Freshwater and saltwater mix in what is called an estuary. The time that it takes for freshwater and saltwater to completely mix is called the flushing time. The average flushing time for rivers can very from 1 to 22 days. Since freshwater is less dense than saltwater, it tends to remain in place while the saltwater moves in. Thus, the freshwater does not travel far from where it enters into the saltwater reservoir from the river. There are variations, however, depending on the type of estuary and how much freshwater is unloaded into the saltwater.
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