Abstract

The Ebro River is one of the longest rivers in Spain and it also has the greatest discharge. Its lower part is highly regulated and includes a system of three reservoirs (Mequinensa, Riba-roja and Flix). The water temperature is altered because of the release of hypolimnetic water and the use of water for cooling at the Ascó nuclear power plant. The thermal regime of the lower Ebro River on different time scales and the changes caused by anthropogenic factors, especially the system of reservoirs and the thermal effluent of the nuclear power plant, have been studied by installing a net of water temperature measuring stations and by using historical water temperature data provided by the thermal power plant at Escatrón. An increase of 2.3ºC in the mean annual water temperature could be demonstrated in the period 1955–2000 at this site. The effects of the system of reservoirs and of the nuclear power plant were the usual for this kind of structures and could be detected many kilometres downstream. In the summer, the cooling effect of the reservoirs and the warming effect of the nuclear power plant compensated each other. In winter, the warming effect of both summed up

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Published on 01/01/2010

DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.04.002
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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