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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    Description: A field study was performed in the lower Hudson River, a partially mixed estuary with a relatively simple geometry (Figure 1), between August and October of 1995. The objectives of the study were (1) to quantify and characterize the turbulent transport of momentum and salt, and (2) to relate the turbulent transport processes to the local and estuary-wide dynamics. The measurement program consisted of fixed and shipboard components. At a central site, a moored array of temperature-conductivity sensors and optical backscatter sensors (OBS), a bottom-mounted acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), and a bottom-mounted array of acoustic travel-time current sensors (BASS), temperature-conductivity sensors, and OBS sensors resolved the vertical structure of velocity, salinity and turbidity and the near-bottom turbulence structure. Moored and bottom-mounted velocity, temperature, conductivity and pressure sensors at five secondary sites quantified the spatial and temporal variabilty of velocity, salinity and bottom pressure. Shipboard measurements with an ADCP and a conductivity-temperature-depth (CTD) profiler, accompanied by an OBS sensor, resolved the spatial structure and tidal variability of velocity, salinity and turbidity along several cross-channel and along-channel transects. This report describes the measurements in detail. Section II describes the instrumentation, Section III describes the deployment and sampling schemes, Section IV describes the data processing, and Section V is a summary of plots of selected data. Section VI documents the data files and Sections VII and VII give acknowledgments and references.
    Description: Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation under Grant OCE-94-15617 and The Hudson River Foundation.
    Keywords: Stress ; Salt flux ; Mixed estuary
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
    Type: Technical Report
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2017-10-12
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2005. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 110 (2005): C05001, doi:10.1029/2004JC002691.
    Description: Numerical simulations of the Hudson River estuary using a terrain-following, three-dimensional model (Regional Ocean Modeling System, ROMS) are compared with an extensive set of timeseries and spatially resolved measurements over a 43-day period with large variations in tidal forcing and river discharge. The model is particularly effective at reproducing the observed temporal variations in both the salinity and current structure, including tidal, spring-neap, and river discharge induced variability. Large observed variations in stratification between neap and spring tides are captured qualitatively and quantitatively by the model. The observed structure and variations of the longitudinal salinity gradient are also well reproduced. The most notable discrepancy between the model and the data is in the vertical salinity structure. While the surface-to-bottom salinity difference is well reproduced, the stratification in the model tends to extend all the way to the water surface, whereas the observations indicate a distinct pycnocline and a surface mixed layer. Because the southern boundary condition is located near the mouth the estuary, the salinity within the domain is particularly sensitive to the specification of salinity at the boundary. A boundary condition for the horizontal salinity gradient, based on the local value of salinity, is developed to incorporate physical processes beyond the open boundary not resolved by the model. Model results are sensitive to the specification of the bottom roughness length and vertical stability functions, insofar as they influence the intensity of vertical mixing. The results only varied slightly between different turbulence closure methods of k-ε, k-ω, and k-kl.
    Description: We gratefully acknowledge support from the U.S. Geological Survey Mendenhall Post-doctoral Research Program for support of J. C. Warner. J. A. Lerczak and W. R. Geyer were supported by the Hudson River Foundation.
    Keywords: Estuary ; Model skill assessment ; Hudson River
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2017-11-22
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2008. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 113 (2008): C07023, doi:10.1029/2007JC004644.
    Description: A sequence of dye releases in the Hudson River estuary provide a quantitative assessment of horizontal dispersion in a partially mixed estuary. Dye was released in the bottom boundary layer on 4 separate occasions, with varying tidal phase and spring-neap conditions. The three-dimensional distribution of dye was monitored by two vessels with in situ, profiling fluorometers. The three-dimensional spreading of the dye was estimated by calculating the time derivative of the second moment of the dye in the along-estuary, cross-estuary and vertical directions. The average along-estuary dispersion rate was about 100 m2/s, but maximum rates up to 700 m2/s occurred during ebb tides, and minimum rates occurred during flood. Vertical shear dispersion was the principal mechanism during neap tides, but transverse shear dispersion became more important during springs. Suppression of mixing across the pycnocline limited the vertical extent of the patch in all but the maximum spring-tide conditions, with vertical diffusivities in the pycnocline estimated at 4 × 10−5 m2/s during neaps. The limited vertical extent of the dye patch limited the dispersion of the dye relative to the overall estuarine dispersion rate, which was an order of magnitude greater than that of the dye. This study indicates that the effective dispersion of waterborne material in an estuary depends sensitively on its vertical distribution as well as the phase of the spring-neap cycle.
