of the Mar Menor coastal lagoon: a fast-changing ecosystem under human pressure. En: Gönenç, I.E. & Wolflin, J.P. (Eds.), Coastal Lagoons: Ecosystem Processes and Modeling for Sustainable Use and Development. CRC Press, Boca Ratón, Florida: 392-422.
Smart coastal territory
Mar Menor area
The Mar Menor is a hypersaline coastal lagoon, with a surface area of 135 km2 and a perimeter of 59.51 km. It is located on the southwestern Mediterranean coastline (3742′00′′N, 0047′00′′W) with a mean depth of 3.6 m and a maximum depth of 6 m. “La Manga,” a sandy bar 22 km long and 100–900 m wide, acts as a barrier between the lagoon and the Mediterranean Sea. It is crossed by five more or less functional inlets called golas. Four are shallow (less than 1 m deep) and one of them, El Estacio, was widened and dug to a 5-m depth to make it a navigational channel. Altogether a total width of lagoon entrances is about 645 m, giving Mar Menor a restriction ratio of 0.015. Mar Menor is therefore a restricted lagoon according to the classification proposed by Kjerfve1 (see Chapter 6). There are two main islands and three other smaller islands, one of which is artificially connected to La Manga.
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