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Internal Circulation in Tidal Channels and Straits and Internal Circulation in Tidal Channels and Straits: A Comparison of Observed and Numerical Turbulence Estimates (AASERT)

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Annual rept.

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The principal long-term objectives of this project and its associated AASERT are to provide a 3-D conceptual understanding of circulation and scalar transport in the numerous estuaries and straits worldwide with both strong tides and buoyancy forcing improved analysis methods based on continuous wavelet transforms for defining the nonstationary and nonlinear processes that drive circulation in these environments and in concert with related projects, an improved understanding of vertical turbulent mixing processes in stratified estuarine flows. The present work focuses on the 3-D distribution of the along-channel circulation, hydraulic control and mixing at the estuary entrance, salt and suspended particulate transport SPM in stratified flows, and near-bed and interfacial mixing processes in stratified environments. Specific objectives are as follows 1 test a 3-D mixed analyticalnumerical circulation model for sub-areas of the Columbia River estuary to calculate tidal and residual flow during periods for which data are available 2 examine hydraulic control effects near the mouth of the Columbia River using a three-layer model that includes mixing between layers and bed dissipation 3 analyze near-bed and interfacial turbulent momentum, salt, and sediment flux data to better understand vertical fluxes of momentum, salt, and sediment in stratified environments 4 develop and disseminate to the oceanographic community wavelet transform tidal analysis and turbulence estimation tools and 5 use wavelet and other tools to analyze key data sets. This project takes a unified approach to analyzing the effects of buoyancy on estuarine and shelf tides and scalar transport, as funded by the Coastal Dynamics Program of ONR and the National Science Foundation NSF Land-Margin Ecosystem Research LMER Program.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
  • Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology
  • Fluid Mechanics

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