    Description: This research was supported by National Science Foundation Grant OCE04-52054 (W. Geyer), OCE00-99310 (R. Houghton), and OCE00-95913 (R. Chant).
    Keywords: Dispersion ; Mixing ; Spring-neap variations
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2004. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 109 (2004): F02004, doi:10.1029/2003JF000096.
    Description: A 9 month time series of tripod-mounted optical and acoustic measurements of sediment concentration and bed elevation was used to examine depositional processes in relationship to hydrodynamic variables in the Hudson River estuary. A series of cores was also taken directly under and adjacent to the acoustic measurements to examine the relation between the depositional processes and the resulting fine-scale stratigraphy. The measurements reveal that deposition occurs as a result of sediment flux convergence behind a salinity front and that the accumulation rates are sufficient to deposit up to 25 cm of new high-porosity sediment in a single ebb-tidal phase. Subsequent dewatering and erosion reduces the thickness of the initial deposit to several centimeters. These depositional events were only observed on spring tides. Ten depositional events during two spring tidal cycles produced a seasonal deposit of 18 cm, consistent with estimates of seasonal deposition from cores. A proxy for near-bed suspended grain size variations was estimated from the combined acoustic and optical measurements, implying that the erosional processes resuspend only the finer-grained sediments, thus leaving behind silt and very fine grained sand beds. The thickness of the deposited homogenous clayey silt beds, and the vertical separation between beds interlaminated with silt and very fine sand, are roughly consistent with the acoustic measurements of changes in bed elevations during deposition and erosion. The variability in individual bed thickness is the result of variations of processes over an individual tidal cycle and is not a product of variations over the spring neap fortnightly timescale.
    Description: The authors would like to acknowledge the Hudson River Foundation, who provided funding for this work under grant 009/00A.
    Keywords: Sediment transport ; Estuarine processes ; Fluid mud
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2017-01-07
    Description: This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. The definitive version was published in Computers & Geosciences 36 (2010): 921-935, doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2009.11.008.
    Description: We investigate the processes that influence residence time in a partially mixed estuary using a three-dimensional circulation model. The complex geometry of the study region is not optimal for a structured grid model and so we developed a new method of grid connectivity. This involves a novel approach that allows an unlimited number of individual grids to be combined in an efficient manner to produce a composite grid. We then implemented this new method into the numerical Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS) and developed a composite grid of the Hudson River estuary region to investigate the residence time of a passive tracer. Results show that the residence time is a strong function of the time of release (spring vs. neap tide), the along-channel location, and the initial vertical placement. During neap tides there is a maximum in residence time near the bottom of the estuary at the mid-salt intrusion length. During spring tides the residence time is primarily a function of along-channel location and does not exhibit a strong vertical variability. This model study of residence time illustrates the utility of the grid connectivity method for circulation and dispersion studies in regions of complex geometry.
    Description: W.R. Geyer was supported by the Hudson River Foundation Grant 002/07A,H.G.Arango by the Office of Naval Research,and John Warner was supported by the USGS Community Sediment Modeling Project.
    Keywords: Residence time ; Estuary ; Three-dimensional model ; Hudson river estuary ; ROMS ; Composite grid
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2009. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 39 (2009): 915-933, doi:10.1175/2008JPO3933.1.
