Currents and Circulation in the Coastal Waters of Louisiana.
LOUISIANA STATE UNIV BATON ROUGE COASTAL STUDIES INST
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A review of our knowledge of circulation and currents in the coastal water of Louisiana indicates that, despite notable progress in a few specific areas, we lack a rudimentary knowledge of the mechanics of water motion along most of the coastline. The Mississippi River salt wedge and the mixing of its effluent plume into the open water of the Gulf of Mexico are generally understood, but detailed salt balance and turbulent mixing studies should now be undertaken. The portion of the Louisiana shelf within the area 80 km west of the Mississippi has been studied in detail with regard to tidal currents, long-term drift, hydrography, and local wind drift. Summer current reversals toward the east and high tidal ranges in the vicinity of Calcasieu Lake, for example, remain unexplained. Detailed knowledge of the dynamics of our prolific coastal bays and estuaries is poor. A list of research priorities to eventually allow better utilization of our coastal waters is presented at the end of this report.
- Physical and Dynamic Oceanography