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Estuaries are coastal bodies of water that are transition zones between fresh water and salt water (rivers and oceans), being mixed by the tides. Estuaries are always on the coast of oceans.

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This is a world map of costal seas and estuaries. Rio de la Plata and the Bay of Fundy are circled above.


Location
The Bay of Fundy is located in the North Atlantic Ocean, between New Brunswick and West Nova Scotia. It is about 400 km wide at the mouth and the depth of the water varies, but it is mainly deep, cold water. The Bay also is home to the highest tides of the world, reaching up to 16 meters. The Bay includes salt marshes and feeding grounds, and wildlife includes whales, clams, herrings, lobsters, scallops, starfish, and many other aquatic and non aquatic animals and plants. On the edge of the water are giant, towering rock cliffs with pines trees perched at the top. There are many rock plateaus that are submerged in the water, but once the tide comes down they become tall, rock towers. The Bay of Fundy is a very popular tourist site in Canada, people every where are attracted to its wildlife and natural beauty.

The Rio de la Plata is located in the Argentine Sea, between Argentina and Uraguay. This estuary is formed by the Parana and Uraguay Rivers. The bay extends from the Atlantic ocean for about 270 kilometers. Uraguay lies near the bay's mouth which widens from 2 kilometers to 220 kilometers. The Rio de la Plata is a habitat for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Green Sea Turtle, Leatherback Sea Turtle, the rare La Plata Dolphin and a great collection of fish. It covers 2,574,950 square kilometers and receives an enormous amount of water making it the second largest river system on the continent.

Climate
The climate of the Bay of Fundy is generally colder, having a cool, rainy season and a cold, snowy season. They only have 2 seasons, those being similar to summer and winter. In the "summer", the average precipitation is 120 cm., and in the "winter" the average precipitation is 180 cm. 50-60% of days are either cloudy or rainy which means less sun, and a cooler temperature. The average temperature in "winter" is between -3 degrees and -6 degrees Celsius, and in the "summer" the average temperature is between 13 degrees and 19 degrees Celsius. The Bay is know for its thick fog, and its constant gray skies, plus its very similar seasons, the climate mainly being wet and cool.

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Bay of Fundy in warm season
Estuary_Bay_of_Fundy_winter.jpg
Bay of Fundy in cold season



















Rio de la Plata is a fairly warm estuary. The climate is generally hot and humid with rainy summers. This estuary has only two seasons: summer and winter. Each season lasts for six months; the summer lasts from October to March and the winter lasts from April to September. The the humidity is 70% and the average precipitation every year is roughly 111.76 cm. About 80% of the annual rainfall occurs in the summer and it is often accompanied by hail. So the average summer precipitation is about 89.408 cm and the average winter precipitation is around 22.352 cm. The mean winter temperature is 10.4 degrees Celsius and the average summer temperature is 22 degrees Celsius.

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Rio de la Plata in the summer
Estuary_Rio_de_la_Plata_winter.jpg
Rio de la Plata in the winter



The Bay of Fundy has a cool temperature, high tides, and a lot of precipitation, while the Rio de la Plata has a warm temperature, low tides, and less precipitation . The differences in the climates of these two estuaries is due to the differences in their locations. If the Rio de la Plata had been located further south, then the climate would have been different. For example there would be more snow and hail instead of rain, also the temperature would have been cooler and cloudier. If the Rio de la Plata was farther north then the climate would be warm and you would never see hail. This is why the Bay of Fundy's climate and that of the Rio de la Plata differ.

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