    Description: The temporal response of the length of a partially mixed estuary to changes in freshwater discharge Qf and tidal amplitude UT is studied using a 108-day time series collected along the length of the Hudson River estuary in the spring and summer of 2004 and a long-term (13.4 yr) record of Qf, UT, and near-surface salinity. When Qf was moderately high, the tidally averaged length of the estuary L5, here defined as the distance from the mouth to the up-estuary location where the vertically averaged salinity is 5 psu, fluctuated by more than 47 km over the spring–neap cycle, ranging from 28 to 〉75 km. During low flow periods, L5 varied very little over the spring–neap cycle and approached a steady length. The response is quantified and compared to predictions of a linearized model derived from the global estuarine salt balance. The model is forced by fluctuations in Qf and UT relative to average discharge Qo and tidal amplitude UTo and predicts the linear response time scale τ and the steady-state length Lo for average forcing. Two vertical mixing schemes are considered, in which 1) mixing is proportional to UT and 2) dependence of mixing on stratification is also parameterized. Based on least squares fits between L5 and estuary length predicted by the model, estimated τ varied by an order of magnitude from a period of high average discharge (Qo = 750 m3 s−1, τ = 4.2 days) to a period of low discharge (Qo = 170 m3 s−1, τ = 40.4 days). Over the range of observed discharge, Lo Qo−0.30±0.03, consistent with the theoretical scaling for an estuary whose landward salt flux is driven by vertical estuarine exchange circulation. Estimated τ was proportional to the discharge advection time scale (LoA/Qo, where A is the cross-sectional area of the estuary). However, τ was 3–4 times larger than the theoretical prediction. The model with stratification-dependent mixing predicted variations in L5 with higher skill than the model with mixing proportional to UT. This model provides insight into the time-dependent response of a partially stratified estuary to changes in forcing and explains the strong dependence of the amplitude of the spring–neap response on freshwater discharge. However, the utility of the linear model is limited because it assumes a uniform channel, and because the underlying dynamics are nonlinear, and the forcing Qf and UT can undergo large amplitude variations. River discharge, in particular, can vary by over an order of magnitude over time scales comparable to or shorter than the response time scale of the estuary.
    Description: This study was generously funded by Hudson River Foundation Grant 005/03A and NSF Grant OCE-0452054. Lerczak also received partial support from the Woods Hole Center for Oceans and Human Health, NSF Grant OCE-0430724 and NIEHS Grant 1-P50-ES012742-01.
    Keywords: Estuaries ; Rivers ; Tides ; Stability ; Vertical motion
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2018-12-13
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2007. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 37 (2007): 1859-1877, doi:10.1175/jpo3088.1.
    Description: A series of dye releases in the Hudson River estuary elucidated diapycnal mixing rates and temporal variability over tidal and fortnightly time scales. Dye was injected in the bottom boundary layer for each of four releases during different phases of the tide and of the spring–neap cycle. Diapycnal mixing occurs primarily through entrainment that is driven by shear production in the bottom boundary layer. On flood the dye extended vertically through the bottom mixed layer, and its concentration decreased abruptly near the base of the pycnocline, usually at a height corresponding to a velocity maximum. Boundary layer growth is consistent with a one-dimensional, stress-driven entrainment model. A model was developed for the vertical structure of the vertical eddy viscosity in the flood tide boundary layer that is proportional to u2*/N∞, where u* and N∞ are the bottom friction velocity and buoyancy frequency above the boundary layer. The model also predicts that the buoyancy flux averaged over the bottom boundary layer is equal to 0.06N∞u2* or, based on the structure of the boundary layer equal to 0.1NBLu2*, where NBL is the buoyancy frequency across the flood-tide boundary layer. Estimates of shear production and buoyancy flux indicate that the flux Richardson number in the flood-tide boundary layer is 0.1–0.18, consistent with the model indicating that the flux Richardson number is between 0.1 and 0.14. During ebb, the boundary layer was more stratified, and its vertical extent was not as sharply delineated as in the flood. During neap tide the rate of mixing during ebb was significantly weaker than on flood, owing to reduced bottom stress and stabilization by stratification. As tidal amplitude increased ebb mixing increased and more closely resembled the boundary layer entrainment process observed during the flood. Tidal straining modestly increased the entrainment rate during the flood, and it restratified the boundary layer and inhibited mixing during the ebb.
    Description: The work was supported by the National Science Foundation Grant OCE00-95972 (W. Geyer, J. Lerczak), OCE00-99310 (R. Houghton), and OCE00-95913 (R. Chant, E. Hunter).
    Keywords: Estuaries ; Boundary layer ; Mixing ; Tides ; Friction
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2006. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 36 (2006): 2296-2311, doi:10.1175/JPO2959.1.
    Description: The subtidal salt balance and the mechanisms driving the downgradient salt flux in the Hudson River estuary are investigated using measurements from a cross-channel mooring array of current meters, temperature and conductivity sensors, and cross-channel and along-estuary shipboard surveys obtained during the spring of 2002. Steady (subtidal) vertical shear dispersion, resulting from the estuarine exchange flow, was the dominant mechanism driving the downgradient salt flux, and varied by over an order of magnitude over the spring–neap cycle, with maximum values during neap tides and minimum values during spring tides. Corresponding longitudinal dispersion rates were as big as 2500 m2 s−1 during neap tides. The salinity intrusion was not in a steady balance during the study period. During spring tides, the oceanward advective salt flux resulting from the net outflow balanced the time rate of change of salt content landward of the study site, and salt was flushed out of the estuary. During neap tides, the landward steady shear dispersion salt flux exceeded the oceanward advective salt flux, and salt entered the estuary. Factor-of-4 variations in the salt content occurred at the spring–neap time scale and at the time scale of variations in the net outflow. On average, the salt flux resulting from tidal correlations between currents and salinity (tidal oscillatory salt flux) was an order of magnitude smaller than that resulting from steady shear dispersion. During neap tides, this flux was minimal (or slightly countergradient) and was due to correlations between tidal currents and vertical excursions of the halocline. During spring tides, the tidal oscillatory salt flux was driven primarily by oscillatory shear dispersion, with an associated longitudinal dispersion rate of about 130 m2 s−1.
    Description: This work was supported by National Science Foundation Grant OCE00-95972 and Hudson River Foundation Grant 005/03A. Author Lerczak received partial support from the Penzance Endowed Fund in Support of Assistant Scientists.
    Keywords: Ice shelves ; Dynamics ; Antarctica
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Meteorological Society, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of American Meteorological Society for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Physical Oceanography 42 (2012): 855–868, doi:10.1175/JPO-D-10-05010.1.
    Description: Data from the Hudson River estuary demonstrate that the tidal variations in vertical salinity stratification are not consistent with the patterns associated with along-channel tidal straining. These observations result from three additional processes not accounted for in the traditional tidal straining model: 1) along-channel and 2) lateral advection of horizontal gradients in the vertical salinity gradient and 3) tidal asymmetries in the strength of vertical mixing. As a result, cross-sectionally averaged values of the vertical salinity gradient are shown to increase during the flood tide and decrease during the ebb. Only over a limited portion of the cross section does the observed stratification increase during the ebb and decrease during the flood. These observations highlight the three-dimensional nature of estuarine flows and demonstrate that lateral circulation provides an alternate mechanism that allows for the exchange of materials between surface and bottom waters, even when direct turbulent mixing through the pycnocline is prohibited by strong stratification.
    Description: The funding for this research was obtained from NSF Grant OCE-08-25226.
    Description: 2012-11-01
    Keywords: Mixing ; Ocean circulation ; Shear structure/flows ; Transport ; Turbulence
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2017-01-04
    Description: Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2012. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Geophysical Research 117 (2012): C10013, doi:10.1029/2012JC008124.
    Description: Analyses of field observations and numerical model results have identified that sediment transport in the Hudson River estuary is laterally segregated between channel and shoals, features frontal trapping at multiple locations along the estuary, and varies significantly over the spring-neap tidal cycle. Lateral gradients in depth, and therefore baroclinic pressure gradient and stratification, control the lateral distribution of sediment transport. Within the saline estuary, sediment fluxes are strongly landward in the channel and seaward on the shoals. At multiple locations, bottom salinity fronts form at bathymetric transitions in width or depth. Sediment convergences near the fronts create local maxima in suspended-sediment concentration and deposition, providing a general mechanism for creation of secondary estuarine turbidity maxima at bathymetric transitions. The lateral bathymetry also affects the spring-neap cycle of sediment suspension and deposition. In regions with broad, shallow shoals, the shoals are erosional and the channel is depositional during neap tides, with the opposite pattern during spring tides. Narrower, deeper shoals are depositional during neaps and erosional during springs. In each case, the lateral transfer is from regions of higher to lower bed stress, and depends on the elevation of the pycnocline relative to the bed. Collectively, the results indicate that lateral and along-channel gradients in bathymetry and thus stratification, bed stress, and sediment flux lead to an unsteady, heterogeneous distribution of sediment transport and trapping along the estuary rather than trapping solely at a turbidity maximum at the limit of the salinity intrusion.
    Description: This research was funded by a grant from the Hudson River Foundation (#002/07A). D.R. was partially supported by the Office of Naval Research (N00014-08-1-0846).
    Description: 2013-04-17
    Keywords: Estuarine turbidity maximum ; Lateral sediment distribution ; Salinity fronts ; Sediment flux ; Sediment trapping ; Stratification
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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